Exceptionally Gifted: Recent Donations to the Norton Simon Museum (2002–2008)

While most of the artworks on view at the Museum were collected by Norton Simon, several have been donated by renowned collectors and artists. In celebration of these gifts and the collectors who have generously contributed to the Museum’s collections in recent years, the Museum is pleased to present the exhibition Exceptionally Gifted: Recent Donations to the Norton Simon Museum (2002–2008).

The objects on view range greatly in medium, date and country of origin. Among these are a substantive number of South Asian paintings, manuscripts and sculpture; 20th-century California prints and paintings; and photographs from the 1960s and 1970s. A variety of artists are represented, including Pablo Picasso, Emerson Woelffer and the photographer Edmund Teske. Together, these works reflect the expansive range of the Norton Simon collections while simultaneously broadening the Museum’s holdings.

Several of the gifts have already been placed in the galleries, such as the spectacular 10th-century Meditating Buddha Protected by a Three-headed Serpent Deity from Thailand and Norman Zammitt’s transcendent Buffalo Blue (2007). However, the majority of the objects are being exhibited for the first time. A large selection of Indian and Himalayan paintings expands the collection beyond the areas in which Norton Simon traditionally acquired, adding significantly to one of the most widely regarded collections of Asian art in the country. A series of postcard paintings by Llyn Foulkes and three luminescent sculptures by Helen Pashgian augment the 20th-century collections, along with works by Connor Everts, Ynez Johnston and Walter Askin. Photography portfolios by Jerry McMillan and Fred Parker, both noted artists who have expanded the definitions of photography to include conceptual, sculptural and abstract concerns, enhance the Museum’s already considerable photographic holdings, with an emphasis on California works from the latter part of the 20th century.