Named for a food-packing king and financier who reorganized the failing Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, the Norton Simon displays one of the finest private collections of European, American, and Asian art in the world (and yet another feather in the cap of architect Frank Gehry, who redesigned the interior space). Comprehensive collections of masterpieces by Degas, Picasso, Rembrandt, and Goya are augmented by sculptures by Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin, including The Burghers of Calais, which greets you at the gates. The "Blue Four" collection of works by Kandinsky, Jawlensky, Klee, and Feininger is impressive, as is a superb collection of Southeast Asian sculpture. Still Life with Lemons, Oranges, and a Rose (1633), an oil by Francisco de Zurbarán, is one of the museum's most important holdings. Perhaps the most popular piece is The Flower Vendor/Girl with Lilies, by Diego Rivera, followed by Goya's Disasters of War. The collection of paintings, sculptures, pastels, and prints by French Impressionist Edgar Degas is among the best in the world. Tip: Unless you're an art expert, you'll probably want to take the "Acoustiguide" audio tour -- it's $3 well spent.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Very Highly Recommended 2010