A compelling rotation of cutting-edge exhibitions smartly presented in slick new interiors: the Norton Museum of Art has re-established itself as one of Florida’s leading galleries. The museum reopened on 9th February 2019, unveiling the remarkable results of a $100 million transformation project that took six years to complete. A five-minute drive from The Chesterfield Palm Beach, the centre has plenty to entice visitors. Here are just a few of the reasons you need to visit the Norton Museum of Art this spring.
The dazzling new galleries
The Norton Museum of Art has undergone a colossal facelift with the largest renovation in its 78-year history. The most significant addition is the 59,000 square foot Kenneth C. Griffin Building, named after a generous donor to the project. The museum now houses a hi-tech auditorium and a state-of-the-art education centre alongside a vast gallery space with floor-to-ceiling windows. The construction steered well clear of the 80-year-old banyan tree that has marked the museum’s entrance since its original inauguration in 1941.
Contrasting with the beautiful old tree at the gallery’s front is a 19-foot-tall abstract sculpture entitled Typewriter Eraser, Scale X. The work is by Netherlands-born, American pop artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, famed for their oversized versions of everyday items. The museum is flanked by public gardens, the first to be designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Lord Norman Foster. Within its grounds, discover more than a dozen modern sculptures by the likes of Keith Haring, George Rickey and Mark di Suvero.
The inaugurating exhibitions
From captivating photography to masterful 19th-century watercolours selected from the private collection of the Norton Museum of Art’s founder, Ralph Norton, each of the gallery’s eight initial concurrent exhibitions have been curated to showcase the strengths and mission of a transformed museum.
One of the highlights commemorating the opening is Going Public: Florida Collectors Celebrate the Norton. The exhibition corrals rarely seen loans from the private collections of some of the museum’s supporters. Impressive works by James Whistler, Robert Henri and Mary Cassatt among others are on show until June 2019.
Unmissable is the stunning Good Fortune to All: A Chinese Lantern Festival in 16th Century Nanjing. The stunning sextet of interconnected silk paintings date back to the Ming dynasty, and are a colourful vignette of a popular celebration in ancient China.
Shops and snacks
Additional communal meeting and learning spaces are host to an extensive programme of thought-provoking artist talks, film screenings, dance performances and family-friendly activities. Check out the museum’s ever-changing rota for details of what’s on throughout the year. Souvenirs and gifts can be browsed and bought from the museum’s chic boutique, where glossy art books and edgy handmade jewellery vie for attention. To end your visit, enjoy a coffee and cake from The Restaurant at the Norton in the gardens.
Stay at Red Carnation Hotels’ The Chesterfield Palm Beach this spring to enjoy the Norton Museum of Art’s inaugural spring exhibitions.