After spending a long afternoon at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, it was clear that this special place not only had an interesting history…it was one of those hidden gems we had missed out on for far too long.

Ann’s gardens are nestled behind a quaint home-turned-museum on Barcelona Road in West Palm Beach, Florida. Exactly 1.7 acres are filled with her sculptures, tropical gardens, exotic palm trees, and an artist’s studio.

We began our tour with a brief history of the gardens, as told by the museum’s friendly guide, and how the museum came to be—a feat in itself, considering the many years Ann spent living as an “outsider” in her own town. As the second wife of Ralph Norton (a Chicago industrialist who headed Acme Steel), Ann was never quite accepted as a Palm Beach socialite. Which meant support for her work, and the eventual museum, was not always easy to come by.

Even today, Ann’s masterpieces live on as a separate entity from the Norton Museum, which was founded by Ralph and his first wife, Elizabeth. Over the years, many art lovers, volunteers, donors, and long-term supporters of Ann’s vision have kept her legacy alive, while inspiring and motivating those who care to discover all she so selflessly left behind.

 

Beings: Stand Strong at Every Angle

 

Beings at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens - A

 

Beings at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens - B

 

Beings at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens - C

 

Beings at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens - D

 

Beings at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens - E

 

Gateway: Not Another Brick in the Wall

 

Gateway to Knowledge at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

 

Gateway #2 at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

 

Gateway #3 at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

 

From Ann’s Studio: Unfinished Business?

 

Studio Wood Sculpture at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

 

Studio Workbench at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

 

Orchids in Bloom: Colors to Make a Lasting Impression

 

Purple Orchids at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

 

White Orchids at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

 

Burgundy Orchids at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

 

We left Ann’s place with a greater appreciation for personal vision, the beauty of the creative soul, and the value of commitment to a purpose. It goes without saying, but Ann Norton’s Sculpture Gardens is truly one of those special places we all wait to discover. My advice? “To take the time to appreciate all your discoveries…”