NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach


What to expect at the newly expanded and reconstructed Norton Museum of Art

Posted at 3:51 PM, Feb 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 22:07:17-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.-- Before the newly expanded and reconstructed Norton Museum of Art is unveiled to the public February 9th, dozens of journalists from around the world filed in to get the first glimpse.

The expanded and transformed museum has been in the works for several years and under construction for the last three.

At the doorstep, the clash of old and new is hard to distinguish. A brand new building structure has its arm around the 80-year-old banyan tree that was with the museum when it first started in 1941. Architecture firm Foster + Partners worked to blend the new and old materials, like enormous hurricane-proof glass windows with the historic wood floors that have stood through the years.

The galleries showcase an enormous variety of work in history, medium and origin, and the museum is selecting works from the permanent collection to display.

Security Guard Anthony Bell has worked at the museum 15 years, his colleague Catherine Williams for 6. “The whole building, I just love everything about it now, I really do,” Williams said.

The pair is excited to see the new visitors and repeat customers they’re familiar with from years past. “They’re repeaters, they keep coming back, it’s cool, it’s cool,” Bell said.

David Summerfield is a Senior Executive Partner for architecture firm Foster + Partners. He says the fact that the building was reimagined starting with an older building makes it more interesting and rich. The firm used color and material to blend the two. “Sort of the sparseness of the palette to knit it, to make the jigsaw fit together,” he explained.

Circles are an architectural theme throughout the building, even masking air vents in an attractive way.

There are some firsts for the museum, including a new gallery space dedicated to photography, and a large outdoor space housing pieces.

“Thought about it as almost natural galleries for the sculptures,” explained Cheryl Brutvan, Director is Curatorial Affairs.

The Norton Museum of Art will open to the public February 9, 2019. The museum will be free and open to the public Fridays and Saturdays for now.