Opened in 1966, the R.W. Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport, LA harbors an exceptional art collection inclusive of more than 100 artists from Old Masters of Renaissance to contemporary neo-realists and modern iconoclasts. The Norton also holds a multitude of sculptures which range from maquettes and miniatures to life-sized works in media comprising of bronze, wood, silver, and marble.
Among the Norton’s oldest works are six tapestries that once adorn the King of France’s palace, at the same time decorative arts are also highlighted all over the R.W. Norton Art Gallery, including silver of 18th-19th century, blown and pressed glass, and pieces in porcelain. The Norton has become distinctly well-known throughout the country for the museum’s impressive assemblage of artworks by the western art titans, Charles M. Russel, and Frederic Remington.
When Norton’s structure was originally designed, it was fixed on utilizing contemporary design which would be capable of expansion, open, and light. In 1966, the Norton was opened to the public and currently contains over 20 exhibition rooms. The founders’ long-range ambitions were realized when the growing collection required additional spaces to both south and north wings of the museum in 1990 and 2003.
The R.W. Norton Art Gallery, along the way, has convened representative works and artists from various eras and nations. The European Collection of the museum includes styles and periods varying from works of Meindert Hobbema and Jacob van Ruisdael from the Dutch landscape painting’s golden age to the artistic icons of the 19th century like Auguste Rodin and Mary Cassatt.
The American Collection of Norton encompasses the colonial period to this day and age and contains specifically outstanding samples from major icons of the West and the Hudson River School. Additionally, R.W. Norton Art Gallery boasts a notable research library that houses the Antiquarian and Rare Book Collection of the museum and consists of roughly 10,000 books.
The crowning gem of the museum’s book collection is one of The Birds of America’s extremely scarce double elephant folios by John James Audubon. The research library also includes volumes of books on the history of the United States, genealogy, the history of Louisiana, and fine arts.
Surrounding Shreveport’s R.W. Norton Art Gallery is the acres of botanical gardens and exquisitely landscaped grounds, where countless plants which include numerous native and introduced azaleas effloresce in spring. The Botanical Gardens are lay among the land’s gentle swells, shaded by towering columns of venerated oaks and pines. Paths are filled with flowers and the curves are decorated with wildlife’s outdoor sculptures.
The Botanic Gardens also features benches ideal for reading, listening to the cool breezes in the trees’ high crowns, watching birds, and resting. The gardens include two arched bridges that offer picturesque views of a massive ornamental pond and waterfalls with Sandy Scott’s large bronze pelican stretching its wings over the tumbling water.
The Oral History Project of the R.W. Norton Art Foundation proffers a chance to share the experiences of those Northern Louisianans who serve the country. World War II stories, whether on the Home Front, in the South Pacific, or Europe deserve to be recorded, recognized, and told. The project was started when it discerned that the greatest generation’s vast majority, the women and men who gave witness to and served in WWII, had left no stories or records behind.
The scope of the project grew as it expanded and now includes the Civil Rights Movement, Gas and Oil Industry Entrepreneurs, Local Community Leaders, Musical Pioneers of Louisiana, and the Subsequent Conflicts and Wars’ Veterans. The Oral History Project of Norton in Shreveport is dedicated to protecting and maintaining the stories of women and men who positively change the world we live in presently.
The R.W. Norton Art Gallery provides docent-led tours, self-guided visits, educational programs, gallery treks, and hosts numerous events and exhibitions such as Yuletide: Christmas Favorites from the Norton and Twilight Talkies.