Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Fashion Icon Iris Apfel Joins Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens Board

Iris Apfel, legendary fashion icon and longtime Palm Beach resident, joins the Board of Trustees of Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens (ANSG). “As a pioneering female artist, Iris has embraced Ann Norton’s legacy,” shares Frances Fisher, Board Chairwoman for the organization. During her 100th birthday, Apfel presented a legacy gift to ANSG and on the heels of her 101st birthday celebration last month, Apfel clearly shows no signs of slowing down.  

Apfel joins the Board of Trustees at a very exciting time. “As we prepare to unveil the restored century-old Norton house at ANSG next season, it’s very fitting that Iris has played such a role in preserving its history,” says Fisher. When the Norton House reopens to the public, one of the improvements that visitors will enjoy is a gallery doubled in size to house grander exhibitions and events.    

Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens; photo credit: CAPEHEART

Known for her bold, eclectic and statement-making style, Apfel continues to leave her mark that transcends far beyond fashion. An advocate for historical preservation, Apfel is the co-Founder of Old World Weavers, an international textile manufacturing company specializing in reproducing antique fabrics. In 2005, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art showcased an exhibition of Apfel’s clothing and accessories. Not only was the exhibition a mega hit, but she was the first living woman and non-fashion designer to receive such a prestigious honor. Ten years later, the documentary IRIS gave viewers a glimpse into Apfel’s creative fashionable world and made us fall even more in love with the icon. We could easily go on and on with her prolific achievements, from an ever-growing list of international brands and retailers to Mattel’s Iris Apfel inspired Barbie doll including Barbie’s wardrobe and accessories designed by the style maven herself.  

The bestselling book Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon was published in 2018. It’s a title that shows Apfel’s candor, humor and wit, but also her humility. She may have used the word “accidental” to describe her iconic status, but we are fortunate to have Apfel play an important part in preserving and sharing the history, art and cultural beauty of the South Florida community.  

About Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens 

Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens; photo credit: CAPEHEART

The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is a non-profit foundation established in 1977 by resident sculptor Ann Weaver Norton (1905-1982). A two-acre urban sanctuary and nationally recognized arboretum, the compound comprises the historic Norton House and Artist Studio, exhibition galleries, monumental sculptures, butterfly havens, propagation house, and tropical gardens of more than 250 species of rare palms and cycads.  

The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is currently closed but will reopen early November. It’s a gem worth visiting!  

253 Barcelona Road, West Palm Beach; 561-832-5328;

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Olivia Hollaus
Olivia Hollaus
Olivia Hollaus is the Founder and Creative Director of Protect My Shoes, a brand focused on creating stylish, sustainable, and practical shoe care products. She loves fashion, design, and all things fabulous, so she’s always on the lookout for what’s new and unique. Aside from running her own business, Olivia is the proud mom of two boys who keep her on her toes. IG: @protectmyshoes

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