Norton Museum of Art

West Palm Beach, Florida, has many attributes, as America’s upper crust has long recognized. The Kennedys, the Trumps, and many other prestigious families have or have had winter homes here. They are drawn by the climate, the fine golf courses, and the many cultural attractions – not least of which is the Norton Museum of Art. It is well worth a visit during your next West Palm Beach Bed and Breakfast vacation.

The Norton Museum of Art has a simple, eloquent Mission Statement: To preserve for the future the beautiful things of the past.

Seventy years ago, on February 8, 1941, Ralph Hubbard Norton and his wife Elizabeth Calhoun Norton opened their personal art collection to the public. The Norton is housed in a lovely Art Deco/Neo Classic building that was built for the express purpose of showcasing their sizable collection. Since that time, the collection has grown considerably, and today consists of more than 7,000 pieces.

Current exhibitions include “Made in Hollywood: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation“. According to the Norton Museum website, the photographs in this exhibition reveal “the importance of photography in manufacturing theĀ  myth of Hollywood as a magical place, inhabited by glamorous starts, where dreams came true”. This exhibit runs through March 6, 2011.

Celebrating 70: The Qianlong Emperor and Exchanges of Buddhist Gifts” runs through March 20, 2011. This exhibit features gifts that were exchanged between the Tibetan Panchen Lama and the Chinese Emperor Quianlong, who reigned from 1736 to 1795. It was created to explore “how the art and traditions of Tibet influenced the creation of Buddhist art in the court of this Chinese emperor.”

No matter when you visit the Norton, you are sure to be drawn into a fascinating exhibit. If you happen to be staying in a West Palm Beach Bed and Breakfast in February, you may also be able to participate in the Norton’s 70th Birthday Bash; February 8, 2011, celebrate with free admission to the museum, a museum-wide treasure hunt, many gallery talks and tours, and live music. For more information, please visit the Norton Museum of Art website.

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