This small museum, which grew from one woman’s curio shop, has been affiliated with the University of Southern California since November 2013. When her collection outgrew its shop in 1924, Grace Nicholson commissioned a new building strictly following China’s Imperial Palace Courtyard style, with roof tiles, stone, marble carvings, bronze and copper imported from China and handmade by local craftsmen; its arched entrance is a replica of the Buddhist library in Beijing. Given to the city in 1943, it housed the institute that would become the Norton Simon Museum. The elaborate building and traditional courtyard garden are the museum’s most notable features, but rotating exhibits of the 15,000-piece collection—ranging from 100 B.C. to the present, including one of the largest collections of Japanese folk art outside of Japan—will appeal to those interested in Asia and the Pacific Islands in general, and Buddhism and Hinduism in particular.
- Frommer's Staff