Photos, video: Watch the Norton Museum of Art get demolished

There’s quite an exhibit going on this month at the Norton Museum, but it’s not all inside the art institution.

Travel down South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach and you can watch construction crews tearing great hunks out of the museum: the first step to preparing for its $100 million expansion and renovation, scheduled to be completed two years from now in December 2018.

A bulldozer guts part of the Norton on its Dixie Highway side. (Photos by Larry Aydlette/The Palm Beach Post)
A bulldozer guts part of the Norton on its Dixie Highway side. (Photos by Larry Aydlette/The Palm Beach Post)

According to Norton spokesman Scott Benarde, these areas of the museum are being demolished: the inner atrium and stairs, the Harris Pavilion (former home of the Chihuly glass ceiling), the Great Hall entranceway, the cafe, and classroom and boardroom space.

Areas being gutted for renovation include the three-story Nessel Wing, the theater, great hall and museum gift shop.

 

Construction work continues near the former entrance of the museum.
Construction work continues near the former entrance of the museum.

Demolition should be completed by late December, Benarde said. In the meantime, admission continues to be free to the museum. And, despite the construction inconvenience, there is still a lot to see there, especially the Question Bridge video exhibit and the Rudin Prize photography show.

While many favorite paintings remain in storage, there are still plenty of famous names on the wall, inclusing Picasso, Matisse, O’Keeefe and Hopper.

A worker walks through the construction zone on the Dixie Highway side of the museum.
A worker walks through the construction zone on the Dixie Highway side of the museum.

 

A view from the Jefferson Avenue side of the museum.
A view from the Jefferson Avenue side of the museum.

 

The new Olive Avenue entrance, which is the old entrance when it was known as The Norton Gallery.
The new Olive Avenue entrance, which is the old entrance when it was known as The Norton Gallery.

 

The inner courtyard is still a sun-dappled oasis from the construction chaos.
The inner courtyard is still a sun-dappled oasis from the construction chaos.

 

Sign of the times: The museum is open with free admission, but you've got to take a long walk from the parking lot or use the free shuttle service.
Sign of the times: The museum is open with free admission, but you’ve got to take a long walk from the parking lot or use the free shuttle service.

 

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago paintings back in news after presidential debate

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One of the weirder sideshows of the presidential season is all the attention paid to portraits of Donald Trump.

At Wednesday night’s debate, Trump attacked Hillary Clinton over donations accepted by her family’s Clinton Foundation. She sparred back, mentioning his use of money by the Trump Foundation:

“I’d be happy to compare what (the Clinton Foundation does) with the Trump Foundation, which took money from other people and bought a 6-foot portrait of Donald. I mean, who does that? It just was astonishing.”

Clinton was referring to a six-foot tall portrait of Trump by Palm Beach County artist Michael Israel. The Washington Post reported that Trump Foundation money was used by Trump to buy the portrait during an auction at his Palm Beach mansion-club, Mar-A-Lago.

As Post reporter Jennifer Sorentrue wrote in a story on the controversy:

The 2007 painting sold for $20,000. According to Israel and press reports, Trump’s wife, Melania, bid $10,000 for the piece, before the auctioneer pushed her to double that number. The Donald J. Trump Foundation cut the check for the artwork, raising questions about whether the foundation broke IRS rules by bidding on an item that might have benefited Trump directly.

The charity auction was for the local non-profit HomeSafe, which helps children with housing issues. Since that story broke, Israel painted another portrait of Trump to help HomeSafe raise money. With a minimum bid of $15,000, nobody bid on the portrait and the online auction was closed.

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This isn’t the only story recently about a Trump painting. Reporters have been buzzing all election season about a Trump portrait hanging in the bar at Mar-A-Lago and the backstory of why Trump insisted that the hand on the portrait be repainted.

You can read the full story of that here:

Why did Trump insist artist repaint his hand on Mar-A-Lago portrait?

 

One, Two, Drink up! Don’t miss the Hilton’s Oktoberfest Sunday

We may not be crunching leaves or catching a chill in South Florida, but fall is here and that means the pumpkin picking, football watching and school shopping is in full effect. It means we can also look forward to Oktoberfest, which happens all over the world during this time, every year.

On Sunday, October 16th, you can enjoy an evening of beer tasting, dining, lawn games and live music at the Hilton in West Palm Beach.

The 42nd Annual American-German Club Oktoberfest in Lake Worth, Florida on October 10, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
The 42nd Annual American-German Club Oktoberfest in Lake Worth, Florida on October 10, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Yes, there will be lots of beer, but it’s still a family-friendly event and everyone gets free access. However, if you want to celebrate Oktoberfest in true style, you can register and pay $30 for unlimited beer tasting from Funky Buddha, Due South, Twisted Trunk and Inlet Brewery. 

As for food, you can look forward to a variety of bratwurst served with grilled peppers and onions on a hoagie bun. And of course there will be potato salad and creamy sauerkraut. The kids will love Munich’s giant pretzel — just hold the beer cheese and beer mustard for yourself.

(Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post): Boynton Beach: Due South Brewing Company sampler Tuesday in Boynton Beach.
Due South Brewing Company sampler Tuesday in Boynton Beach. (Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post)

The Deets:Oktoberfest at The Hilton West Palm Beach

What: Oktoberfest

When: October 16, 2016 from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Where: Hilton West Palm Beach, 600 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach

Cost: FREE and $30 if you want unlimited beer tastings

 

Why did Trump insist artist repaint his hand in Mar-A-Lago portrait?

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It’s become practically a mystery story: The Case of The Donald’s Repainted Hand.

But the only person who knows the true story is the man who painted — and at Donald Trump‘s insistence, repainted — the Republican presidential candidate’s hand on his Mar-A-Lago portrait, the artist himself, Ralph Wolfe Cowan.

The West Palm Beach painter tells us the full story — and clears up what he says are discrepancies in the accounting of it — as well as talking about his long career painting romantic portraits of kings, movie stars and moguls, everybody from Elvis to Princess Grace to Michael Jackson.

It’s a story you must read:

THE LAST OF THE PORTRAIT PAINTERS: THE RALPH WOLFE COWAN STORY

Melania Trump: Has she disappeared from the campaign trail?

Melania and Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago.
Melania and Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago.

Melania Trump made one of her first appearances since the Republican National Convention at Wednesday night’s Commander-In-Chief Forum, the Washington Post noted. While daughter Ivanka has been seen frequently on the campaign trail, Melania has been mostly mum since July.

The woman who may become First Lady is extremely private, as The Palm Beach Post’s Barbara Marshall reported. “It’s hard not to feel sorry for Melania Trump,” she wrote.

Read more:

What you don’t know about Melania Trump, the Potential First Lady.

Our complete coverage of Donald Trump’s candidacy.