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    Norton Museum of Art Norton Museum of Art West Palm Beach, Florida Russell's In the Wake of the Hunters, 1896
    this outstanding art museum in West Palm Beach, Florida houses a marvelous collection of more than 5000 works that focus on Chinese, American and European art along with photography and contemporary art. The Norton Museum of Arts began in 1941, when Ralph Hubbard Norton and his wife, Elizabeth Calhoun Norton donated their excellent collection to begin the nucleus of what is now this great collection of works. Norton had been the head of a Chicago based company of Acme Steel Company and decided to retire in West Palm Beach, whereupon he would share his magnificent collection of sculpture and paintings. The museum is housed in a art deco/neoclassical structure designed by Marion Sims Wyeth, striving to preserve the magnificent articles of the past for the future. It would enjoy an enlargement when it received a large 45,000 square foot expansion when the Gail and Melvin Nessel Wing; which increased the size of the museum's space to 122,500 square feet. It enlarged the museum's gallery space by 75% and offered more room for their permanent collections. That wing houses 14 galleries, a glass ceiling installation that had been created by Dale Chihuly, a three story atrium that had been designed to increase the visualization of the collections, an enclosed courtyard that would hold numerous social and educational events and a cantilevered spiral staircase. Their marvelous American collection contains some 1200 works that spans works on paper, paintings and sculptures that include works by Charles Marion Russell, Mary Cassatt, Jackson Pollock, George Wesley Bellows, Stuart Davis and others. Works in the European collection were created by such notables as Peter Paul Rubens, Claude Monet, Mariotto Albertinelli, Paul Gauguin, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Edgar Degas, Ferdinand Bol, Gustave Courbet, Luca Giordano, Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Sir Joshua Reynolds.

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    South Florida Science MuseumSouth Florida Science Museum West Palm Beach, Florida
    the South Florida Science Museum contains a fabulous interactive science museum, planetarium and aquarium that offers a fantastic day for all of its visitors. The museum was founded in 1959 and opened in 1961 as a learning environment that would be specific to natural history and natural science, with the planetarium opening in 1964, in a new wing that originally had been dedicated and named after astronaut, Buzz Aldrin. Permanent exhibits include; the Tiger Shark submarine, Brain Teasers, States of Matter, Egypt gallery, Interactive Outdoor Science Trail, WS4FSM Ham Radio Center, Bugs exhibit, the Twister exhibit and Suzie, the Ice Age Mastodon. The current traveling exhibition is called It's a Nanoworld that strives to foster a lifelong interest in technology and science, by instructing everyone about the nano world. Their outstanding planetarium houses the first and only public planetarium in the county offering daily shows that use a traditional star projector along with full-dome digital video presentations. The aquarium has live feedings for sharks and stingrays, along with petting of the same on various days that are always a thrill for children of all ages. It is an exciting way to spend a day or two, visiting just one museum and enjoying three full venues.

February 23, 2013