One of my favorite places in Southern California is The Huntington Library and Gardens just outside Pasadena. The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, who had business dealings in railroads, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California. Personally I’m a fan because he loved books, art and gardens. I mean who doesn’t. It is one of the best research libraries in the world (according to their site and I would agree even though I’ve never gotten behind the vault), and he also collected amazing works of art, statuary, furniture, etc. The gardens are divided into areas like desert, tropical, Japanese, rose, etc. It’s just a lovely place to spend the day, so I begged #PocketJaime to come along and he agreed.
When we arrived it was hard for me to decide what to do first…books, art or gardens. I opted for the gardens. In all there are 14, but I think we only hit half of those. First up was what I call the Hot House, but is officially known as The Conservatory.
This warning greets you at the door:
I’ve always believed it and apparently so did M. Night Shamalamadingdong if I’m remembering that movie correctly. I call it the Hot House because it is quite warm inside due to some tropical plants and there is a little pond:
#PocketJaime swimming with the fishes…hee hee hee. Behind the Conservatory is the Children’s Garden. #PocketJaime wanted to play in the fountains but I told him to leave that to the kids. We just explored:
After leaving that area we headed toward the Rose Garden, but to get there we pass the Shakespeare Garden so #PocketJaime wanted a photo with ‘The Bard’:
Unfortunately the roses weren’t in bloom, not the season really, because it is a spectacular site when they are. Plus I admit to being cliché in that roses are my favorite flowers:
We hadn’t eaten that morning so we stopped off at the Café to get a latte and scone:
If I had thought ahead we could have made reservations at the Tea Room. Another time. And yes I had my Nook with me, you never know when you’ll find a moment to read. After our snack we headed to the Japanese Garden:
#PocketJaime was intrigued by the koi fish
And Bamboo Garden
I love the irony of this :-/
Then we headed toward the other end of the grounds because I wanted him to see some cacti. I have a suspicion those aren’t really prevalent in Scotland. He wasn’t sure what to make of the prickly plants in the Desert Garden but in the end I talked him into taking a closer look:
We had already spent nearly half the day in the gardens by this point so we headed back toward the Library and Art Galleries by cutting through the Jungle Garden because another of my favorite things is there. Not this giant Ombu tree, which #PocketJaime was quite taken with;
But because of the waterfall!!!!
Finally we made it back to the buildings.
I wanted to make sure we could spend time in the Huntington Library so we headed there first.
I have to admit, I could spend days in here…DAYS! If they let me behind that vault I could spend YEARS! As it stands, because I’m not in conservatory or research I have to content myself with the tomes on display. I showed #PocketJaime an edition of The Ellesmere Chaucer:
A collection of works by Shakespeare, including some original folios:
A copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy from 1472:
Of course he was quite interested in this booklet from 1605 entitled His Majesties speech in the last session of Parliament… which was given by James I (James VI of Scotland). Most people know the quote “Remeber, remember the 5th of November…” which is from a poem that V for Vendetta used and the mask I think is based off some Guy Fawkes effigy. For those who know history, you will know that this speech was given to Parliament after the thwarted attempt by Guy Fawkes and his conspirators to blow up Parliament.
Of course he also wanted a pic with this copy of the ‘Declaration of Independence’:
I found these copies of Dickens illustrations more my taste:
We made our way out of the main library and into a section that dealt with some of the Sciences. First up was Astronomy:
#PocketJaime wanted a pic with this book about Isaac Newton’s telescope:
There were so many interesting books that detailed how our understanding of the Solar System has changed, but we moved on to the next room where biology and botany were on display:
The have a lot of copies of Origin of the Species by Darwin
#PocketJaime wanted me to take some pics of the anatomy and medical books for Claire:
I think the above model of a pregnant woman and what her internal organs looks like is my favorite…
My how times have changed.
The next room had displays of light bulbs:
I felt we’d exhausted this building so we headed over to the main Huntington Art Gallery which used to be the family’s home. We walked around outside to get some pics from the outside courtyard and of some sculptures that captured #PocketJaime’s interest:
Once inside we walked through one of my favorite rooms. #PocketJaime felt a little at home since the furniture was familiar, but I had to stop him from trying to sit on any 😉 I had to explain that in the 21st c. these are antiques and very fragile:
He liked this painting of Samuel Johnson:
Being a huge Wedgewood admirer I loved this bureau:
The dining room’s chandelier is lovely:
We headed to the galleries and I had to get #PocketJaime’s picture with ‘Blue Boy’ and ‘Pinky’:
I thought he’d enjoy these snuff boxes
He wasn’t too enamored with this medallion of James Edward, the Old Pretender
There was more Wedgewood upstairs
And I forced him to take a pic with some
I love iconography and Medieval religious paintings. I thought this was lovely:
This pic of Vesuvius is one of my favorites as well:
Hmm…possible inspiration for Lord John Grey?
On our way to the next gallery we passed a Sculpture Garden:
#PocketJaime wanted a rest and it had started to sprinkle so we took a moment to enjoy the rare rain shower:
#PocketJaime gets a little lonely for the gloomy days since it’s pretty much sunny and warm here all the time. Can’t blame him, rain has become my favorite weather because it’s so rare. But I was anxious to get him to the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries because I wanted his opinion on how closely these paintings represented their subject:
George Washington of course…he he he. The only answer I got from #PocketJaime was a snort. Hmmm…
Most of this gallery is American arts and there are some sections you can’t photograph, like the Greene & Greene room so I didn’t take a lot. Plus, I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of art during and after the Impressionism. I do like some and can appreciate it, but Warhol baffles me. Tiffany on the other hand:
Now I wouldn’t mind a few of their pieces in my own collection.
The museum was about to close so we headed to the gift shop where this mug caught my eye:
Well…if you insist 😉 I also loved this wall of Austen:
I wound up buying a set of Jane Austen temporary tats (second shelf, middle) and a cuff bracelet with a quote from Sense and Sensibility: “The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” it seemed a bit too autobiographical not to have ;P
In all I think #PocketJaime enjoyed his day. He definitely liked the looks of these storm clouds that were heading in and I couldn’t agree more.
More adventures of #PocketJaime are on the way. Stay tuned…
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