Huntington Updates Its Name, Announces A Partnership with the Hammer Museum, And Addresses the Future at Centennial Launch Event

Huntington president Karen R. LawrenceAnn Philbin, Hammer Museum director. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensSandra Ludig Brooke, Avery Director of the Library. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensChristina Nielsen, Hannah and Russel Kully Director of the Art Museum. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensJames Folsom, Marge and Sherm Telleen/Marion and Earle Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensL-R: Devis, Roy Choi, Victoria J. Orphan, Yuval Sharon and Melodie Yashar. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensHuntington president Karen R. Lawrence and Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensHuntington president Karen R. Lawrence and Klaus Biesenabach, The Maurice Marciano director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensHuntington president Karen R. Lawrence and Roy Choi, world-renowned chef. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensHuntington president Karen R. Lawrence and George Davis, executive director, California African American Museum. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensJoanne Heyler, director and chief curator, The Broad Museum (l) and Huntington president Karen R. Lawrence. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensMelodie Yashar, architect, designer, and technologist (l) and Huntington president Karen R. Lawrence (r). Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensHuntington president Karen R. Lawrence and Story. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensHuntington president Karen R. Lawrence and Devis. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensRudolph and Huntington president Karen R. Lawrence. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensHuntington president Karen R. Lawrence and Rachel Moore, president and CEO, The Music Center. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensHuntington president Karen R. Lawrence and Jin Wang, consulate general of the People\'s Republic of China in Los Angeles. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensRoy Choi, world-renowned chef. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensJohn Szabo. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensRavi S. Rajan, president, Cal Arts. Photo credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

STAFF REPORT | Photography by The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

3:06 pm | September 6, 2019


On Thursday, Sept. 5, hundreds of colleagues and cultural leaders from across Southern California gathered at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens to kick off the institution’s yearlong Centennial Celebration. The event set the stage for an ambitious series of exhibitions, public programs, and partnerships—inviting people with a range of interests to engage with the venerable institution’s collections and the connections they offer, while exploring the interdisciplinary ideas that will shape the next 100 years.

Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence hosted the event and in her opening remarks announced that the institution’s name is changing from The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens to The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. “With the word ‘museum,’ we underscore our mission as a collections-based institution that not only collects art, but interprets, displays, researchers and conserves it, interacting with our varied audiences and showcasing its relevance to the public,” said Lawrence.

President Lawrence invited Ann Philbin, director of the Hammer Museum to the stage to announce that the Hammer will partner with The Huntington in 2020 for their acclaimed biennial Made in L.A. 2020, which will take place at both institutions, providing visitors across the region an opportunity to experience the singular exhibition of contemporary art in Los Angeles. The 2020 edition seizes on an opportunity to connect an institution on the west side of Los Angeles with one on the east. Partnerships are a focal point of The Huntington’s Centennial Celebration, which will include a yearlong series of exhibitions, public programs, and new initiatives.

The formal program continued with brief remarks by Huntington leadership: Sandra Ludig Brooke, Avery Director of the Library; James Folsom, Marge and Sherm Telleen/Marion and Earle Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens; and Christina Nielsen, Hannah and Russel Kully Director of the Art Museum. Brooke, Folsom, and Nielsen all shared insights into their respective collection areas as they look toward the next 100 years.

Brooke announced that the Library recently made an acquisition that won’t reach the library shelves until shortly before The Huntington’s bicentennial. The Library has acquired a share of “Future Library,” a large-scale public art project in Norway where 1,000 spruce trees are being planted and will be harvested in 2114, turned into paper, and printed with the text of books now being written and kept secret. The Huntington will receive one of the limited-edition works being printed. Folsom poetically explained how gardeners always need to plan for the future and how a garden is much more than a collection of plants, while Nielsen reflected on the importance of diversifying the artists and voices of the art collections as the institution moves into the future.

Next was a panel discussion led by Juan Devis, chief creative officer of PBS SoCal where L.A. innovators discussed the future. The conversation brought together Roy Choi, world-renowned chef; Victoria J. Orphan, environmental scientist, MacArthur fellow, and James Irvine professor of environmental science and geobiology at Caltech in Pasadena, CA; Yuval Sharon, acclaimed theater director, MacArthur fellow, founder, and artistic director of experimental opera company The Industry in Los Angeles; and Melodie Yashar, architect, designer, and technologist.

The event concluded with a powerful musical performance by multi-instrumentalist and composer Dexter Story with musicians Ramona Gonzalez and Miguel Atwood Ferguson. The trio played selections from the Huntington’s archives, including a piece by pioneering African American composer Harold Bruce Forsythe, who lived and composed in Los Angeles during the 1920s and 1930s, and a new interpretation of Walter Donaldson’s “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree)?” from 1919, whose sheet music is included in the major exhibition of the Centennial, Nineteen Nineteen, which opens on Sept. 21.

Todd Simon and members of his Angel City All-Star Brass Band played throughout the gardens for all Huntington guests.

Guests in attendance included: Klaus Biesenabach, The Maurice Marciano director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; George Davis, executive director, California African American Museum; Joanne Heyler, director and chief curator, The Broad Museum; Bettina Korek, executive director, Frieze Los Angeles; Rachel Moore, president and CEO, The Music Center; Andrew Perchuk, deputy director, Getty Research Institute; Ravi S. Rajan, president, Cal Arts; Jeffrey Rudolph, president and CEO, California Science Center; John Szabo, city librarian, Los Angeles Public Library; Jin Wang, consulate general of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles; among others.

The Huntington’s Centennial Celebration
(September 2019 – September 2020)
For the past 100 years, The Huntington has examined the human experience through the lens of its incomparable library, art, and botanical collections. Marking its centennial with a year-long series of exhibitions and events, The Huntington celebrates the impact of its collections and the connections they offer, while exploring the interdisciplinary ideas that will shape the next 100 years.

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About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. More information about The Huntington can be found online at huntington.org

Visitor Information

The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It is open to the public Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Information: (626) 405-2100 or huntington.org.