Monday, April 28, 2014

Next Stop in Florida…The Norton Museum of Art

Well, so far our trip to southeast Florida has resulted in lots of animals, beautiful scenery, ships and boats, expensive homes, plenty of restaurants and a plethora of cars and movie memorabilia.  It’s time to change direction with exposure to a bit of fine art!  

This is the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach Florida.  The museum was established in 1941 by Ralph Hubbard Norton, an industrialist and art collector from Chicago Illinois. (1875 – 1953) He made his fortune via his ownership of the Acme Steel Company.  

Norton started collecting art in 1921.  When he retired in 1940, he permanently moved to Palm Beach.  Despite the fact that he’d served as a governing member of the Art Institute of Chicago, he decided that that museum didn’t need his collection and he decided to give it to his adoptive home in Florida.

This painting entitled “Concert Stage” was completed in 1905 by American artist, Everett Shinn. (1875 – 1953) Shinn painted in the realist style and he was a member of the so-called ‘Ashcan’ school.  This group was best known for portraying scenes of daily life, often from the poorer neighborhoods of New York City.

To learn more and to see other paintings by Everett Shinn, just go to

John R. Grabach painted “Sidewalks of New York” in the 1920’s.  This New Jersey artist was best known for paintings that captured the pathos that millions of Americans experienced during the Great Depression.  In addition to his paintings, Grabach also taught art at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts for many years, working with more than 8,000 students during his tenure. 

To learn more about John Grabach and his works, go to

I really like impressionistic paintings… “Melting Snow” was painted in 1905 by American artist Childe Hassam. (1859 – 1935) Hassam was a prolific painter who was instrumental in promulgating impressionism to American art collectors.
For more about this artist, go to

The painting shown above is entitled “Hoboken Heights”.  I suspect that there aren’t too many goats wandering around Hoboken these days!  It was painted between 1900 and 1910 by Ernest Lawson, a Canadian-born American artist. (1873 – 1939) Lawson was a member of “The Eight”, a group of artists that formed a loose association in 1908 to protest the policies of the powerful National Academy of Design.

For more information about this artist, go to

British born American artist Thomas Moran (1837 – 1926) painted “Florida Scene” in 1878.  Moran was a painter and printmaker who was associated with the Hudson River School of artists.  Despite the theme of this particular painting, Moran’s works often featured Rocky Mountain themes.  One of his paintings, “The Three Tetons”, hangs in the Oval Office of our White House.

For more about Moran, go to

Charles Marion Russell (1883 – 1935) is one of my favorite artists!  This work, entitled “In the Wake of the Hunters”, was completed in 1896.  At 16 years of age, Russell left his comfortable upper middle class home in St. Louis Missouri to work in the Montana Territory.  For 7 years he worked as a cowboy, miner, trapper and rancher.  As he worked, he sketched and created scenes from frontier life that he later translated into works of art. 

Russell created more than 2,000 paintings of cowboys, Indians, and landscapes…as well as bronze sculptures…all set in the Western United States and in Alberta, Canada.  His work is highly desirable.  Russell's 1918 painting “Piegans” sold for $5.6 million at a 2005 auction!  To learn more about this artist and to view several of his paintings, you can go to

“After All” was painted in 1933 by American artist Charles Demuth. (1882 – 1935) Demuth was born in Lancaster and he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  Subsequently he traveled to Paris where he was part of the Avant grade art scene for a time.  Despite his Parisian sojourn, most of Demuth’s works were painted in his home in Lancaster. 

To learn more about Charles Demuth and the Lancaster museum named after him, just go to

This painting is by another of my favorite artists!  “August in the City” was painted in 1945 by Edward Hopper. (1882 – 1967) Hopper painted both urban and rural scenes.  His works reflected his personal vision of modern American life. 

My favorite Hopper painting…and his most renown work…was painted in 1942 and it’s entitled “Nighthawks”.  It shows customers sitting at the counter of an all-night diner.  The viewpoint is from the sidewalk, as if the viewer were approaching the restaurant. The diner's harsh electric light sets it apart from the night, which enhances the impact of the painting.
To learn much more about Edward Hopper and to see some of his other works…including “Nighthawks”, go to

I included this photo Laurie took of a door in the Norton Museum just because we both really liked the effect.  Note: Laurie took all of the photos used for this blog.

Laurie took this photo of Dawn on her smart phone and me ‘chilling out’ or just resting… To think that I used to have a decent head of hair!

This painting is by renowned French artist, Paul Gauguin. (1848 – 1903) “Christ in the Garden of Olives” was painted in 1889.  The facial features are Gauguin’s while the bright red hair represents Vincent Van Gogh.  This painting was completed following a failed attempt by the 2 artists to work together in southern France.  They clashed and the results were apparently disastrous…

For more about Paul Gauguin, go to

Laurie and I both liked this little painting… It’s entitled “Landscape with a Pond and Cottage”.  It was painted in 1863 by French artist Charles Francois Daubigny. (1817 – 1878) Daubigny is considered an important artist who helped bridge the movement to Impressionism.  

 This painting was completed circa 1919 by French artist Henri Matisse. (1869 – 1954) It is entitled “Portrait of Marguerite Matisse”.   Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse was known for his use of color and while he was a draftsman, printmaker, and sculptor, he is known primarily as a painter.  Matisse, along with Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, is regarded as one of the three artists who was responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture in the opening decades of the twentieth century.  He is recognized as one of the leading figures in modern art.

To learn more about Matisse and to view many of this paintings, just go to

Although I do appreciate some paintings by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, (1881 – 1973), I prefer less abstract artworks.  This work from 1929 is entitled “The Red Foulard”. (FYI…In French, ‘foulard’ is the usual word for a scarf or neckerchief) 

Although Picasso was a ‘realist’ painter early in his career, he became one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.  He is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage and for the wide variety of artistic styles that he helped develop and explore.  See

Laurie and I are particularly familiar with one of Picasso’s sculptures.  He built a 50 foot tall abstract sculpture, referred to as the “Chicago Picasso” that resides in front of Chicago’s city hall.  He refused payment for this work, instead donating it to the people of Chicago.  To view this giant sculpture, go to

While I could visualize the concept behind Picasso’s ‘Red Foulard’, I must admit that I struggle a bit more with this 1949 painting by Spanish/Catalan artist Joan Miro. (1893 – 1983) It is entitled “Woman, Bird and Star”…

Miro went to Paris in the early 1920’s and he was drawn to artists and poets who would become the ‘Surrealists’…who focused on ‘subconscious imagery’.
Miro’s works…or Surrealism has been described or interpreted as a sandbox for the subconscious mind and a re-creation of the childlike.  On several occasions Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods as a way of supporting bourgeois society, and he famously declared an "assassination of painting" in favor of upsetting the visual elements of established painting. (Note: I still don’t get it!)

Laurie and I particularly enjoyed this nice abstract piece of art.  The artist superimposed a copy of a famous artist’s painting and then she added her own interpretation of the original work.  This painting was just completed by Bella Patterson who is in the Second Grade of a local southeast Florida school.

Unless you don’t like art, upscale botanical gardens or museums…or if you live under a rock…you have seen this artist’s works before.  This glass art was installed above the ceiling in one of the galleries.  The artist is Dale Chihuly and we’ve seen his work in 3 or 4 different places in the past year or so…

Dale Chihuly, (1941 - current), is an American glass sculptor and entrepreneur. His works are considered unique to the field of blown glass, as per the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, "moving it into the realm of large-scale sculpture".  While the technical difficulties of working with glass forms are very challenging, Chihuly uses it as his primary medium for his installations and environmental artwork.  

To learn more about Dale Chihuly and the many, many permanent installations of his work…(97 as per Wikipedia)…as well about his 2 retail locations, just go to

That’s about it for now… Just click on any of the photos to see a larger view of the paintings and other art works. 

Thanks for stopping by to see where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I obviously do not appreciate art as none of those would be hanging in our house however after two years of painting lessons, I have an appreciation for those who can do it well.

  2. Hi David, Another interesting post from the art museum... By giving details, you make it so much more interesting. I hope you are keeping all of this info in a 'journal' --or will publish it sometime... LOTS of WORK for you.

    We had a gorgeous weekend --but storms are around us today --and will continue for another day or so... YUK... Hail hitting our windows during the night woke us both up last night... Hope this stuff stays away from you!!!


  3. We've been to the Norton on several occasions and it is a very fine museum. On our last visit they were showing Boston Museum's Impressionist collection, which is our favorite. Actually the lady in blue in the“Concert Stage” painting is very reminiscent of Degas.

  4. You know Dave, my mom and I were just discussing visiting the Museum of Natural History. It's been a while since I've last visited a museum and I have never been to an art museum before. I was thinking how nice it would be to go to one and then came to visit with you and Laurie! :D

    I am in love in the first painting - the 'Concert Stage.' Absolutely beautiful, I must say. Fabulous post. Thank you for sharing!