Museums promote cultural beliefs and heritage of different communities where they remind generations of their backgrounds and the significance of their culture. In this case, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California is among the numerous depositories across the United States that remind individuals of their roots. These facilities play an eccentric role in shaping the perspectives of individuals towards life and influence their interaction with their immediate environment. Notably, Pasadena is one of the prime cultural zones in the United States because of the geographical features that are situated along the San Gabriel Valley. Located along the Colorado Boulevard, visitors cannot fail to notice the brown tile exterior features as they walk towards the Tournament of Roses Parade. Its location exposes individuals to a cultural space that enhances their cognitive skills and appreciation of art. Hence, when art-enthusiasts visit this museum, they have certain expectations informed by its reputation in the United States.
Many individuals who have visited the Norton Simon Museum have expressed their delight because of the features that describe the buildings and structures in the immediate environment. For instance, when walking towards the main building, one cannot fail to notice the iconic sculpture by Auguste Rodin and the lush pond that is characterized by a variety of water lilies. Additionally, the attractive shrubs and green vegetation that leads individuals to the museum’s significant sculptures not only enhances the visitors’ desire to interact with artistic content in the depository but also establishes a substantial relationship between a person and the artists behind the sculptures. Once inside the main building, there is a strategically positioned sculpture that welcomes a visitor to the facility. There is enough lighting across the hall, and one cannot fail to notice the distinct spacing of the artistic works that are hanged on the walls. While the walls are grey, there is a unique color mixing pattern that denotes the creativity and the amount of work put in place by the developers of the museum.
Recently, the Norton Museum management renovated its 19th-century art collection wing to establish a new gallery that represented the facilities new collection of pastels and revamp its art assemblage with the aim of offering new insights to art enthusiasts. While the art wing attracts the most visitors to the museum, the professionals in charge of the renovation were inspired by the need to provoke the mindsets of individuals and enable them to interact with the different artworks in an engaging way (Lazzari and Dona 127). Interestingly, the artists behind the different artworks died almost at the same time while they were born in 1834. From this observation, it is evident that their ideas were influenced by a common denominator that challenged them to be better citizens during their time. The museum’s decision to place the artistic works in the same wing was inspired by their view towards life that is represented in the artworks.
When I visited the 19th-century art wing, I noticed the proximity of the dates, during which the artists made an impact on the society through their artworks. Notably, the facility has succeeded in its attempts to establish activities and artworks that represent the cultural beliefs of the people. At first, I was expecting to find a boring structure that was devoid of life and a facility that was only inspired by the idea of being referred to as a museum. However, when I was cleared at the main entrance, I was surprised by the by the efforts of the management to maintain the facility and expose visitors to the prehistoric world. I noticed the reaction of other art viewers who accessed the 19th-century wing because of the time they took in ensuring that they interacted with different artworks in the room.
Dancers in the Rotunda at the Paris Opera was designed by Edgar Degas who presented the view of the main rehearsal studio at the global function. In a different artwork dubbed, Actress in Her Dressing Room, Degas takes the art viewer through a series of events that take place in the theater. Interestingly, Edgar’s third artwork in the 19th-century art wing called Women Ironing demonstrates Edgar’s fascination with women activities during his time (Brown 23). Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a French national, makes his debut in the art center with At Renoir’s Home, rue St-Georges, which is a culmination of events that involved his friends and family members. Surprisingly, Camille Pissarro makes a grand entry with his masterpiece, Landscape with Flock of Sheep, that has been interpreted as a representation of Pissarro’s left-wing political orientation (Zarrini 450). However, in another painting, The Poultry Market at Pontoise, Pissarro addresses the growing need for individuals to embrace modernization and its consequences. In yet another picture, Woman Combing her Hair Before a Mirror, Edgar Degas discusses the idea of women combing their hair before joining the stage. On the same note, Paul Cezanne through Tulips in a Vase demonstrates the theme of love.
Camille Pissarro in his artwork, The Poultry Market at Pontoise, which is an oil on canvas artwork, captures the ideas of modernization in the prehistoric world. While Pissarro was a landscaper, his decision to design a painting on canvas was inspired by the need to develop a concept that would resonate with many individuals over the years. His brushwork was recognized by many art enthusiasts who understood his point of view and interacted with his noble ideas that highlighted the significance of modernization. On the contrary, Edgar Degas’s approach to painting appears to have been motivated by women and their role in the society through art. Degas’ painting, Woman Combing Her Hair Before a Mirror, is an oil on canvas material and highlights the activities that took place in the backstage before they presented their choreography to their audience.
While Pissarro’s artwork focuses on modernization, Degas approaches the theme of women in the art by highlighting the order of events that took place in the backstage. Although their paintings are oil on canvas, their ideas are defined by their perspectives towards life and impact of their immediate environment on their beliefs. However, Degas and Pissarro have a refined objective that explores the lifestyle of women and their contribution towards development projects in the society. On one side, Degas pursues modernization through women while his counterpart, Degas, explores the activities that took place in the backstage before women presented their art concepts to the audience.
I would prefer Edgar Degas’ painting, Woman Combing Her Hair Before a Mirror, because of its ability to address the plight of women in the society. The picture demonstrates the significance of women in the modern world and addresses the different issues that affect their performance in the workplace. Combing of hair brings out the identity of women and separates them from their male counterparts who approach work-related tasks from a simplistic approach.
Lazzari, Margaret and Dona Schlesier. Exploring Art: A Global Thematic Approach. 5th Edition. Wadsworth Publishers, 2015, 1-429.
Brown, Kathryn. “Degas in the Norton Simon Museum Nineteenth-Century Art Vol. Ii by Sara Campbell Et Al.” Art Book, no. 1, 2010, p. 23.
Zarrini, Elnaz. “Of Hitler and Camille Pissarro: Jurisdiction in Nazi Art Expropriation Cases under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act.” Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law, vol. 16, no. 2, Mar. 2011, pp. 437-463.