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Huntington Library Art Collections and
Botanical Gardens Los Angeles California

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens was founded in 1919 and opened to the public in 1928. It is a private, nonprofit institution. The Huntington Library is a research and educational center set among 120 acres of gardens. The Huntington houses three art galleries and a library showcasing magnificent collections of sculptures, paintings, manuscripts, rare books, and decorative arts. The botanical collection features over 14,000 different species of plants and are divided into more than a dozen thematic areas including the Rose Garden, Shakespeare and Herb Gardens, Desert Garden, Japanese Garden, Australian Garden, Subtropical and Jungle Garden, Palm Garden, North Vista, Camellia Collection, Children's Garden and Conservatory.

huntington library conservatory picture

huntington botanical japanese garden japanese maple picture

Above: Picture of Japanese Maple colored in Autumn's red leaves with the curvaceous Moon Bridge in the background.

The Huntington Library is one of the largest and most complete research libraries in the United States in its specialized field of British and American history. The Library has on display for the general public some of the finest rare books and manuscripts of Anglo-American civilization. There are about six million items and displays. The Huntington has a literary research center as well as research centers for the study of American and British history, a research center for women's studies, the study of Science and Technology, and the Huntington Fund for the Heritage of Civil Engineering.

There are manuscript collections of Jack London, Christopher Isherwood, Joseph Rickard and The First Negro Classic Ballet, as well as the Los Angeles area court records of 1850-1894. Highlights of the Library's collection include a Gutenberg Bible, the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, and a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works. As well, The Huntington is among the nation’s centers for the study of the American West. It was a treat to be able to see the first stages of writings from famous authors with their proof marks on the pages. There is a collection of materials that span the full range of American western settlement, including the overland pioneer experience, the Gold Rush, and the development of Southern California.

picture of japanese tea house garden in huntington gardens california

Above: Picture of Japanese Garden with bonsai style sculptured pine trees among the rock garden.

picture of rose garden pavilion at huntington gardens

Above: Picture of pavilion in the fragrant Rose Garden.

picture of huntington gardens barrel cactus and silver torch

Above: Picture golden barrel cactus, white mammillaria and flowering silver torch cacti.

pathway through succulent garden in california picture

Above: Picture of the serene pathway that winds between the most beautiful plants on earth, succulents.

picture of rosette succulents in garden huntington library tea room

Above: Picture on the left, Sempervivum calcareum ‘Sir William Lawrence’ and right is the beautiful Rose Garden Tea Room.

The Huntington Gallery contains a comprehensive collection of British and French art from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The art collections are housed in three separate galleries distinguished by their specialized character and elegant settings. The art collections of the galleries are absolutely awesome. We could not believe how the rooms kept winding around exposing more wonderful works. Art collection highlights are Thomas Gainsborough's The Blue Boy, Sir Thomas Lawrence's Pinkie, Edward Hopper's The Long Leg, and Rogier van der Weyden's Madonna and Child.

huntington library art gallery picture huntington art gallery marble bust picture huntington gallery painting picture

Above: Pictures of original art work and marble sculpture inside the art gallery at the Huntington Library.

huntington japanese garden koi picture

Above: Picture of koi in pond in the Japanese Garden area of the Huntington Library and Gardens in California.

The Botanical Education Center features a children’s garden, a teaching greenhouse, and the Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science. Seated in the heart of the botanical gardens are the Café and Rose Garden Tea Room. The Tea Room offers a traditional English tea. In the Café you can order hot sandwiches, salads, snacks, and drinks.

huntington library japanese garden picture

Above: Picture of us posing in front of Moon Bridge. You can see the green leafed Japanese Maple during the summer.

Jason's thoughts - Stunning and worth every penny of the $15 to get in. Seriously there are many incredible plants, gardens, museums, galleries, restaurants, enclosed specialty atriums and conservatories, plenty of shade, Japanese sunken gardens, ponds, huge bonsai collections, acres of rare and gigantic cactuses, bamboo forests, and the most incredible library of rare books in the world. Just reading the wording, the poetry, the syntax of the early writings was profound. You DEFINITELY need all day to see this place and possibly two days. Go early, drink up as they do not allow drinks or food to be carried onto the grounds. I can't think of many places that would be better for a first date, or a second or a third.

Kelly's thoughts - Totally awesome. I could not believe we spent all day on this property and at the end of the day we were rushing through trying to get the last bit of pleasure from it all. Everything is mind blowing and really too much to take in for one day. We took so many pictures that we went through four batteries. If I had been prepared for such awesomeness I would've been battery prepared. The Desert Garden and Japanese Garden tie for my favorite of the day. Actually, seeing original life-size oil paintings of The Blue Boy and Pinkie was surreal.

picture of flower coming from an aloe plant picture of snapdragons in bloom picture of bonsai asalea bush

Above: Pictures of just a fraction of the plants in bloom. Left: flower in desert garden; middle: snapdragon, right: azalea bonsai.

huntington gardens succulent bloom los angeles california

Above: Picture of very colorful and unique succulents within the Desert Garden at Huntington Library and Gardens.

picture taken while walking through the cactus garden at Huntington Library

The Huntington Gallery contains a complete fine and top shelf collection of both French and British art from the 18th and 19th centuries. The collections are showcased in 3 separate galleries distinguished by their specialized character and super elegant furnishings and environments. I have rarely seen art this incredible. We could not believe how the rooms kept winding around exposing more and more and more first class art pieces. Collection highlights include original Thomas Gainsborough's The Blue Boy, Sir Thomas Lawrence's Pinkie, Edward Hopper's The Long Leg, and Rogier van der Weyden's Madonna and Child.

Huntington Library's Japanese Garden picture

walking though the gardens at Huntington Library California picture

Picture at Huntington Library and Gardens California

Rose garden at Huntington Library California picture

Travel Info - The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is located near Pasadena in the city of San Marino, approximately twelve miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. There is no RV parking which is once again why we recommend long term travel in a Vanabode. There are two entrance gates, one on Oxford Road, and a second at Allen Avenue, just south of California Boulevard.

Additional information on Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden in the middle of busy LA county.

American Road Trips - reviews & pictures of places we visited on $20 a day - food, gas and lodging.


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