Suzanne Muchnic has a fine “appreciation” of Jennifer Jones in the LA Times. The story focuses on Jones’s role as the steward of Norton Simon’s collection and the one whose job it was to vouchsafe that legacy to the public in the form of a more broadly conceived art museum and institution:
Behind the scenes, Jones evolved into more than the movie star wife of a notoriously tough businessman and art deal-maker. At her suggestion, the couple took a honeymoon trip to India, where Jones’ interest in yoga and Eastern philosophy sparked her husband’s interest in art that he had never seriously considered, launching what became a major collection. […]
Decades after most of the historic artworks worth having were thought to be owned by museums, Simon amassed 12,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs created over seven centuries — with particular strength in European paintings and Indian and Southeast Asian sculpture. […]
Over the years he had toyed with many options, including merging his museum with the J. Paul Getty Museum and giving his collection to UCLA. He said that he had considered selling all the art and putting the money into his wife’s foundation for mental health programs.
“But you didn’t,” Jones said, “and I’m glad you didn’t. You have put so much passion and love and energy into your collection, selling it or giving it up would be too sad.”
After his death, she worked with the museum’s staff to transform what had long been an insular institution into a vibrant, welcoming cultural center — with expanded public hours and a program of concerts, lectures and changing exhibitions.