Norman Stone isn’t one to shy away from a challenge . . . as long as it engages him creatively and intellectually — be it wine making, acquiring edgy pieces of contemporary art, or counseling disadvantaged clients in Hunters Point, a predominantly low-income neighborhood in San Francisco.
Though he holds a B.A. in economics from Stanford University, Norman had little interest in pursuing a corporate life. The Chicago native found for himself a more meaningful pursuit in clinical psychology and earned a doctorate degree from the Wright Institute Graduate School of Social-clinical Psychology in Berkeley, California. Since 1980, Norman has served as a staff psychotherapist at the mental health center for the government-funded Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement in San Francisco. Though semi-retired, he spends two days a week at the clinic, counseling his adult clients for everything from schizophrenia and crack addiction to depression.
An active philanthropist in his personal life, Norman is president of the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation as well as a trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He co-founded the Nueva School in Hillsborough, California. Both he and Norah are members of the Napa Valley Vintners, a non-profit trade association.
An avid art enthusiast from early on, Norman Stone studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute before attending the Wright Institute. For more than two decades he and Norah have actively collected art.
The Stones have a primary residence in San Francisco — an eight-bedroom Beaux Art style residence designed by architect Arthur Brown in 1927. As with their simple white farm house at Stonescape in the Napa Valley, the Stone’s San Francisco home is filled with pieces from their internationally-acclaimed collection; among them Jeff Koons’s painting, “Balloon Dog” , Marcel Duchamp’s goateed Mona Lisa, “L.H.O.O.Q.” (1940), and Hans Bellmer’s “La Poupé” (1938).
Much like the art she and Norman collect, Norah Sharpe Stone’s professional and personal background represents a multitude of skills and interests. Beyond all, she is admired for her energy and enthusiastic embrace of life.
A Canadian native, Norah graduated from the nursing program at the University of Alberta in Canada. As a registered nurse, she worked in psychiatric and surgical units alike. Soon she decided to earn a degree in law and become a corporate attorney. She did so while maintaining her nursing license. Along the way she attended the Sorbonne in Paris and studied photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
A devoted philanthropist since early adulthood, Norah supervised the initial volunteer nursing staff at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco in 1967. Since then, she has logged countless volunteer hours serving a range of non-profits. She’s a past president of the Child Abuse Prevention Center in San Francisco and a former vice president of the San Rafael Parks & Recreation Commission. Like her husband, she’s a trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and also a member of the National Committee of the Whitney Museum in New York, and of the Tate International Council in London. Further, she is a trustee of the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation.
Norah believes that wine making and exhibiting their art in a cave in the Napa Valley is “a natural extension” of a life sketched with a free hand and a lot of imagination.