The Huntington library, art collections, and botanical gardens are one of the world’s great cultural, research, and educational centers. A private, nonprofit institution, The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptional businessman who built a financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California.
Huntington was also a man of vision – with a special interest in books, art, and gardens. During his lifetime, he amassed the core of one of the finest research libraries in the world, established a splendid art collection, and created an array of botanical gardens with plants from a geographic range spanning the globe.
The Library’s collection of rare books and manuscripts in the fields of British and American history and literature is nothing short of extraordinary. For qualified scholars, The Huntington is one of the largest and most complete research libraries in the United States in its fields of specialization. For the general public, the Library has on display some of the finest rare books and manuscripts of Anglo-American civilization. Altogether, there are about 6 million items.
Among the treasures for research and exhibition are the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a Gutenberg Bible on vellum, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, and a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works.
The Art Collections are distinguished by their specialized character and elegant settings in three separate galleries on the Huntington grounds. A fourth space, the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery, hosts changing exhibitions.
The Huntington Art Gallery, originally the Huntington residence, contains one of the most comprehensive collections in this country of 18th- and 19th-century British and French art. It serves as home to Gainsborough’s Blue Boy and Lawrence’s Pinkie.
The Botanical Gardens are an ever-changing exhibition of color and a constant delight. Covering 120 acres, more than a dozen specialized gardens are arranged within a park-like landscape of rolling lawns.
Among the most remarkable are the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Chinese garden. The camellia collection is one of the largest in the country. Other important botanical attractions include the Subtropical, Herb, Jungle, and Palm gardens.
Photos courtesy of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
WHAT: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
WHERE: 1151 Oxford Road | San Marino, CA 91108
WHEN: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm | Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am – 4:30 pm | Tuesday closed
CONTACT INFO: (626) 405-2100
- Admission: Adults $20 weekdays, $23 weekends | Seniors (age 65+) $15 weekdays, $18 weekends | Students (age 12-18 or with full-time student I.D.) $12 weekdays, $13 weekends | Youth (age 5 – 11) $8 weekdays, $8 weekends | Children (under 5) free | Groups (15 or more) $11 per person weekdays, $14 per person weekends
- Free Day: On the first Thursday of every month with advance tickets, hours on Free Day are 10:30 am – 4:30 pm
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