Sassona Norton

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Sassona Norton
Sassona in 2016
Norton in 2016
Born (1942-02-26) February 26, 1942 (age 78)
Alma materTel Aviv University
Spouse(s)Reed Whittle (1942 - 2008; his death)
Partner(s)Ron Filler

Sassona Norton PPRBS (born 26 February 1942) is an Israeli-born American sculptor.[1]

Early life[edit]

Norton was born and raised in Israel. She graduated from Tel Aviv University with a degree in Literature and Theatre. She went on to teach high school, work as a theatre director, and write for Yediot Achronot, an Israeli daily newspaper. She started her visual arts career as a painter, making her debut in her first solo-show at Gallery 220 in Tel Aviv when she was in her twenties. Norton immigrated to the United States in 1974 and joined the Art Students League of New York, where she was awarded the Isabel Bishop Merit Scholarship.[2]


Norton began to achieve artistic success in the early 1980s, first with the publication of her work A Yellow Night, in Twentieth Century Masters of Erotic Art by Crown Publishers, alongside works by Picasso, Rodin, Calder, and Dali. In 1981, she was chosen for Eight Young New Yorkers on the Horizon. In 1983, her large-scale painting The Rain Prayer was published in the Discover Art series by Laura H. Chapman. In 1984, Norton's solo show at Sutton Gallery in New York City was praised by the critic Peter Fingesten for its "vision and strength".

In 1999 Norton shifted from painting to sculpting after working in architectural and design installation projects. She was awarded the Huntington Merit Medal for her sculpture The Edge of Rest at the National Arts Club in New York in 2002. In 2003 she sculpted the largest September 11th Memorial in Pennsylvania, costing $200,000.[3] The memorial, close to twenty-feet tall was installed in Norristown in 2005.[4] In 2006, the Morris Museum in New Jersey held a major show of her sculptures, which was extended by popular demand for over six months. In connection with the show, the museum published Sassona Norton Sculpture.[5] The hard-cover book included essays by Steve Miller, the Museum Director, Hilarie Sheets of the New York Times and Ann Landi of Artnews. In 2008, "A Memorial Journey", the documentary about the making of the 9/11 Memorial, was shown at the International Art Fair in Stockholm.[6]

In 2011, the Ljungqvist Foundation for anti-doping in Sweden selected Norton out of eight sculptors in Europe and the U.S. to create a monument for anti-doping in sport. The monument is planned as an edition of twenty for major cities around the world. Work started in 2016 and the first two monuments will be installed in 2021 in the Royal Palace of Monaco and the Arena Stadium in Stockholm. [7]

In 2016 Norton was invited to show her sculpture, An Hour Before Dawn, at the Workhouse Arts Center, AKA The Prison Museum, in Lorton, Virginia. The sculpture celebrated the Suffragists' Centennial and commemorated their imprisonment and torture during the Night of Terror[8][9] at the former Lorton Reformatory.

In 2018 Norton became a Trustee of the Morris Museum.[10]

In 2019, Norton’s sculpture “An Hour Before Dawn”, purchased by Craig Ponzio of Colorado in 2006, was selected as the face of the upcoming show of his signature collection at the Denver Botanic Gardens[11] in Denver, Colorado. In addition to Sassona Norton, the exhibition included sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Jacques Lipchitz, Beverly Pepper, Rufino Tamayo, Manolo Valdés and Eric Fischl. The show, "Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection", run from April 19 to September 15, 2019.

Norton is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors,[12] National Sculpture Society, International Sculpture Center, Washington Sculptors Group and Sculptors Guild, where she served on the Board.


  • Henry Buhl, New York
  • Ivan Greenstein, New Jersey
  • The Ambassador Swaenee Hunt, Massachusetts
  • Lee Longell, New Jersey
  • Peter Migliorato, Florida
  • Sally Minard & Norton Garfinkel, New York
  • Harry & LynnO'Mealia, Maryland
  • Elizabeth Palay & Ed Feige, Wisconsin
  • Craig Ponzio, "Art Investments", Colorado
  • Mike McKool, McKool Smith, Chairman, Texas
  • Morris Museum, New Jersey
  • Haya Horowitz, Israel
  • Dr.and Mrs. Moshe Shike, New York
  • Nathan and Karen Shike, London

Personal life[edit]

Norton was married to Dr. Reed Whittle, a psychotherapist and international management consultant to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, until he died on August 12, 2008, from complications related to Sweet's syndrome.[13][14] Norton is the stepmother of Whittle's two children, Scott and Amy, from his first marriage to Carolyn Lansden.[15] Norton is in a relationship with Dr. Ron Filler, the founder of Drug Development Consultants.[16][17] She owns an estate in Bedminster, New Jersey[18][19] and also an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.


Norton and Filler are patrons of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, the Newark Museum, The Discovery Orchestra, the Morris Museum and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York, where Norton has served on the Global Council since 2018.[20][21][22][23][24]

Norton is a registered Democrat and has contributed financially to Coalition for Progress and Hillary For America. In 2016 she donated over $12,700 to the Democratic Party.[25]


  1. ^ "Sculptor Sassona Norton's lecture a resounding success - Morris Arts". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Sassona Norton - Sculpture - CURRICULUM VITAE". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Profile registry". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  4. ^ User, Super. "Morris Museum Presents Sassona Norton ~ Sculptures - Art Knowledge News". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  5. ^ Norton, Ann Landi and Hilarie Sheets; Norton, Sassona (1 January 2006). "Sassona Norton". Morris Museum of Art, Morristown, NJ. Retrieved 1 May 2017 – via Amazon.
  6. ^ "Sculptor Sassona Norton Info - -". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
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  12. ^ "Sassona Norton » Artists » Royal British Society of Sculptors". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
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  17. ^ "manhattan with Keywords: Ron, sassona, filler". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Morris Museum Presents Sassona Norton ~ Sculptures", Art Knowledge News. Accessed May 1, 2017. "The Morris Museum is delighted to present the splendid sculpture of Sassona Norton in its 4,500-square-foot Main Gallery on exhibit until November 12, 2006. Norton, a Bedminster, New Jersey resident, creates larger than life bold and expressive, cast bronze female figures."
  19. ^ Foley, Roger (July 2015). "The home and garden of the sculptor Sassona Norton in New Jersey. Landscape design by DCA Landscape Architects". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  20. ^ "National Museum of Women in the Arts - Annual Report 2014". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
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  25. ^ "Sassona Norton - $12,700 in Political Contributions for 2016". Retrieved 1 May 2017.