The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, more commonly referred to as simply the Huntington, can be found in San Marino, California, and was established in the early 1900’s. With an impressive selection of rare books and manuscripts, a range of permanent and temporary art exhibitions, and botanical gardens that showcase plants from all around the world, it is no surprise that the Huntington is one of the city’s most popular, and inspiring, spots.
One of the largest libraries in the country, the Huntington Library is home to a world-class collection of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, prints, and maps, as well as other items that relate to British and American history and literature. With over nine million items in their collection, the library only displays a small portion of these items at one time. The permanent exhibitions feature over 150 items, from Shakespeare’s First Folio to the Gutenberg Bible, while the rotating exhibitions showcase a range of items from the museum’s collection, which dates from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, meaning you never know what will be on display.
The Art Collections
The Huntington Art Collections feature over 650 paintings and 440 works of sculpture, and focuses on two specific areas. Its European art collection dates from the 15th century to the 20th century, while its American art collection dates from the 17th to the mid-20th century, meaning that there is quite a range of work on display. The European art collection is considered to be one of the most sophisticated collections of British paintings and sculpture outside of London, and there are a few Renaissance paintings that are definitely worth viewing. The American art collection includes a number of important paintings, from Breakfast in Bed by Mary Cassatt to The Long Leg by Edward Hopper. You will also find a collection of prints at the museum, including old prints by masters such as Rembrandt, as well as hundreds of photographs by Edward Weston.
The Botanical Gardens
With 120 acres of land that contains 12 different gardens, featuring over 15,000 plant varieties, the Botanical Gardens at the Huntington are a joy to explore. The California Garden is usually the first point of call, followed by the Chinese garden, which is the largest outside of China. The Desert Garden boasts one of the largest collections of succulents and cacti in the world, while the Japanese Garden features a ceremonial teahouse and a traditional tea garden. The Camellia Garden is another one that is considered to be one of the most comprehensive in the world, while the Rose Garden is always beautifully fragrant.
Considered to be one of the greatest cultural, research and educational facilities in the world, the Huntington should most definitely be a must-visit for anyone that has not explored it yet. From the rare books and manuscripts in the Library to the historic, world-famous art collections to the extraordinarily diverse Botanical Gardens, this is a place that will never fail to captivate you time and time again.