Simon Museum - Pasadena, CA
July 5, 2002: If you've ever watched the Tournament
of Roses Parade, you may have caught a glimpse of the
Norton Simon Museum. Situated on 'the corner' of the parade
route at Orange Grove and Colorado, the building's chocolate
brown tile siding and unusual grey roof make it quite
recognizable as the floats drift by.
before we moved to Pasadena, I knew of the Norton Simon.
In the past 4 years, we have driven past hundreds of times.
And wow, what a surprise. Until we visited, we had no
idea that our favorite museum so far was literally right
in our own backyard.
off, The Norton Simon Museum is named for a real person,
Norton Simon [1907-1993], another entrepreneur who made
his fortune in Southern California. Back in the 1930's,
Simon merged his Val Vita Foods canning company, with
Joseph and William Hunt to form Hunt Foods. Over the next
few decades, he added in several other companies, [Avis,
Max Factor] and made millions. While creating his impressive
and vast business empire, Simon also collected art, and
by the 1960's had amassed what is considered to be one
of the worlds best.
short story is that by 1975, Simon was quite well known
in the Art world, had taken over the financially troubled
Pasadena Art Museum, combined his own personal collection
with theirs, and reopened in the same building giving
it his namesake.