space displaying rare books and manuscripts will close June 5 and
reopen in fall 2013 with a dynamic new exhibition. Current Library
display will be on view in another gallery during the project.
The Library Building at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
MARINO, Calif.—The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical
Gardens announced today plans to renovate and completely reinstall the
Main Exhibition Hall of its historic Library building with a new,
dynamic permanent exhibition designed to provoke visitors’ sense of
connection to history and literature and to better highlight the value
and uses of the Library’s incomparable collections of historical
materials. The Main Exhibition Hall will be closed from June 5, 2012, to
the fall of 2013 as the new installation, anchored by about 100 rare
items from the collections, is constructed.
One of the most treasured pieces in the collection, the Gutenberg Bible,
will be moved to the Huntington Art Gallery on June 5 so that it can
remain on view uninterrupted. The other items, including the Ellesmere
manuscript of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a double-elephant folio edition of John James Audubon’s Birds of America,
and rare early editions of William Shakespeare’s works, will come back
on view late this summer in a portion of the Erburu wing of the Virginia
Steele Scott Galleries of American Art that previously had been used
for storage. This temporary installation will ensure that school
programs, which serve about 3,600 children each year, can continue
without interruption during the 2012–13 academic year.
around the world are familiar with the depth and significance of the
primary source materials at The Huntington, and now, with this
thoughtful reimagining of the core Library exhibition, the public will
be better able to explore one of our most crucial roles here—as a
research center with glorious special collections,” Huntington president
Steven Koblik said.
principally by architect Myron Hunt (1868–1952) for Henry E.
Huntington, and first opened in 1920, the Library’s Main Exhibition Hall
served as a reading room for scholars until 1931, when a new reading
room was constructed, and since has served exclusively as a gallery. The
exhibition as currently installed was created in 1977 and has been only
modestly updated since. The project announced today will include
renovation of the heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems, but
the most dramatic aspect of the $2.5 million undertaking will be the
seizing a historic opportunity with an ambitious plan,” said David
Zeidberg, Avery Director of the Library. “We intend to highlight a
selection of works from our collection of some 9 million items, each
with countless stories to tell, in a concise display that won’t
overwhelm, but rather delight and profoundly inspire people again and
again. We’re fortunate to be faced with such an exciting challenge—one
that occurs maybe only once in a generation.”
new Library exhibition will begin with an introduction in what is known
as the Trustees’ Room—not previously part of the permanent exhibition
space —presenting a behind-the-scenes look at the activities of the
Huntington Library today. The display will be rooted in the importance
of original materials and cover the topics of collecting, acquisitions,
conservation, and research through videos, images, and original
materials. This section will include a selection of books written by
researchers who have used Huntington Library materials in their
exhibition then will unfold through the foyer and into the
3,456-square-foot wood-paneled, balcony-rimmed Main Hall, which will
spotlight 12 key works in vignettes organized chronologically. The key
works will begin with the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and continue with landmark items, including the Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare’s first folio, Audubon’s Birds of America, and Henry David Thoreau’s manuscript of Walden.
The works will represent the strengths of the Library’s
collection—English culture from the Middle Ages through the 18th
century, American colonial history and the Revolutionary War, the
American Civil War, English and American literature, and the exploration
and development of the American West.
vignette will incorporate other rare works to help locate it in time
and place, stimulating visitors to make connections and consider a wider
context. For example, a first folio edition of Shakespeare’s collected
plays, published in 1623, will be displayed alongside books that
inspired him, works by his contemporaries, and rare items that reflect
the world he lived in—from the British colonization of the New World to
the writings of Galileo. Each vignette will offer unexpected
juxtapositions and new insights into the collections, and into history
the Main Exhibition Hall will be designed to be a comfortable,
beautiful place that inspires people to read, reflect, and discuss, with
benches and reading materials available throughout.
exhibition is being designed by Karina White working with Gordon Chun
Design, based in Berkeley, Calif., who worked together on The
Huntington’s award-winning permanent exhibitions “Plants are Up to
Something” in The Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical
Science and “Beautiful Science: Ideas that Changed the World” in Dibner
Hall of the History of Science, which adjoins the Library’s Main Hall.
CONTACTS: Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Blackburn, 626-405-2140, email@example.com
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[EDITOR’S NOTE: High-resolution digital images available on request for publicity use.]
About The Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research
and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. More information about
The Huntington can be found online at www.huntington.org.
The Huntington is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday holidays from 10:30 to 4:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and major holidays. Admission on weekdays: $15 adults, $12 seniors (65+), $10 students (ages 12 – 18 or with full-time student I.D.), $6 youth (ages 5 – 11), free for children under 5. Group rate $11 per person for groups of 15 or more. Members are admitted free. Admission on weekends and Monday holidays: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students, $6 youth, free for children under 5. Group rate $14 per person for groups of 15 or more. Members are admitted free. Admission is free to all visitors on the first Thursday of each month with advanced tickets. For more information, call: (626) 405-2100 or go to www.huntington.org.
Main Exhibition Hall, ink on paper, ca. 1918, Myron Hunt (1868-1952).
Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Library Main Exhibition Hall, photo, ca. 1920. Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Library Main Exhibition Hall, photo, ca. 1928-29. Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Library Main Exhibition Hall, photo, 1967. Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Library Main Exhibition Hall, photo, ca. 1978. Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Library Main Exhibition Hall. Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.