Podcasts


In 2008, the Norton Simon Museum began a podcast series as a new and exciting medium in which to explore the visual arts. From lively discussions between curators and scholars to fascinating interviews with living artists, the Norton Simon podcasts are a fun and informative way to experience the Museum's world-renowned collections and exhibitions.


Audio: Manet's "The Railway" on Loan from the National Gallery of Art, Washington

In this audio podcast, Chief Curator Carol Togneri talks to Mary Morton, Curator and Head of the Department of French Paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, about the fascinating history of Manet’s masterpiece The Railway. Produced in conjunction with the installation of that painting at the Museum from December 5, 2014 through March 2, 2015.


Lock, Stock & Barrel: Norton Simon’s Purchase of the Duveen Brothers Gallery

Chief Curator Carol Togneri narrates this fascinating story of Norton Simon’s purchase of the famed Duveen Brothers Gallery in 1964. Some of the most important artworks that came from that purchase are highlighted, as well as two paintings that are rarely on view due to their condition and questionable attribution. This video was created in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name, on view at the Museum October 24, 2014 through April 27, 2015.


Video: The Norton Simon Museum Sculpture Garden

The autumn of 2014 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Museum’s sculpture garden designed by Nancy Goslee Power. This short video looks back at that exciting project, from Power’s inspirations and challenges, to the important role that the garden plays in the museum visitor experience.


Face to Face with Judy Dater

Judy Dater contributed to photography’s break-out moment from Modernism in the 1960s. One of a handful of female photographers from that period, her compelling and insightful photographs established a new model in portraiture. In this video podcast, Curator Gloria Williams Sander interviews Dater in conjunction with the exhibition Face It: The Photographic Portrait and discusses Dater’s works and her approach to this genre.


Video: Monumental

A Closer Look at the Norton Simon Museum’s Rare Thangka Future Buddha Maitreya Flanked by the Eighth Dalai Lama and His Tutor, Tibet, 1793–94
In this video podcast, Assistant Curator Melody Rod-ari discusses the history and production of the Norton Simon Museum’s rare, monumental thangka, Future Buddha Maitreya Flanked by the Eighth Dalai Lama and His Tutor. Assistant to the Director of Operations David Johnson then explains the efforts to install this extremely large, flat field painting in our galleries. This podcast was produced in conjunction with the exhibition “In the Land of Snow: Buddhist Art of the Himalayas,” on view March 28–August 25, 2014.


Video: Goya in the Norton Simon Museum

Curator Leah Lehmbeck gives a brief overview of the Norton Simon Museum’s collection of works by Spanish master Francisco de Goya.


Goya's "Don Pedro, Duque de Osuna," c. 1795 – 1800, on Loan from The Frick Collection, New York

In this audio podcast, produced in conjunction with the loan of Goya’s handsome portrait of “Don Pedro, Duque de Osuna”, c. 1795 – 1800, on Loan from The Frick Collection, New York, Chief Curator Carol Togneri interviews Frick Senior Curator Susan Grace Galassi. The artist’s illustrious career, his long-term relationship to the Duke and his family, and the political upheaval in early 19th-century Spain are discussed in this fascinating interview. The painting is on view at the Norton Simon Museum from December 6, 2013 through March 3, 2014.


Video: Powdered Pigments: A Focus on Pastels in the Norton Simon Museum

Curator Leah Lehmbeck takes a look at the Norton Simon’s exceptional collection of 19th-century pastels, focusing on Degas’s mastery of the medium, as well as examples by Forain and Toulouse-Lautrec. Created to mark the renovation of the Museum’s 19th-century art wing, the video showcases the Museum’s new pastel gallery, which was designed to best display these fine and delicate works of art.


Video: Learning to Look at Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum

In this video podcast, Assistant Curator Melody Rod-ari and Head of Education Lynn LaBate provide an introduction to the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain artworks in the Museum’s collection. Rod-ari and LaBate discuss how the important symbols found in these works can help visitors better understand their history and the stories they tell.


Video: Beyond Brancusi: The Space of Sculpture

Curator Leah Lehmbeck examines how the great sculptors of the 20th century were influenced by Constantin Brancusi and how sculpture moved from being a self-contained, three-dimensional object to one that engages with its surrounding space as presented in the exhibition “Beyond Brancusi: The Space of Sculpture,” on view April 26, 2013–January 6, 2014.


Video: "monument" on the survival of Mrs. Reppin

In this video podcast, Curatorial Associate Tom Norris discusses "monument" on the survival of Mrs. Reppin, an artwork by American artist Dan Flavin (1933-1996). On display for the first time at the Museum since its acquisition in the late 1960s, "monument" has all of the characteristics that make an artwork by Flavin so recognizable-the materials, the engagement with the exhibition space and the idea of a corner icon. Norris provides an in-depth overview of this dramatic artwork’s history, shedding light on its unique title and why it had never before been on view at the Museum. "monument" on the survival of Mrs. Reppin is on view March 8 through August 19, 2013.


Video: A Centennial Celebration: The Life of Norton Simon

The year 2007 marked the centennial of museum founder Norton Simon’s birth. To celebrate the occasion, the Norton Simon Museum transformed one of its galleries into a graphic timeline that recounted the life and work of Mr. Simon. This presentation, called A Centennial Celebration, is now available on the Museum’s website in the form of an 11-minute video, featuring interviews with former employees and rarely seen photographs from the Museum’s archives. This informative video provides insight into Mr. Simon’s many accomplishments in the business and art worlds.


Video: A Closer Look at Tapestries in the Norton Simon Collection

In this video podcast, Curator Gloria Williams Sander speaks with textile conservator Stan Derelian about the Museum’s collection of eight tapestries from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Shot during Derelian’s recent survey of the collection, the podcast delves into the tremendous care and attention to detail that went into creating the works, their remarkable condition, and best practices for caring for such works. Sander vividly describes the scenes and stories depicted in several of these sumptuous works of art.


Van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait,” 1889, on Loan from the National Gallery of Art, Washington

In this audio podcast, produced in conjunction with the loan of Van Gogh’s electrifying “Self-Portrait” from 1889 from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, Chief Curator Carol Togneri interviews Mary Morton, Curator of French Painting, and Ann Hoenigswald, Senior Conservator of Paintings, both from the National Gallery. The artist’s tempestuous life and brilliant talents are discussed in this fascinating interview.


Video: Significant Objects: The Spell of Still Life

Curator Gloria Williams Sander explores the wealth of aesthetic and conceptual artistic strategies employed in the still life genre. Once thought of as simply an art of imitation, still life has attracted artists for centuries, and indeed continues to be an important vehicle of expression. This podcast was produced in conjunction with the exhibition “Significant Objects: The Spell of Still Life,” on view from July 20, 2012 – January 21, 2013.


Video: Lesson of the Cherry Blossom: Japanese Woodblock Prints

Assistant Curator Melody Rod-ari examines the hypnotic beauty and rich symbolism of the cherry blossom in Japanese art and culture, as presented in the exhibition “Lessons of the Cherry Blossom: Japanese Woodblock Prints”, on view April 20 – September 3, 2012. Organized in honor of the centennial of Japan’s gift of 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, D.C., “Lessons of the Cherry Blossom” features prints by such artists as Utagawa Hiroshige, Totoya Hokkei, Katsushika Hokusai and Chōbunsai Eishi.


Memling’s “Portrait of a Man,” on Loan from The Frick Collection, New York

In this audio podcast, produced in conjunction with the captivating loan of Memling's “Portrait of a Man,” c. 1470-75, from The Frick Collection, New York, Chief Curator Carol Togneri interviews The Frick’s Assistant Curator Margaret Iacono. Memling’s life, his works, and his remarkable career in Bruges are discussed here, as is the story of how his compelling portrait came to hang in The Frick Collection.


Video: Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California

Associate Curator Leah Lehmbeck narrates this short documentary on how the printmaking community of Southern California was born and fostered, from the printmaking societies of the early 20th century, to June Wayne’s triumphant founding of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1960, to the many print studios created by Wayne’s protégées. This podcast was produced in conjunction with the catalogue and exhibition Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California, on view October 1, 2011 through April 2, 2012.


Vermeer’s "Woman with a Lute" on Loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

In this audio podcast, produced in conjunction with the rare loan of Vermeer's Woman with a Lute, c. 1662-63, from Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Chief Curator Carol Togneri interviews the Met's Curator of European Paintings Walter Liedtke. A noted scholar of Dutch art, Liedtke discusses the enigmatic painting and its iconography, Vermeer's unique creative techniques, and why the artist's few remaining paintings are so popular today, more than 300 years since the artist's death.


Video: Surface Truths: Abstract Painting in the Sixties

Curator Gloria Williams Sander examines the Museum’s eye-catching, large-scale paintings by such artists as Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland and Ralph Humphrey as presented in the exhibition Surface Truths: Abstract Painting in the Sixties, on view March 25 through August 15, 2011.


Video: Raphael’s “The Small Cowper Madonna” on loan from the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Produced in conjunction with the rare loan of Raphael's The Small Cowper Madonna, c. 1505, from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., this video podcast examines the remarkable yet brief career of Italian artist Raphael (1483–1520). Norton Simon Museum Chief Curator Carol Togneri narrates this beautifully illustrated video, paying special attention to The Small Cowper Madonna and the Museum’s own painting by Raphael Madonna and Child with Book.


Video: Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel: An Artwork by John Cage

Curatorial Assistant Tom Norris discusses Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel, an artwork by American composer and artist John Cage (1912–1992). Created in 1969 as a tribute to artist Marcel Duchamp, Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel is a multiple comprised of five components: four Plexigrams and one lithograph, all with randomly placed text and images. This innovative work, with its captivating construction and endless interpretation by the viewer, is featured in the exhibition Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel: An Artwork by John Cage on view September 24, 2010 through March 28, 2011.


Video: Hiroshige: Visions of Japan

Curator Christine Knoke provides a brief overview of the life and career of Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858), whose woodblock prints are featured in the exhibition Hiroshige: Visions of Japan, on view at the Norton Simon Museum from June 4, 2010 through January 17, 2011.


Video: Sam Francis and the Basel Murals

This short video provides a brief background on California artist Sam Francis (1923–1994) and his monumental triptych, the Basel Murals, painted in Paris in the late 1950s. His Basel Mural I was donated to the Museum in 1967, and Fragments 1 and of Basel Mural III, which was partially destroyed in the mid-1960s, were donated to the Museum in 2009 by the Sam Francis Foundation. Features Debra Burchett-Lere, Director of the Sam Francis Foundation, and Leah Lehmbeck, Assistant Curator of the Norton Simon Museum.


Ingres's "Comtesse d'Haussonville" On Loan from The Frick Collection

Chief Curator Carol Togneri speaks with The Frick Collection's Associate Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Colin Bailey about Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres's stunning portrait of Comtesse d'Haussonville, 1845. This portrait of the comtesse is the first loan from the Frick in an art exchange program between the venerable New York institution and the Norton Simon foundations. This captivating, large-scale work has never before traveled to California.


Gaze: Portraiture after Ingres

Assistant Curator Leah Lehmbeck traces artistic engagements with portraiture following French master Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres's influence in the early to mid-19th century through to the present day, and examines why this genre, so seemingly laden with restrictions and expectations, appealed to some of the greatest avant-garde painters in the history of art.


Video: The Restoration of Francisco de Zurbarán's "Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose"

This nearly seven-minute video provides a detailed look at how the Norton Simon's spectacular 17th-century painting, Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose by Spanish master Francisco de Zurbarán, was carefully restored in 2008 by Mark Leonard, former Head of Paintings Conservation at the J. Paul Getty Museum.


Indian Paintings in the Norton Simon Museum

Curator Christine Knoke discusses how Norton Simon became interested in Asian art and how recently donated works have expanded the Museum's Asian art collection. Created in conjunction with the exhibition "Exceptionally Gifted: Recent Donations to the Norton Simon Museum," on view April 17 through August 31, 2009.


Matisse's Amours at the Norton Simon Museum

Assistant Curator Leah Lehmbeck discusses Henri Matisse's exceptional but rarely considered artist's book "Florilège des Amours de Ronsard" or "Anthology of Ronsard's Love Poems." Created in conjunction with the exhibition "Matisse's Amours: Illustrations of Pierre de Ronsard's Love Poems" on view at the Norton Simon Museum from February 13 through June 8, 2009.


Vermeer's "A Lady Writing" Comes to the Norton Simon Museum

Chief Curator Carol Togneri talks to Arthur K. Wheelock, Curator of Northern Baroque Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, about Dutch master Johannes Vermeer and his compelling painting, "A Lady Writing," c. 1665. "A Lady Writing" is on loan from the National Gallery of Art to the Norton Simon Museum from November 7, 2008 through February 2, 2009 as part of the institutions' art exchange program.


Ruth Weisberg and her Dialogue with the Past

Distinguished artist and scholar Ruth Weisberg describes her series inspired by Guido Cagnacci’s powerful Martha Rebuking Mary for Her Vanity (after 1660), one of the Norton Simon Museum’s most important Baroque paintings. Weisberg’s 20 paintings, monumental drawings and monotypes are featured in the Norton Simon Museum’s exhibition “Ruth Weisberg: Guido Cagnacci and the Resonant Image,” on view October 17, 2008, through March 2, 2009.


The Art of War: American War Posters from the Norton Simon Museum

This episode looks at how U.S. government-sponsored posters got the American public to support both world wars. Leah Lehmbeck, Assistant Curator at the Norton Simon Museum, Allan M. Winkler, Professor at the Miami University, Ohio, and Robert Smullyan Sloan, one of the last living artists who created war-time posters, are featured. Created in conjunction with the exhibition "The Art of War: American Posters from World War I and World War II," on view at the Norton Simon Museum from September 5, 2008 through January 26, 2009.


Don Bachardy Draws Norton Simon

Celebrated artist Don Bachardy discusses the portraits he created in the early 1970s of art collector and friend Norton Simon. The artist also talks about how he became an artist, his techniques, and how his relationship with writer Christopher Isherwood opened the door to drawing some of the world's most fascinating people. This interview was conducted in 2007 to commemorate the centenary of Norton Simon's birth and the Norton Simon Art Foundation's acquisition of the Bachardy portraits.


Marcel Duchamp at the Pasadena Art Museum

Norton Simon Museum Curator Gloria Williams Sander interviews art historian Dickran Tashjian about Marcel Duchamp and his first American retrospective held at the Pasadena Art Museum, now the Norton Simon Museum, in 1963, and curated by the legendary Walter Hopps. Created in conjunction with "Marcel Duchamp Redux," a commemorative installation on view at the Norton Simon Museum from April 25 through December 8, 2008.