Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens was established in 1977 by resident sculptor Ann Weaver Norton. Within an urban sanctuary of two acres, the compound comprises Norton’s historic home, exhibition galleries, artist studio, nine monumental sculptures and rare palm and cycad gardens for public enjoyment as a natural green oasis. Member of the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
A passionate environmentalist, Norton turned her property into an urban sanctuary for birds and wildlife. The gardens comprised of native plants, and over 250 varieties of palms and cycads from all over the world, were created as a setting for her monumental sculptures of both stone and brick. In 1977, Norton established a foundation, which ensured the long-term preservation of her house (now Nationally Registered), studio, gardens, and art for the enjoyment and education of the public.
Located in the historic El Cid Historic Neighborhood of West Palm Beach, with expansive views of the Intracoastal Waterway, the home was designed in 1925 by well-known architect Maurice Fatio and features coquina pathways, pecky cypress ceilings and beautiful gardens. In 1935 Norton Museum of Art founders, Ralph and Elizabeth Norton, purchased the home and selected Marion Sims Wyeth to redesign it in the Monterey Revival Style as seen today. In 1948, the widowed Ralph Norton married Ann Weaver, sculptor instructor at the Norton Museum. That same year Norton invited Wyeth to design Ann’s studio. The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Ann Norton’s monumental, silent, mysterious sculptures built in situ over a period of 15 years were intended to be discovered as surprises amidst the dense, jungle-like vegetation. The Gardens, designed by world-renowned botanist Sir Peter Smithers as a rare palm garden, represent Ann’s commitment to conservation and the preservation of a quiet retreat in the midst of a burgeoning city.