Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to make reservations to visit the Museum?
No. Reservations are not required to visit the Museum or for teacher-guided tours. However, reservations are required for private tours and school tours. Please visit our Learn section for more information.


What are the hours of the Museum? The Museum is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed on Tuesday.


I need directions to the Museum. The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California, on the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevard at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeway. For Directions, please see Getting Here.


Do I have to check my bag? Yes. All bags and parcels larger than 11 by 15 inches must be checked in. To help avoid waiting, we encourage you to leave such items in your vehicle(s).


May I sketch in the galleries and gardens? Yes. Museum visitors are permitted to sketch in the following ways: a dry medium only, a location that does not obstruct an entrance or exit, a location that does not compromise the safety or security of the artwork and/or other Museum visitors and/or a location that does not obstruct the view of the artwork. The Museum does not allow visitors to work in any wet medium (including oil, acrylic and watercolor paints), and no three-dimensional copying is allowed. Equipment such as stools, chairs, tripods and easels are not permitted in the galleries and gardens where they may block movement.


Are tours available? Yes. The Norton Simon Museum offers several tours including Audio Tours, Public Tours, Private Tours, and School Tours. For more information, please visit our Learn section.


How do I make arrangements to bring in a large group? No special arrangements are needed to bring in large groups, however arrangements are necessary for school and youth groups. Please see School Tours in the Learn section.


May I bring food into the Museum or gardens? No, we do not allow patrons to bring food and drink to the Museum. You may purchase and enjoy refreshments in our Garden Café. No food or beverages are allowed in the galleries.


Is the Sculpture Garden open during the winter? Yes, the Sculpture Garden is open year-round. However, during heavy rains, the garden is closed. Sections of the garden can remain closed for several days following rains.


May I bring my pet on to the Museum grounds? No, pets are not allowed on the Museum grounds. Service animals that are specially trained to assist disabled persons are allowed.


Do you have wheelchairs available? We have a limited number of complimentary wheelchairs available on a first come, first served basis.


Can I touch the art? No, a finger placed upon the surface of a painting or sculpture can easily result in physical damage. Cracks can occur and the binding of paint to canvas can be endangered. The cleanest hands have a coating of perspiration, which is acidic and potentially very damaging to the art.


Why is there glass covering some of the artwork? Works are covered to protect them from the damaging effects of the environment.


How many works of art are in the collections? There are approximately 12,500 objects in the entire collection and approximately 800 on view at any one time.


Can I take photographs of the galleries, gardens, and artwork? Visitors are welcome to take still photographs in the galleries for private noncommercial use only. Flash photography and tripods are prohibited. Works of art on loan (as indicated by the gallery label) may not be photographed or videotaped. The Museum occasionally photographs, films, or videotapes visitors for education and promotional purposes.


I would like to donate some artwork. Whom should I contact? If you have an object you would like to donate to the Museum, please email a letter with a description and photograph to the Curatorial Department via the contact page.


I have artwork that needs to be appraised or is in need of conservation, whom should I contact? The Museum does not offer appraisal or conservation services. Many fine art appraisers, such as Christies and Sothebys, can be found online.


Are the paintings and sculpture copies or originals? All the paintings in the collections are original. The stone, terracotta and marble sculptures are original. Most European bronze sculptures are cast in multiples from a wax or plaster original. Our labels indicate which number of the edition is on display. The Asian bronze sculptures are unique casts.


Are all the frames original? Some frames are antique and some are modern, made to look contemporary to the pieces it surrounds.


What type of organization is the Museum? The Museum is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation.


Who owns the collections? Most of the art is on long-term loan from The Norton Simon Foundation and the Norton Simon Art Foundation. Works from the Museum's permanent collection, including the Galka Scheyer Collection, are also displayed.


Can I give my own private tour of the Museum? Independent tour operators may guide groups through the Norton Simon Museum. Please see our Tours page for guidelines.


May I have my wedding or wedding photographs taken in the galleries or gardens? No, the Museum does not accommodate wedding ceremonies. We also do not allow private professional photography on the property. For media requests, please use our contact page.


Can I rent the galleries, gardens or theater? No, the Museum is not available for rent.


Do you have docents or volunteers? The Museum does not have docents or volunteers. All employees of the Museum are paid staff. We employ Museum Educators to lead our guided tours.


What is the Norton Simon Art Foundation? Incorporated in 1952, the Norton Simon Art Foundation is a private operating foundation, which conducts its own art program. Please be advised that the Norton Simon Art Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funds.


What is The Norton Simon Foundation? Incorporated in 1954, The Norton Simon Foundation is a non-operating foundation, organized and operated for educational and charitable purposes. Please be advised that The Norton Simon Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funds.


Who was Norton Simon? Norton Simon (1907 - 1993) was a renowned art collector, businessman, and philanthropist, and founder of the Norton Simon Museum. For a biography on Simon, please click here.