Members Make a Difference
"A Sense of Home"
“My first visit to The Huntington in 1967 changed my whole life,” says Milena Dostanich. At the time, she was contemplating immigrating to the United States from her native Serbia (then part of Yugoslavia) and had spent several weeks in New York, but she was so unhappy there that she considered returning to Europe. A side-trip to Southern California proved fateful when friends suggested an outing to The Huntington. As soon as she entered the grounds and felt herself surrounded by beauty and culture, she knew California would be her new home. Dostanich moved to Glendale in 1975 and became a Member the following year. The Huntington became a regular Sunday destination with friends. “It’s so vast, each time we would just pick one corner and walk it.”
Today, her favorite place is the Huntington Art Gallery, with its elegant rooms filled with exquisite 18th-century European furniture, silver, and paintings. She likes to close her eyes and imagine the mansion as it was when it was a private home. Fascinated by the history of the Huntington family, she attends every lecture about the early days of the estate. The gardens also give her great pleasure. She enjoys following the stream from the Garden of Flowing Fragrance down through the Japanese Garden, and then continuing on through the oaks and bamboo south of the Zen Garden.
As a Member at the Supporting level, Dostanich appreciates the special privileges such as Members’ quarterly lectures and exhibition previews. She also enjoys introducing friends to The Huntington. “I tell everyone, you must join and support this place.”
For 42 years, The Huntington has been a constant in Dostanich’s life, and her involvement as a Member has helped strengthen her roots to a new community. She cherishes having that personal connection to a place that literally changed her life—a place that continues to provide a sense of home to a far traveler.
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