Huntington Library, Art Museum

Huntington Library: The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, known as The Huntington, is a collections-based educational and research institution established by Henry E. Huntington (1850–1927) and Arabella Huntington (c.1851–1924) and located in San Marino, California, United States. In addition to the library, the institution houses an extensive art collection with a focus on 18th- and 19th-century European art and 17th- to mid-20th-century American art.

The property also includes approximately 120 acres (49 ha) of specialized botanical landscaped gardens, most notably the “Japanese Garden”, the “Desert Garden”, and the “Chinese Garden” (Liu Fang Yuan). On September 5, 2019, The Huntington will kick off a year-long celebration of its centennial year with exhibitions, special programs, initiatives, a special Huntington 100th rose, and afloat in the 2020 Rose Parade in nearby Pasadena, CA.

Huntington Library, Art Museum

Huntington Beach Library

We visited on a Sunday in November 2019. What a nice day! There’s a variety of things to do on the site: gorgeous gardens, interesting museums, the library, etc. We spent about 3 hours. First, we explored one of the museums, with an emphasis on European Art; the building was gorgeous and the art quite good for a museum of this size. Docents were very helpful. Second, we explored several of the gardens–it was really interesting to see how a botanical garden in California features different plants than you find elsewhere. The Japanese garden was beautiful, and the rose garden was also pretty. Third, we visited the gift shop. It is the best museum gift shop I’ve visited! It was merchandised in a fun and clever manner and had a superb variety of home items, cards, jewelry, etc.; I was able to find several gifts for friends and family. A most enjoyable afternoon; I would definitely recommend it.

If you’ve never been here, do yourself a favor, grab some comfortable shoes and spend the entire day. There’s just so much to see. Every variety of gardens you can imagine, Japanese, tropical, desert, etc. Grab some lunch (and rest) at one of several dining areas, all of which have great food. I’d personally recommend 1919. The food is really good and very affordable. For the rest of the afternoon, take in the amazing art collections spread over multiple buildings. This is truly an amazing place. It’s a must-see for anyone visiting the area. This was my favorite excursion during a five-day trip to Los Angeles.

It gave me the experience that a Greek must have to visit the British Museum: what on earth are all our treasures doing here! But it does have a lot of treasures. I nearly skipped the library itself but was so glad that I didn’t. There are a couple of books on display that are pivotal documents of Henry VIIIth’s creation of the Church of England in the 16th century. And I clearly wasn’t the only person who didn’t want to leave the room full of full-length portraits by Gainsborough and Reynolds. It wasn’t just the quantity or consistency of the collection; some of them were wonderful, characterful portraits. I love seeing portraits by John Singleton Copley when I’m in the US. I just don’t see them anywhere else. There’s a beauty here: the Western brothers.

The gardens are stunning and put most other botanical gardens to shame. I don’t know enough about plants to know whether there were rare varieties on display, but what was there was varied and beautifully presented. The Chinese, Japanese and desert gardens were especially enjoyable.

It was an easy one-hour bus journey from the center of LA and then a very pleasant walk past detached houses and manicured gardens.

The Huntington Library

As a landowner, Henry Edwards Huntington (1850–1927) played a major role in the growth of Southern California. Huntington was born in 1850, in Oneonta, New York, and was the nephew and heir of Collis P. Huntington (1821–1900), one of the famous “Big Four” railroad tycoons of 19th century California history. In 1892, Huntington relocated to San Francisco with his first wife, Mary Alice Prentice, as well as their four children.

He divorced Mary Alice Prentice in 1906; in 1913, he married his uncle’s widow, Arabella Huntington (1851–1924), relocating from the financial and political center of Northern California, San Francisco, to the state’s newer southern major metropolis, Los Angeles. He purchased a property of more than 500 acres (202 ha) that was then known as the “San Marino Ranch” and went on to purchase other large tracts of land in the Pasadena and Los Angeles areas of Los Angeles County for urban and suburban development.

As president of the Pacific Electric Railway Company, the regional streetcar and public transit system for the Los Angeles metropolitan area and southern California and also of the Los Angeles Railway Company, (later the Southern California Railway), he spearheaded urban and regional transportation efforts to link together far-flung communities, supporting growth of those communities as well as promoting commerce, recreation and tourism. He was one of the founders of the City of San Marino, incorporated in 1913.

Huntington’s interest in art was influenced in large part by his second wife, Arabella Huntington (1851–1924), and with art, experts to guide him, he benefited from a post-World War I European market that was “ready to sell almost anything”. Before his death in 1927, Huntington amassed “far and away from the greatest group of 18th-century British portraits ever assembled by anyone man”. In accordance with Huntington’s will, the collection, then worth $50 million, was opened to the public in 1928.

Huntington Library Hours

Huntington Library Hours

If you need some quiet and reflective time for self-care or you want an intimate outing with someone you love, this is the place. Yes, there is an admission fee but the parking is free so it sort of justifies the price. Also, you are supporting a non-profit organization and helping this place provide a healing space for the public.

The Chinese and Japanese Gardens are the most impressive in terms of visuals. However, if you would like a quiet, less crowded stroll, I would suggest the left side of the place where there are Desert Gardens and ponds. In the bottom center of this property lies a vast grass field for people to nap, rest, or run around. I like to spend several hours here just to stroll through the grounds and marvel at how healing nature and being outdoors is.

The European Art Gallery provides beautiful paintings and great French furniture. If you plan on coming here several times a year, I highly recommend that you get the membership! The gift shop is well curated and full of wonderful fun items! Overall, a wondrous place- try to come during the weekdays to avoid the crowds.

Huntington Library Free Day

Beautiful garden! Be prepared for lots of walking if you’re planning on exploring every area of the expanse. It includes an art museum, science museum, rose garden, Japanese garden, and more. On the weekends it is pretty busy, but the parking is free! Tickets on weekends are $24 for a student (with ID) and $29 for regular. Overall it’s a great place to explore and get in some good instant photos. Literally the number one reason I went. For good photo op areas, I would recommend
– The outside courtyard of the art museum
– Gazebo in the rose garden
– Archway in the rose garden
– Bamboo forest trail in a Japanese garden
– Domed greenhouse area at the entrance get out your walking shoes and clean off your glasses, The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens has something for everyone. Parking is free, go during the week and save on admission, the weekend admission is higher. Hours for nonmembers start at 10 AM and closes at 5 PM. You will find that time passes very quickly and one day may not be enough to see everything. The Huntington is kid-friendly and strollers are okay. Be sure to visit the Art Museum to see some of the most famous original artwork in the
world ie: The Blue Boy and Pinky.
Stroll the grounds and witness several different gardens.
Visit the Library and be amazed by the number of vintage first editions.
Food is available, or bring your own food and have a picnic.
Enjoy your visit!!

Huntington Public Library

The library building was designed in 1920 by the southern California architect Myron Hunt in the Mediterranean Revival style. Hunt’s previous commissions for Mr. and Mrs. Huntington included the Huntington’s residence in San Marino in 1909, and the Huntington Hotel in 1914. The library contains a substantial collection of rare books and manuscripts, concentrated in the fields of British and American history, literature, art, and the history of science. Spanning from the 11th century to the present, the library’s holdings contain 7 million manuscript items, over 400,000 rare books, and over a million photographs, prints, and other ephemera.

Highlights include one of eleven vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible known to exist, the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer (ca. 1410), and letters and manuscripts by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln. It is the only library in the world with the first two quartos of Hamlet; it holds the manuscript of Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, Isaac Newton’s personal copy of his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica with annotations in Newton’s own hand, the first seven drafts of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, John James Audubon’s Birds of America, and first editions and manuscripts from authors such as Charles Bukowski, Jack London, Alexander Pope, William Blake, Mark Twain, and William Wordsworth.

The Library’s Main Exhibition Hall showcases some of the most outstanding rare books and manuscripts in the collection, while the West Hall of the Library hosts rotating exhibitions. The Dibner Hall of the History of Science is a permanent exhibition on the history of science with a focus on astronomy, natural history, medicine, and light.

With the 2006 acquisition of the Burndy Library, a collection of nearly 60,000 items, Huntington became one of the top institutions in the world for the study of the history of science and technology. South Huntington Library

Is Huntington Library free?

Admission is free to all visitors on the first Thursday of every month with advance tickets. Free Day hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Can you study at the Huntington Library?

The Huntington is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. Each year, The Huntington: Provides 1,700 scholars with access to a world-class collection of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, paintings, prints, sculpture, and decorative arts.

Can you get married at the Huntington Library?

Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

If you have the cash, the hefty price tag to get married in the Huntington‘s magnificent gardens is worth every single penny.