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Society News  Pages 1  2  3

Black Tie International:
The Norton Museum

Heidi Niblack,  John Niblack

Heidi and John Niblack


John and Heidi Niblack’s Gift of $3.5 million
Celebrated at  the Norton Museum 
January 25, 2009 to coincide with
the Chinese New Year



The Norton Museum of Art is pleased to announce a major gift of  $3.5 million, given by John and Heidi Niblack, in support of Chinese art. The Niblacks made this significant contribution in response to specific needs within the Norton’s Chinese Collection: $2 million towards the acquisition of Chinese paintings, $.5 million to name a gallery, $.5 million to Chinese art related educational programming, and $.5 million as a Visionary Gift, dedicated to annual operating expenses over the next five years. 

The Niblacks said of their contribution, “Our gift to the Norton Museum aims to enhance the already impressive Chinese collection, which has long been noted for its world-class jades and bronzes. Our intention is to expand the collection of Chinese paintings, create a space appropriate for their display, and fund programs that inform visitors about one of the world's oldest and most vital cultures”.

Their generous gift was honored at the Museum on January 25, coinciding with the Chinese New Year, which welcomed the Year of the Ox. Guests celebrated the Niblack’s contribution by practicing Chinese traditions such as giving “lucky money”, and writing wishes for good luck in Chinese. They also toured the Chinese galleries and enjoyed tea and dumplings.  

Norton Museum Director, Christina Orr-Cahall said of the Niblack’s gift, “We are fortunate to have such generous donors in our community who understand the importance and influence of Chinese art and culture, both historically and in today’s world. With this support from John and Heidi Niblack, the Norton Museum will not only be able to further develop its Chinese collection, with a focus on paintings—which are considered the heart of Chinese Art—but also to better serve the community through improved installations and enhanced educational programming.”

John Niblack currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Norton Museum’s Board of Trustees and is also a member of its Works of Art Committee. As a collector of traditional Chinese paintings, Mr. and Mrs. Niblack have generously supported several Norton exhibitions of Chinese art. The Niblacks live part of the year in
Palm Beach. 

The Norton Museum of Art is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. (Closed Mondays from May through October and on major holidays.) General admission is $8 for adults, $3 for visitors ages 13-21, and free for Members and children under 13.  An additional charge may apply for special exhibitions. West Palm Beach residents receive free admission to the permanent collection every Saturday, with proof of residency. Palm Beach County residents receive free admission to the permanent collection the first Saturday of each month, with proof of residency.  For additional information, please call (561) 832-5196 or visit



joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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