The Norton Museum has at times been referred to as the “little museum that could.” Founded in 1941 by — well, they were technically retirees — Ralph and Elizabeth Norton, the museum is permanent home to hundreds of masterpieces from Matisse to Picasso to O’Keeffe and is regularly called upon to loan art to such humble museums as, oh, say, the Met. Annie Leibovitz herself will be stopping by the museum at 9 a.m. Thursday as part of the media tour for her latest, self-titled show, which will officially open at the museum during its weekly Art After Dark event. Every Thursday, the museum opens its doors, sets up a live band, and allows guests to stroll the grounds with drinks in hand. If you have never been, the third Thursday of the month is the perfect time to start because it is Sketchbook Thursday. Guests are invited to bring their sketchbooks — or the museum will loan you paper and pencils — and sketch either the “assignment” for the evening or the art on the walls or the patrons or the other sketchers or, frankly, whatever catches their fancy. Some months, a live model will move through a series of poses lasting about 15 minutes each. Art After Dark begins at 5 p.m., the guided tour of “Sylvia Plimack Mangold: Landscape and Trees” begins at 5:30 p.m., Sketchbook Thursday is from 6 to 8 p.m., the tour of Annie Leibovitz’s work begins at 6:30 p.m., and blues band David Shelley and Bluestone performs from 7 to 9 p.m. Just enjoy the cocktails or head to the museum’s Cafe 1451 for dinner and the two-for-one happy hour. The event is free, though you still have to pay admission to the museum — $12 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children under 12 and museum members.
Third Thursday of every month, 5 p.m. Starts: Jan. 17. Continues through Jan. 16, 2013