Larry Bell. Untitled. 1961. Oil on paper, mounted on board. Image and original data provided by the Norton Simon Museum. © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Larry Bell. Untitled. 1961. Oil on paper, mounted on board. Image and original data provided by the Norton Simon Museum. © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The Norton Simon Museum has contributed approximately 1,060 images of their permanent collection to the Artstor Digital Library.* The selection in Artstor reflects the caliber of the collection, with an emphasis on the highlights from the European and American paintings collections and sculpture from South and Southeast Asia.

In 1974, the Norton Simon Museum originated when a remarkable private art collection and the pre-existing Pasadena Art Museum (PAM) merged. The industrialist Norton Simon’s passion for European and Asian art provided a selection of outstanding quality—paintings, sculptures and works on paper—that complemented the holdings of the Museum, notably German Expressionist and modern art, in a composite yet coherent collection that currently includes more than 12,000 works.

Over a thirty-year period, Norton Simon (1907-1993) amassed an astonishing selection of European art from the Renaissance through the 20th century and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,500 years (for a total of several thousand works). Among the most recognized works included in the Artstor selection are Francisco de Zurbarán’s Still Life, 1633, Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Boy, c. 1655-56, and Van Gogh’s Mulberry Tree, 1889. Highlights from the Asian collection include the Thai Buddha Shakyamuni, and the Nepalese Indra, both from the 13th century.

In 1974, Norton Simon assumed financial and administrative control of the Pasadena Art Museum, incorporating its important collection of 20th-century European and American art with that of the Norton Simon Foundation. Highlights from the former PAM collection include the Galka Scheyer Blue Four Collection, a body of works by artists Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, Alexei Jawlensky, Vasily Kandinsky—represented here by Heavy Circles, 1927, and others assembled by art dealer, scholar, and muse Galka Scheyer. Post-war American art is another highlight at the Norton Simon Museum, particularly from Southern California-based artists including John Altoon, Larry Bell—illustrated here by his Untitled, 1961 (above)—Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner, Richard Diebenkorn, Llyn Foulkes, Sam Francis, George Herms, Robert Irwin, and Ed Ruscha. A photography collection comprised of works by Ansel Adams, Lewis Baltz, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Imogen Cunningham, Frederick Sommer, Edward Weston, and Minor White, among others, provides further depth to the collection.

The Norton Simon Museum collection is being released as part of a thematic launch on major North American museums that includes selections from the Art Gallery of Ontario; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Cincinnati Art Museum; the Museo de Arte de Ponce; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Fine Art, Houston; the Philadelphia Art Museum; and the Seattle Art Museum.

View the collection in the Artstor Digital Library, or learn more at the Norton Simon Museum collection page.

*Image totals may vary from country to country, reflecting Artstor’s obligation to address the specifics of international copyright.