Appropriate for tourists and tots, seniors and students, and even experts and ignorami, the Norton’s tour program offers a wide range of
topics, themes, and possibilities to enhance your group’s visit. Tours may even be customized for your speciﬁc studies or needs.
Over 20 tours create the core of our docent-led program. Explore American History from the colonial period through the closing of the
frontier or see art in the New World evolve from the colonial Limner tradition through to 20th century Post-Impressionism. Gain insight
into highlights of our European collection or focus exclusively on 19th century French Art History. The scope and breadth of study is
entirely up to you!
Each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes with time for questions at the end. Guided tours are available by appointment only for groups of
10 or more people. To schedule a guided tour, call the Norton at (318) 865-4201 ext. 128 or email at least three weeks in advance of a planned visit. Scheduling is limited to availability.
During the colonial period and the early days of the Republic, American artists
painted either imitations of European subjects and styles, or in a somewhat
primitive limner tradition. Then art met transcendentalism and the ﬁrst truly
American style was born with the painters of the Hudson River School. The
wonders of the American landscape continued to enthrall native and immigrant
artists through the Luminist, Barbizon, and American Impressionist styles. At the
Norton we’ll explore the journey through American art history with the
innovations and master works of American painters like Thomas Sully, Rembrandt
Peale, Thomas Cole, George Inness, and Mary Cassatt.
How was America born? Where did her people come from? What challenges did
they face? Using paintings, porcelain, and sculpture, students explore the timeline
of American History from the ﬁrst Native American inhabitants to the closing of
the frontier in 1890. Works by Thomas Sully, Rembrandt Peale, Charles Russell,
and Frederic Remington are included in this tour.
This tour is a fun, uncomplicated introduction to artistic vocabulary where
students learn to appreciate artwork by putting in their “artist’s eyes.” A reading of
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See, begins a great hunt for colors, and
we’ll have fun with ﬁnding lines and forms in art work after reading Lines that
Any visit to a museum is automatically a visit to Greco-Roman history. The word
“museum” itself derives from a Greek phrase mean “Home of the muses”. The
Greeks and the Romans, long after they were political powers, continued to
educate, inspire, and inform Western culture; they provided the foundation for the
civilization in which we continue to live, and their thoughts and deeds continue to
awe and instruct us more than a thousand years after their world ceased to exist.
The tour explores the classical inﬂuence of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire
on works and artists in the gallery, and unravels in depth the history depicted in the
This tour was born with a young man’s questions: “When was color invented?”
The Norton explored the history of painter’s pigments, delving into how the old
masters created their ﬁrst paints. We uncovered some gruesome discoveries:
20,000 insects expired for a scintilla of scarlet; 12,000 mollusks gave their lives
for a pinch of purple, and countless artists paid the price for color in inﬁrmity,
invalidism, and even death. The high cost of art hasn’t just been measured in
dollars and cents. Combining science and history, we’ll identify which artists used
what type of paints to create their masterpieces.
One was a professional artist and an amateur cowboy, while the other was a
professional cowboy and an amateur artist. Exploring the painting and sculptures
of the powerhouses of cowboy art - Frederic Remington and Charles Russell -
students will learn how the mythology and legends of the Old West were created
Mystery lies at the heart of every horror experience: who’s that tap-tap-tapping on my
window? Why is that shadowy ﬁgure lurk-lurk-lurking in the corner? What IS that how-how-
howling at the moon?! Delve into the deep mysteries of the R.W. Norton Art Gallery on this
terrible tour of terror!
Get revved up for Halloween with this story ﬁlled-tour inspired by our spookiest art. All
new ghost stories await those brave enough to attend. Our professional storyteller is fully
capable of protecting even the youngest of our visitors from the fearful denizens lurking in
our midst, so feel free to bring the whole class. We’re just DYING to meet y’all....
This tour is free of charge and limited to groups of 30 people.
What makes gift-giving so precious has nothing to do with money. It has everything to
do with the quality we might call mindfulness – paying attention, knowing what was
really important, giving something that reﬂects an understanding of those often
intangible things that are most important to the recipient. Join us as we explore the gifts
our artists have given to friends, family, and the world at large with this guided tour of
our permanent collection.
Our professional storyteller will spin all new yarns about the days of yore, warming
hearts and eliciting grins about the spirit of the season.
This tour is free of charge and limited to groups of 30 students.
Celebrate the season with the Spring Walking tour! We'll take the guided tour outside
for a tip-toe through the tulips. Wear your walking shoes - we have 40 acres of
manicured gardens, including our famous azalea beds, bronze statues, and
watergardens to explore.
Do dark skies threaten on the day of the tour? Fear not! We'll enjoy an indoor Rainy-
Day tour, exploring spring-themed artwork throughout the museum.
This tour is free of charge and limited to groups of 30 students.
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
318-865-4201 ext. #128 in advance.
4 October 2014 @ 2:00 pm
After a short visit to our "Origins of Western Art" gallery to see the inspiration of genuine classical art, we'll explore Renaissance, 18th, 19th, and 20th century works inspired by the historical and mythological figures of the classical age, along with the stories surrounding these key figures of Western Civilization.
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1 November 2014 @ 2:00 pm
From prehistoric times onwards, artists have been fascinated with the world around them. The earliest art usually depicted animals and it is still flora and fauna of the natural world that is most often painted today by professional and amateur alike.
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6 December 2014 @ 2:00 pm
A family favorite, the Christmas tour uses artwork and stories to explore the true meaning of Christmas, culminating with an exploration of the Norton's annual in-house Christmas exhibition, featuring religious works celebrating Christmas throughout the Christian world from East to West.
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For those who wish to see the Norton at their own pace, we offer Self Guided tours. These brochures may be picked up in the lobby or downloaded below.
American Art History
Traces the evolution of painting styles in America from Birch to Bierstadt and beyond
An appreciation of the decorative arts including our collections of Steuben glass, colonial silver, Cybis porcelain, and Wedgwood
Hudson River School
A complete walk through the first significant American art movement from Cole and Durand to Bierstadt and Sonntag
A journey through early American History which includes our Civil War Gallery and the conquest of the West
A look at significant European works including our tapestries, paintings by Dutch masters, Les Animaliers sculpture, and works by Rodin
Answering the question, "How did they do that?", this tour explores several works of art and their techniques and terminology
Takes a look at great American sculptors, including Borglum, Farnham, Russell, Remington, Saint-Gaudens, and others
French Art History
Explores Barye to Barbizons, Romantics to Rodin, complete with French art terminology
Perils of Pigment
Uncovering the artistry and history of color and divulging the dangers of painting
Covering Russell and Remington, but also the works of other significant
"cowboy" artists like Stanley, Shreyvogel, and A.D.M. Cooper
Explores French sculpture from neo-classical to the Romantic to the Modern using the works of Barye, Dalou, Rodin and others in the permanent collection
An in-depth look at two of America's premier western artists in galleries dedicated to their work
To schedule a guided tour, call the Norton at (318) 865-4201 ext. 128 or email
at least three weeks in advance of a planned visit. Scheduling is limited to availability.
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