Norton announces annual September closing to prepare for 2013-2014 exhibition season

Norton announces annual September closing to prepare for 2013-2014 exhibition season

Mickalene Thomas commissioned to create new installation for lobby 


WEST PALM BEACH, FL (Aug. 7, 2013) – The Norton Museum of Art will be closed for two weeks from Sept. 2 through Sept. 16, 2013 in preparation for the coming exhibition season. When the Norton reopens on Tuesday, Sept. 17, visitors can embrace an array of exciting changes, including the installation of a new lobby mural by acclaimed contemporary artist Mickalene Thomas, a reconfiguration of the Norton’s stellar collection of American works of art, and even a new espresso bar steps away from the main entrance.


Impressed by a mural Thomas created last year at the entrance to her retrospective exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Cheryl Brutvan, Norton Curator of Contemporary Art and Director of Curatorial Affairs, thought something similar “would look incredible” in the Norton’s lobby.  Thomas accepted Brutvan’s invitation to create a new installation for the Norton. The lobby installation will be on view for one year.


Thomas, a New York-based artist best known for her elaborate paintings composed of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel, and for the feminist themes that radiate through much of her work, is the third artist to create an installation for the Museum’s main lobby. As yet untitled, the installation includes a collage of photographs and other media on a painted vinyl background.


Thomas, who earned an MFA in painting from Yale in 2002, was featured in the Norton special exhibition, Now What?, in 2011. Her installation will replace Robb Wynne’s I Remember Ceramic Castles, Mermaids, and Japanese Bridges.


Visitors also can look forward to seeing works from the Museum Collection that have not been exhibited in quite some time as Ellen E. Roberts, Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Curator of American Art, plans a substantial re-installation of the Norton’s American Collection.


“The Norton has such a strong American art collection that it should periodically be reinstalled to show visitors new works in different ways,” says Roberts, who will celebrate her first anniversary at the Museum at the end of December after many years as a curator at the Art Institute of Chicago. Work by artists such as Mary Cassatt, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, William Michael Harnett, Winslow Homer, and Charles Marion Russell will be installed from storage, and the American galleries will be arranged both chronologically and thematically.

Other events to look forward to upon re-opening:


Masterpiece of the Month: The re-opening also will feature the final work in the Norton’s Masterpiece of the Month series, the 300-year-old Chinese masterpiece, Court Portrait of Yinli, Prince Guo . Since May, the series has been showcasing an exceptional, rarely seen piece of art selected by the Norton’s curator from private collections. Court Portrait of Yinli, Prince Guo will be on view from Sept. 17 through Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013.  Prince Guo was the 17th son of the Kangxi Emperor (reigned 1661-1722). This is the earliest known portrait of him, the last in private hands, and the first time it has been publically exhibited. Laurie Barnes, Elizabeth B. McGraw Curator of Chinese Art, will discuss the work at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19.


The Eight Annual Chinese Moon Festival Celebration: This event is set for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. This family celebration of Chinese art and culture is filled with children’s activities and art projects, tours of the Museum’s renowned Chinese collections, traditional mooncakes and tea. This year, in conjunction with the special exhibition, Block by Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture, children can create famous structures from China.  Families also can enjoy a concert of Music of the Qing Court by the Ann Yao Trio, featuring Ms. Yao on zheng (zither), Mr. Wang Guowei on erhu (two-stringed fiddle), and Ms Yihan Chen, pipa, (four-stringed lute). The event is free with Museum admission.

Smithsonian magazine’s 9th Annual Museum Day Live:  This annual event, involving hundreds of museums across the country, is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. Download a free Museum Day Live ticket from the Smithsonian magazine website, present it to Norton Visitor Services, and enjoy two free admissions per ticket, valid on Sept. 28!

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