“If it’s too easy to get, it doesn’t interest us because it doesn’t challenge us.”
— Norman C. Stone
Norman Stone isn’t one to shy away from a challenge so long as it involves some sort of creative pursuit — be it wine making, acquiring edgy pieces of contemporary art, or counseling disadvantaged clients in Hunters Point, a predominantly Afro-American neighborhood in San Francisco.
Though he holds a B.A. in economics from Stanford University, Norman had little attention span for corporate life. The Chicago native found a more meaningful pursuit in clinical psychology when he 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 mansion designed by architect Arthur Brown in 1927. As with their white farm house at Stonescape, the Stone’s San Francisco home is filled with pieces from their internationally-acclaimed collection; among them Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog”  Marcel Duchamp’s goateed Mona Lisa, “L.H.O.O.Q.” (1940), and Hans Bellmer’s “La Poupé” (1938).
“We are art people making wine.” — Norah Sharpe Stone
Much like the art she and Norman collect, Norah Sharpe Stone’s professional and personal background represents a multitude of mediums — a fact which makes Norah, known for her artful attire and formidable will, seem almost abstract.
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. Midstream she decided to earn a degree in law and became a corporate attorney — maintaining her nursing license all the while. Along the way she studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and 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 is a trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and a member of the National Committee of the Whitney Museum in New York, and the Tate International Council in London. She is also a trustee of the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation.
That Norah is now wine making and building art caves in the Napa Valley with Norman — whom she married in 1986 — is, in her words, “a natural extension” of a life sketched with a free hand and a lot of imagination.
Recognized for her good taste as well as her good works, Norah was honored as one of San Francisco’s best dressed citizens in 2007 by San Francisco Magazine.