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'Whistler's Mother' hasn't been seen in SoCal for 82 years...until now




"Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1," also called "Portrait of the Artist’s Mother," by James Abbott McNeill Whistler in 1871
Musée d'Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
Paul Cézanne's "The Card Players" (1892 - 1896). It is one in a series of paintings, all of the same subject.
Musée d'Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
"Emile Zola," (1868) painted by Edouard Manet.
Photo RMN-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Herve Lewandowski


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"Whistler's Mother" is one of the most iconic paintings in the America art world. But sadly, most Americans don't get a chance to see it in person unless they travel to Europe.

It was bought by France in 1891 and usually hangs at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

Now, a rare treat for art lovers: "Whistler's Mother" is here on display in Southern California now through June.

It's one of three paintings currently on loan to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena in the new exhibition, "Tête-à-tête: Three Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay."

The museum's associate curator Emily Beeny speaks with Alex Cohen to give a behind the scenes look into why these three paintings were chosen to pay a visit to Southern California.