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A Black Friday Alternative: Vermeer and Duchamp at the Norton Simon

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Shopping in crowded stores not your thing today? Here’s a stress-free suggestion: Stop by Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum for a closer look at a new Vermeer on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington and catch the Marcel Duchamp installation before it closes next week.

A Lady Writing is a rare painting from 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, who might better known today as the painter of Girl with a Pearl Earring, which inspired a book and the movie with Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. The painter took everyday activities, objects and people and transformed them into art. The painting as been installed alongside Rembrandt portraits and other Dutch artists and will be on display until Feb. 2. It’s a smaller painting, so it’s easy to walk right by it.

If modern art is more your style, then head over to the other side of the museum for the “Marcel Duchamp Redux” installation, which commemorates the 45th anniversary of his Pasadena Art Museum retrospective. It’s a smaller collection, but it still holds recognizable pieces including a replica of the readymade L.H.O.O.Q., or La Joconde, where he added a ’stache and goatee to the Mona Lisa., demonstrating his rebellious and witty side to his artwork.