I had a wonderful birthday yesterday. Many of you sent birthday greetings, and I thank you. We had lunch with friends, after which John took me to Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum. I didn't want to have to organize anything, and John took care of the arrangements.
Norton Simon was apparently a smart man. He was certainly wealthy, and the Wikipedia article about him says he was good at making deals and managing his money. From the collection at the museum I'd say he made mostly excellent art deals. There are a few clunkers, noticeable because the museum is small. But the great stuff is so great that the clunkers don't matter. And one person's clunker is another person's masterpiece.
The Asian art collection is impressive. So is the Degas. Picasso is well represented. Brancusi. Rembrandt. Rubens. El Greco. Folks you've heard of, you know? There's an obsessive Canaletto I like to visit; a gorgeous "Reclining Nude" I'd never seen or heard of, by Watteau, whom I've also never seen, but I've heard of, of course. The one Modigliani they have is delectable. (Not for sale, though, and the guards didn't think that was funny.) We wandered the sculpture garden; a Henry Moore work called "King and Queen" charmed me. The Norton Simon also holds surprises, like portraits so fine you feel like you're in communion with the subject.
I'd link you to each piece, but on the Norton Simon's website you can search by collection or artist, so have at it and find your favorites!
I know how lucky I am that I got to do exactly what I wanted to do yesterday. Thank you for granting my birthday wish, sweetie. You're the best husband ever. Mushy mushy.