Members Make a Difference
"Nurturing a Deeper Connection"
Huntington Members often find additional ways to support the institution, beyond their vitally important financial contributions. Many offer their time and talents as volunteers or participate in organizations whose philanthropy benefits the institution. Hildegard Lindsay is one such Member whose connection to The Huntington runs deep.
Lindsay discovered The Huntington soon after she immigrated to Southern California from Germany in the 1960s. She was immediately captivated by the Japanese Garden. “It was different and exotic in a very remote way,” she explains. Drawn by its quietude, she appreciated the way it presented nature improved and cultivated but not dominated by man; how it invited observation and reflection, and illustrated the spirituality inherent in Japanese tradition.
In the 1970s, Lindsay expanded her relationship with the Japanese Garden when she joined the San Marino League, an organization that has long supported the garden and its educational activities. She began studying the art of ikebana flower arranging in classes led by the late Mary B. Taylor Hunt, one of the founding members of the league. Ikebana students provided fresh flower arrangements each week to grace the interior of the Japanese house, a tradition that continues to this day.
Lindsay also joined the docent program, and when leading school tours through the Japanese Garden, she would stop at a small waterfall and ask the children to close their eyes and listen to the sound of the water. She would then invite them to think about the different sounds water can have, like the ocean or rain, or even the bathtub faucet. She found particular enjoyment in introducing them to the pleasures of observation and quiet reflection.
Today, Lindsay says she is still a “faithful student” of ikebana and regularly attends weekly classes. When she visits the Japanese Garden as a Sustaining Member, she now sees her role at The Huntington as “caring and supervising quietly...for the goodness of the earth,” helping to preserve a very special place for the benefit of those to follow.
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