Building on Henry E. Huntington's legacy of renowned collections and botanical gardens that enrich the visitor, The Huntington today encourages research and promotes education in the arts, humanities, and botanical sciences through the growth and preservation of its collections, through the development and support of a community of scholars, and through the display and interpretation of its extraordinary resources to the public.
About The Huntington:
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. These three distinct facets of The Huntington are linked by a devotion to research, education, and beauty.
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.
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. On display in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, The Huntington’s American art collection includes works from the 1690s to the 1950s, including important paintings such as Mary Cassatt's Breakfast in Bed, Frederic Edwin Church’s Chimborazo, and Edward Hopper's The Long Leg.
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.