The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
The Huntington Library should definitely be a stop on your itinerary. You don’t have to be an art collector or historian to enjoy all the library has to offer. For starters, it is one of the largest, most complete research libraries in the United States. It is here that you will find photographs, books, maps, manuscripts and many more items dedicated to British and American history.
Aside from the library, there are European and American art collections, drawings and prints, and plenty of other artifacts. The botanical gardens include over 200 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens to stroll through and enjoy.
The library is the home to some amazing artifacts, such as the Ellesmere manuscript of “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer. Rare books can be viewed here also, for instance a vellum copy of the Gutenberg Bible from 1455. This copy is one of only 3 that are located in the United States. From 1623, you can find a first edition print of William Shakespeare’s plays. The Huntington Library is also the home of the second largest collection of books printed before 1501. An extensive rare photograph collection can also be seen at the Huntington.
The Huntington’s art collection is quite extensive as well. A wide array of artifacts such as sculptures, paintings, tapestries and even period furniture is here for your viewing pleasure. The European collection showcases such masterpieces as Thomas Gainesborough’s Blue Boy, and a fantastic collection of 18th century French art. The American art collection dates back to the 1690s. Frederic E. Church’s Chimborazo from 1864 depicts one of the artists’ trips to Colombia and Ecuador.
The Huntington Botanical Gardens is the home to over 14,000 different plants housed in several different garden settings. Stroll through the desert area and see unique cacti and beautiful flowers. In the jungle setting the tranquil waterfall is surrounded by ferns and calla lilies. The Chinese garden includes a tea house where you can stop for a bite to eat. Young children will have a ball in the children’s garden, where they can experience many hands on activities and have fun at the same time. Head to the Rose garden and give your nose a treat as well as your eyes with over 4,000 plants in bloom. There are many other sections of the garden to enjoy so plan time to see them all.
The Huntington Library is a great place to stop on a gloomy day, or to get out of the heat for a bit and view a part of history.
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