Sept. 20, 2022 - A Refreshed Perspective
We are delighted to launch our updated website, which is now more navigable and searchable; filled with all sorts of delights; and carefully tailored to our various audiences, from visitors to members to scholars, teachers, and schoolchildren. Our website is an extension of our on-site culture, where we aim to welcome and affirm visitors of all ages, abilities, and interests, reaching all points on the globe—anywhere one can find an internet connection. In particular, our search engine is much improved, as is the calendar of upcoming events and activities. New offerings are more visible and discoverable, from educational curricula for teachers to highlights of our three collecting areas—the Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. I hope you’ll explore this new version in depth and let us know about your experience.
Like many institutions, in what feels like the beginning of a post-pandemic era, we’re marching boldly into the future. Fall seems an especially appropriate time for such bravado, as the academic year gets underway; new exhibitions go up in the galleries; a new cohort of scholars joins us on fellowship; on-site school field trips rev up; and our lectures, conferences, and public programs unfold. We’ve learned new things during the pandemic, particularly how to offer our on-site resources digitally, and we have also renewed our sense of what a colleague has called the “soul-enriching” benefits of coming together in person.
We are tremendously excited about our three fall exhibitions. “Gee’s Bend: Shared Legacy,” opening in September, is an installation of exquisitely crafted prints inspired by the acclaimed collective of women quilters from rural Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The show will also feature two of the Gee’s Bend quilts recently acquired by The Huntington, including one made for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The quilts will be shown separately over the course of the exhibition’s two installations. In October, the exhibition “Crafting a Garden: Inside the Creation of Liu Fang Yuan” sheds light on the intricacies of building the Chinese Garden, using models, photographs, tools, and videos to tell the story of its meticulous design and construction. And, in December, we open “Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts,” the internationally acclaimed show organized by the Met in New York and the Wallace Collection in London, exploring the early inspirations behind Disney Studios’ creations and examining Walt Disney’s fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in Disney films and theme parks. The exhibition features several Huntington works, including our 18th-century porcelain Tower vase, made in France’s renowned Sèvres Manufactory. Keep an eye out for the vase on street banners around town; it’s the single object selected to represent the show in New York, London, and, of course, here.
The Huntington is fortunate to have such varied and remarkable collections to draw from and a talented staff that knows how to engage audiences. This combination provides for insightful and inspiring interpretation, storytelling, and expression—the gifts of wonder.
Karen R. Lawrence, President