Special Events

First Saturday Tours

The First Saturday Tour program was launched in February 2007 as an opportunity to present thematic tours to the general public at a regular intervals.

These tours have explored such serious matters as “Depictions of Native Americans in Art,” comparing and contrasting the evolution of American thought and attitudes towards the continent’s original inhabitants and the plight of female artists in “Great Artists Who Just Happen to be Women”.

We’ve also taken a light-hearted view of our collection with the “Guys and Dolls” tour, which explored the complex (and sometimes comical) battle between the sexes, as well as touring our Antique Dolls and Firearm collection.

We’ve even tackled the technical aspects of our works with the “Painting Techniques” tour, answering the age-old (and often asked) question: How do they do that? We have even offered performance based tours centered around our spookiest art with the Halloween Tour and shared stories of the season with the Christmas tour.

Thought-provoking, chuckle-inducing, and all around good fun, the First Saturday Tours are completely free to the general public every first Saturday of the month at 2 p.m. No reservation is needed, but groups of 10 or more are asked to call in advance.

Upcoming Events

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: "A Christmas Celebration of the Power of the Word: Scripture in Art and Literature"
December 6, 2014 - December 6, 2014

"In the beginning was the Word..." John 1:1 Powerful works of literature have always inspired artists in other media as well as their own, and arguably the most powerful written works are those born out of religious belief, like the Bible. Painters, sculptors, ceramacists, and poets have drawn from its narratives, from the cautionary origin tale of Adam and Eve, sculpted by both Auguste Rodin and Paul Manship, to the redemptive story of the Virgin Mary and the birth of Christ, caught in paint and porcelain by masters including Jean-Honore' Fragonard and Edward Boehm.

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Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: The Most Fragile Art: Glass and Porcelain
January 3, 2015 - January 3, 2015

Originally rare and expensive, glass has always drawn the eye with both its brilliance and transparency. This tour will explain the glass-making process, including blowing, cutting, and pressing, with a PowerPoint presentation and an exploration of gallery glassworks including Steuben and Gillinder & Co.

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Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: Scandals & Vandals
February 7, 2015 - February 7, 2015

Not everybody loves Valentine’s Day. For those of us still single or, worse yet, smarting from a relationship that didn’t work out, these artists offer a little fellow-feeling with their own tales involving jilted lovers and the bad boys and girls that lured us into bad judgment (and occasionally bad behavior).

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: Six Degrees of Art History
March 7, 2015 - March 7, 2015

We haven’t found a connection to Kevin Bacon yet (though I’m sure we could), but many of our artists had interesting relationships with each other and other important historical figures, all of which we’ll explore on this trip through the mysteries of human contact. For example, which American artist could claim an acquaintance with both the American president and the British king in the early 19th century? 

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: Coyote Sky
April 4, 2015 - April 4, 2015

Join us on a tour that begins in the museum galleries, but soon moves to an outdoor walking tour exploring Native American myths surrounding not only our flora and fauna, but also the animals depicted in our collection of outdoor sculpture.

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: Louisiana Journeys
May 2, 2015 - May 2, 2015

On this tour, we'll explore the colorful history of our own state through works of art either by Louisianans or depicting the Louisiana countryside or cityscapes accompanied by readings from Louisiana writers and historical figures. We'll celebrate works based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem of the Acadian diaspora, Evangeline, and the perseverance and strength of people of color in Louisiana artist Richmond Barthe's Africa Awakening, among others.

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: American Professionals
June 6, 2015 - June 6, 2015

Since America was itself a work of creative imagination, it's not surprising that the country has given birth to a number of innovative figures in various professions which we'll explore through depictions or inventions within our collection.

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: The Transcendental Tour: When America Discovered Itself
July 11, 2015 - July 11, 2015

On this tour, we'll explore the art and literature of the first genuinely American philosophical movement, transcendentalism, and take a particular look at its influence on the first great American art movement, the Hudson River School. 

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: From Renaissance to Enlightenment
August 1, 2015 - August 1, 2015

This tour begins with developments in the art and thought of the Renaissance and explores how these eventually led to the 18th century era known as the Enlightenment in Europe, and then how the Enlightenment became the most profound influence on the early art, literature, and political thought of America.

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: Being Framed: The Art of Frame-Making
September 5, 2015 - September 5, 2015

The frame that surrounds a painting not only adds to the experience of the work, but is often a work of art in its own right. 

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: Living in America
October 3, 2015 - October 3, 2015

Most of our history is given over to prominent people and dramatic moments, but, for most people, prominence and drama are just occasional moments. This tour celebrates the real life of America, dealing with images and objects that reflect how Americans have worked, traveled, played sports, celebrated, entertained themselves, and raised families.

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: It Runs in the Family
November 7, 2015 - November 7, 2015

Just read the list of artists collected at the Norton and you'll be assured that artistic talent is genetically transmitted. From the First Family of American Art, the Peales, who produced three generations of American artists stretching from the colonial period to the Civil War to the brotherly acts of the Borglums and Morans, siblings, spouses, parents, and children have passed the paints and clay along.

Thumb Image First Saturday Tour: The Christmas Carol
December 5, 2015 - December 5, 2015

Uses art to help tell the stories behind popular Christmas carols.

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