{The Norton Simon Museum}

At the Norton Simon Museum

I LOVE the Norton Simon Museum.  I think I fell in love in the 7th grade when I went there on a field trip for school.  It made me hunger for visits to more museums; many, many more.  I’ve always especially been drawn to 19th Century European artists, and the Norton Simon has a great collection of 14th-20th Century artists.  They even have a world-renowned collection of art from South and Southeast Asia if European art isn’t your thing.

I recall having a scavenger hunt of sorts on that first trip to the Norton Simon and “discovering” paintings, sculptures and artists as a sort of “mission” to see who could find all the items included in the “hunt”  before the day was over.  I really think there was something to that introduction to the museum with a quiet game that will always stay with me and really sparked my interest.

I went back to the Norton Simon many times in my teenage and young adult years, I visited many a museum in Europe in college, and then I started having babies.  My trips to museums definitely didn’t stop, but they became VERY intermittent, with the exception of the art class I took with Grace in Massachusetts.

Grace and I took a class at the Worcester Art Museum on scholarship that was fantastic. Each week we’d have a brief lecture on some aspect of art within the gallery and then we’d go to the “studio” and create an art piece in the same style that we had just learned about.  I wish I could have taken this class with all of my children.

For some reason, once the twins came along our museum visits pretty much came to a stand still.  Until recently.

We went back.  We took all of the kids to one of my favorite art museums.

For the most part, it was wonderful.  We showed the kids works from artists they had heard of (the older kids at least) like Renior, Degas, Monet, van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Picasso.  We introduced them to artists like Cezanne, Gauguin, Corot, Courbet, Diego and Warhol.  We even entertained answers to interesting questions like, “mommy, why does that lady have her underware off?” , answered with, “hurry, let’s go find daddy”.  Afterward,  we even had a discussion about what they enjoyed the most.

I have a feeling  that visiting museums on a fairly regular basis is back on the table, and I couldn’t be happier.

Some of our favorites at the Norton Simon Museum

The grounds at the Norton Simon are coming up. I can’t wait to show you how beautiful they are.

About Angie

Angie is a CRAFT dabbling, recipe making, WORD loving, sunshine hording, book DEVOURING, Mama to a lot! She's kind of in love with Instagram right now, so if you want her attention, go find here there. {smiling}


  1. Awesome family trip!

  2. Looks like a great place to visit:-)

  3. Museums are one of my favorite getaways. I could just spend hours and hours looking at painting and exhibitions.

    I need to take my children more often, so they too can enjoy the beauty of the museum.

    Hugs and Mocha,

  4. What a great way to get your kids interested in art and really come to appreciate it. That’s great!

  5. good for you… and your kids. I love museums, but alas, we are a few years away from it being a ‘family outing’.

  6. I love taking my kids to the museum! That one looks like it could be fun too. I had to take a double take of your collage……

  7. Art museums are the greatest place ever for kids. I started taking my daughter to museums when she was barely two. Now she asks to go and seems to have a real (at least for a 4 1/2 year old) appreciation for art and artsy things. Looks like you guys had a great time!!


  8. That sound so Awesome!!! What a FUN trip!

  9. Hey thanks for checking in! Wow I’m so excited to ‘get my site back’!! 🙂

    And I see your header now links to your homepage.. kudos for you…
    Want another request?? Get your gal to make the thumbnails of images show in the lower shortened versions of posts… I’m loving that…

  10. What a fun trip! We have so many amazing museums around here (Hello! Smithsonian?!) but we rarely go. It has a lot to do with having a husband who doesn’t like museums, and children who latch on to his preferences.

  11. What a great idea for a trip! Great bonding time with the family, and educational. I can’t wait until my son is old enough for museums.

    I love the photo collage by the way!

  12. Liz Burgess says

    Wonderful post! I grew up in Southern California and although I didn’t appreciate the museums as a child, I certainly changed once I began working for the Getty Museum. I did not have a chance to revisit the Norton Simon before moving to the midwest. I will put it on my list for the next CA trip I make!

    Thanks for sharing. Your kids are so lucky to have you share this treasure with them!

    Liz at noexcuses

  13. You hit on something so important- teaching kids art early on. You know, I never had any formal art training, but I know the big ones… Wyeth, Cezzane, Monet, Picasso and Wharhol. It is so important ot expose kids to art early in life.

    Looks like you had a great time!