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    Norton Museum of ArtNorton Museum of Art West Palm Beach, Florida
    The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida houses a marvelous collection of more than 5000 works of art that focuses on American, Chinese and European art along with photography and contemporary art. It was started in 1941 by Ralph Hubbard Norton and his first wife, Elizabeth Calhoun Norton, since Ralph had been the head of the Chicago based Acme Steel Company, and retired, moving to West Palm Beach. He wanted to share his magnificent collection of paintings and sculptures, so he had Marion Sims Wyeth, design an art deco neoclassical structure that would open its doors in 1941, with a mission statement to preserve for the future, the beautiful things of the past. The museum would enjoy an outstanding expansion when the Gail and Melvin Nessel Wing was added giving the museum another 45,000 square foot of exhibit space and increase its size to 122,500 square feet. It would take two years to construct, but it opened in 2003 with more room to showcase their artworks, in essence, increasing their capacity by 75%, and more chances to increase their excellent permanent collection. This wonderful wing adds another fourteen galleries, a glass ceiling installation commissioned from Dale Chihuly, an enclosed courtyard that can accommodate more social and educational events, a three story atrium that was designed to evoke the museum's art and a cantilevered spiral staircase. Their American collection contains 1200 works with works from great artists like Charles Marion Russell, Mary Cassatt, Jackson Pollock, George Wesley Bellows and Stuart Davis, while the European collection contains works by Lucas Cranach I, Peter Paul Rubens, Mariotto Albertinelli, Edgar Degas, Ferdinand Bol, Claude Monet, Luca Giordano, Paul Gauguin, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Gustave Courbet.

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    South Florida Science MuseumSouth Florida Science Museum West Palm Beach, Florida
    The Junior League of the Palm Beaches would start and incorporate the South Florida Science Museum (SFSM) in 1959 and open in 1961 as a learning facility that is specific to natural sciences and natural history, with a new wing added in 1964 that housed the new planetarium that was dedicated and named after astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Then, in 1971, a third phase was unveiled that doubled the space in the museum to its present size that added more classrooms, an auditorium, more exhibit space and organizational support areas, as well as becoming the Science Museum and Planetarium of Palm Beach County. In the 1980s, it would change its name once more to the South Florida Science Museum that would reflect the museum's broad subject matter, geographic appeal and educational reasons. In 2008, the planetarium and Motorola Theater would be thoroughly restored and renamed for the support of the Dekelboum Family Foundation. The permanent exhibits include; The Tiger Shark submarine, Brain Teasers, States of Matter, Egypt Gallery, Interactive Outdoor Science Trail, WS4FSM Ham Radio Center, Out of this World, Bugs Exhibit, Suzie, the Ice Age Mastodon and the Twister exhibit. Their exciting aquarium offers live feedings along with shark and stingray pettings, and more fish to view and enjoy than the ocean has. One of their new traveling exhibits coming this summer of 2011, is the Attack of the Bloodsuckers that looks at the what, why, when and how of mosquitoes, leeches, ticks, fleas and other parasites, and learn why some of these bloodsuckers are important to the environment. As well as learning how to keep them out of your system.

April 15, 2011