• Norton Simon Museum
  • 411 W. Colorado Boulevard
  • Pasadena, CA 91105
  • US
  • Friday, December 09, 2016 - March 06, 2017
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  • West Coast Debut

    Van Gogh’s Bedroom is certainly the most recognizable and familiar painting of Western art. For the first time ever on the West Coast, it is currently on display at the Norton Simon Museum.

    Fresh Butter Yellow

    The painting was painted three times by Van Gogh: one time in 1888 in situ, then twice from his asylum cell at Saint-Rémy. Seeking a place to call home in four countries and 37 residences, Van Gogh found somewhat contentment in his leased rooms at No. 2 Place Lamartine in Arles. This was known as the Yellow House. Van Gogh painted the first version of the bedroom, then by a fit of exhaustion he spent two days confined to his bed. Here is a letter that he wrote to his brother.


    I had a new idea in mind… this time it’s simply my bedroom, but the color has to do the job here, and through its being simplified by giving a grander style to things, to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general. In short, looking at the painting should rest the mind, or rather, the imagination. The walls are of a pale violet. The floor-is of red tiles. The bedstead and the chairs are fresh butter yellow.


    In December Van Gogh experienced a nervous breakdown and was in and out of the hospital through the spring. He admitted himself to the Asylum of Saint-Paul de Mausole at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and that is where he painted the second and third versions of his bedroom.

    Norton Simon Museum

    The Norton Simon Museum is known worldwide as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. More→

    Public Transportation

    Pasadena Transit

    Route 10 on the Pasadena Transit has a stop on Green St. and Orange Grove Blvd. one block south of the Norton Simon Museum. This route runs approximately from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM on weekdays; 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Saturdays; no service on Sundays. More→

    Metro Gold Line

    Take the Metro Gold Line to Memorial Station in Pasadena, the Norton Simon Museum is a 15-minute walk from there. Directions→

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  • Norton Simon Museum
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