Throwback Thursday | The Norton Simon is Born

During the late 1960s, the Norton Simon Museum marked the region’s ascension in the arts

PHOTO | Pasadena Museum of History | News | Groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the Norton Simon Museum(1968)

In January 1968, the Reed House at Orange Grove and Colorado sat behind a protective barrier at Carmelita Park while being demolished.

PHOTO | Pasadena Museum of History | News | The Reed House awaits demolition at Carmelita Park, Pasadena (1968)
PHOTO | Pasadena Museum of History | News | Pasadena Art Museum is under construction (1968)

In 1969, the Pasadena Art Museum opened to the public. The art museum is later renamed Norton Simon Museum after substantial contributions from his extensive art collection and financial assistance.

PHOTO: Rick Thomas | News | Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena (2009)

For nearly a half-century, the Norton Simon Museum has enhanced the region’s prestige as a world-class center for the arts and design.

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Throwback Thursday is written and produced by Rick Thomas


Rick Thomas
Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.