Palm Beach may be better known for its long stretch of coast and opulent mansions, but the region has also become increasingly recognised as a thriving arts destination where some of the country’s best-known museums sit alongside an abundance of boutique galleries. Here, we take a look at where to find the best Palm Beach art galleries during a stay at the sumptuous Chesterfield Palm Beach.
Many of Palm Beach’s biggest museums and galleries have been established for a number of decades, but it was the introduction of The Orange Line Trolley that brought it further into the spotlight. As this trolley shuttles between arts venues, visitors can hop on and off (for free) to visit major sites like Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, Norton Museum of Art and Flagler Museum, among other museums and cultural institutions.
Founded in 1941, Norton Museum of Art is one of Florida’s major arts venues, having made a name for itself with a notable permanent collection of American, Chinese, European and contemporary art, as well as photography, with work by iconic artists such as Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso. Then there’s the gallery’s diverse offering of temporary exhibitions; see works by Lichtenstein and Monet by visiting before August 21st, Ming Dynasty Dragon Panels from September 1st to October 2nd, and The Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers from November 10th to January 15th.
It was in 1935 that the founders of Norton Museum of Art, Ralph and Elizabeth Norton, bought the home that is now Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens. Situated in West Palm Beach’s El Cid Historic Neighbourhood, the home was designed by architect Maurice Fatio in 1925, and later redesigned by Marion Sims Wyeth in the Monterey Revival Style. In 1948, widowed Ralph Norton went on to marry the Norton Museum’s sculptor instructor Ann Weaver, and Wyeth was invited back to design her studio. Now, this distinct architecture can be seen by visiting the home, studio, and gardens, which have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with exhibitions of Ann Norton’s work, too.
The impressive mansion that is now the setting for Palm Beach’s famous Flagler Museum is another site that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In fact, the Beaux Arts estate was Florida’s first museum to have been established. Now, the exhibitions here focus on art and other aspects of the Gilded Age.
Other arts venues on the route take a more immersive approach, offering workshops and lectures in addition to exhibitions and arts events. The Society of the Four Arts organises concerts, film screenings and arts programmes, as well as exhibitions, within the four fields it champions: art, music, drama and literature. These events and programmes take place at various venues around Palm Beach, including The Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery Building, The Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden, and The Four Arts Botanical Garden.
Clematis Street-based Palm Beach Photographic Centre also hosts a wide-ranging arts programme. Here, visitors can catch photography exhibitions, talks from leading photographic and digital artists in the gallery’s annual Lecture Series, and a range of workshops that are ideal for both budding and aspiring artists.
These major arts venues aren’t the only places that represent Palm Beach’s arts community though; boutique galleries are dotted throughout Palm Beach, but it’s the area surrounding Worth Avenue that’s especially rewarding in this regard.
Edward and Deborah Pollack Fine Art sits on Worth Avenue itself, with a focus on important Florida artworks between the years 1850 and 1980. In contrast, Holden Luntz Gallery – also on Worth Avenue – specialises in vintage and contemporary American and European photography in genres ranging from portraiture, landscape and still life, to figurative, fashion and photojournalism. Nearby, DTR Modern Galleries exhibits a vibrant collection of modern and contemporary artworks.
This is of course just the beginning, with many more galleries to seek out in the area – just a walk along Worth Avenue will reveal more – and throughout the rest of Palm Beach. But all of this cultural exploration in search of the best Palm Beach art galleries is bound to be a little tiring, so as the afternoon wears on, take time out in The Chesterfield Palm Beach where a traditional Afternoon Tea is sure to revive you in time for the evening.
Image credits: Cover, first and second photos of artworks © DTR Modern Galleries. Gallery interiors © Holden Luntz Gallery.