The joint exhibit on California wildflowers ends on 8 July 2013 (Monday) after being extended for one month. The exhibit at the Huntington Library was originally scheduled to close on 10 June 2013.


“When They Were Wild: Recapturing California’s Wildflower Heritage” at the Huntington Library (MaryLou and George Boon Gallery) is a collaborative project by the Hunting Library with the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Over 300 objects are taken from the three institutions along with loans from several other collections. This shows how the natural beauty of California plants was first recorded and appreciated as horticultural specimens, design motifs and artistic inspirations.



The exhibit opened during one of the worst wildflower seasons, but may inspire you to plant some of these beauties in your own gardens.

You can also view two exhibitions that recently opened in June: “Useful Hours”  which runs until 2 September 2013 and “Revisiting the Cottage Door” which runs until 2 December 2013.

“Revisiting The Cottage Door: Gainsborough’s Masterpiece in Focus” is a rare gathering of three works by Thomas Gainsborough: “The Cottage Door” which belongs to The Huntington and two later version on loan from private collections. All three paintings are exhibited in the Huntington Art Gallery.



“Useful Hours” in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art is an intimate exhibit of more than 20 examples of needlework that are samplers, coats of arms, mourning pictures or family trees, mostly made by young women in their early teens. These were often made as preparation for marriage and later life.

You can make reservations for two related programs:

Embroidery Workshop
July 27 (Saturday) 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries most girls learned cross-stitch at a very young age and produced samplers that were often hung with great pride in the family home. At the turn of the 20th century, a new form of conventionalized design was developed and became prevalent in surface embroidery. Join Ann Chaves of Inglenook Needlework Studio and create a small table runner, with a botanical motif, based on an Arts and Crafts style design. The runner will be embroidered with purl cotton thread on fine Belgian linen. All supplies included in the class fee. Members: $140. Non-members: $155. Registration: 626-405-2128.


Lecture – Thirsting for Knowledge: Women’s Education in the Early Republic

Aug. 14 (Wednesday) 7:30 p.m.
The exhibition “Useful Hours: Needlework and Painted Textiles from Southern California Collections” holds examples of beautiful samplers and pictorial embroidery from the early 19th century. Does this needlework represent the extent of women’s education during the period? Margaret A. Nash, associate professor and graduate advisor for continuing students at U.C. Riverside’s Graduate School of Education, discusses educational possibilities open to women in the early American Republic, and the social and cultural factors that shaped women’s aspirations, including Enlightenment beliefs, religious expectations, opportunities for employment, and a desire for education. Free; no reservations required. Ahmanson Room, Botanical Center.

For more information, visit The Huntington’s website. The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108 (626) 405.2100.