The Museum's Collection of American paintings and sculpture provides a succinct overview of major movements in American Art dating from the 18th century to 1960. Ralph Norton was keenly interested in representing the art of his own time as well as providing an understanding of the history of American art. He acquired iconic paintings by George Bellows and Modernists such as Charles Demuth, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Marin and Charles Sheeler. He pursued sculpture by Gaston Lachaise, Theodore Roszak and William Zorach among others. In anticipation of the Norton Museum’s opening, Paul Manship was commissioned to complete two reliefs — Diana and Actaeon — for the façade of the original building.
Later significant acquisitions include a Robert Motherwell canvas Personage (1943) which was complemented by the purchase of a 1945 transitional canvas by Jackson Pollock, Night Mist, on the occasion of the Museum’s thirtieth anniversary. An outstanding and monumental painting by Stuart Davis, New York Mural (1932) is among the exceptional works representing this era.