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A Palm Beach Day Itinerary: The Norton Museum

I recently met a friend at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach. I’m embarrassed to say it has been over 12 years since I had been there, despite driving by it very often, sometimes weekly. We met just after it opened in the morning and had such a great time. Their permanent collection includes American, Chinese, Contemporary, European and photography works, and right now they have a few special exhibitions which run through 2024. This trip brought back so many great memories of when I would visit small galleries in NYC during college and the amazing museums I have seen in Europe. I really need to get out more!

The Norton has works from some of the great masters - Matisse, Picasso and Monet - and contemporaries - Warhol, O’Keefe & Pollock - so even if you are not well educated in Art History, you will see some pieces that you recognize and be introduced to some other thought-provoking works.

I hear from clients all the time that they get overwhelmed when it comes to choosing art for their homes - and I completely understand. I also hear that husbands and wives have completely different tastes when it comes to artwork and overall design style - this one is a bit trickier! A few tips I usually share are:

  • Size: Be aware of scale and size when selecting the artwork and where you are going to hang it. Pro tip - take a piece of paper / cardboard / wrapping paper and cut it to the size of your artwork and tape it to the wall and live with it for a couple of days to get a feel for how the piece could work in the space. Or even easier, just tape the outline with painter’s tape for the same idea.

  • Height: General rule of thumb is to hang the piece so the center is at eye level. That can vary from person to person, but usually it’s approx 56” from the floor. Don’t forget your Level app on your phone!

  • Lighting: There is nothing cooler than a picture light - I’ve used this in the past and it just brings an elevated feel to your space Amazon

Most importantly - if you love it, hang it! Art is subjective and if a piece holds an important memory for you, or it’s a family heirloom - go for it. Life is short - enjoy the art!

Final thought

After our self-guided tour and stroll through the Sculpture Garden, we went to Hive Bakery across the street for the best lunch - you cannot go wrong with any item on their menu and the ambiance is so “Palm Beach”. It truly was a fun, touristy morning - something that even a local should do!

"I think of art as the highest level of creativity. To me, it is one of the greatest sources of enjoyment." - David Rockefeller


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