Public Programs Available at The Huntington Library August – October

More public programs are added regularly; check for updates

PHOTO: The Huntington |


Ranch Open House

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Saturdays 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Stop by The Huntington’s urban agriculture site during its weekly open hours and pick up some fresh ideas for sustainable gardening. Volunteers from the L.A. Master Gardener program will be on hand to answer questions and offer seasonal tips. The half-acre Ranch Garden; part classroom, part research lab, draws inspiration from The Huntington’s agricultural heritage to explore optimal approaches to gardening in Southern California’s semi-arid climate. The mission of the Ranch is to reconnect people with their food in beautiful and livable ways, inspiring visitors to incorporate edibles into the landscape of their home gardens. From the Teaching Greenhouse, follow signs to the site. Cancelled in the event of rain. General admission. Ranch Garden

Family Drop-in Program

Weekend Botanical Art

Through Aug. 26 (every Saturday & Sunday) noon – 4 p.m.

Drop by the Botanical Center any weekend during the run of the exhibition “Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens” (through Aug. 26) and enjoy family activities centered around botanical art. The activities are facilitated by members of the Botanical Artists’ Guild of Southern California, a chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists. In addition to on-going demonstrations by the artists of various media and techniques; watercolor, pen and ink, etching, graphite. There will be opportunities for adults and children to engage in hands-on botanical art, such as leaf rubbing, sketching and drawing, and making observations of plant structure under magnification. General admission. Brody Botanical Center

Music in the Chinese Garden

Wednesdays 1 – 3 p.m.

Enjoy traditional Chinese music every Wednesday afternoon in the Garden of Flowing Fragrance. A different solo musician will perform each week in the Love for the Lotus Pavilion, adding to the garden’s ambience with the sounds of the pipa (lute), erhu (two-stringed fiddle) dizi (flute),yangqin (dulcimer), or guzheng (zither). General admission. Cancelled in the event of rain.Chinese Garden

Garden Talk & Sale

Plant Sale Nursery Open House

Aug. 9 (Thursday) 2:30 p.m.

Join us for our second annual Plant Sale Nursery Open House and Sale and pick up seasonal gardening tips on propagation, watering techniques, and xeriscape gardening during a series of informal talks in the nursery. Best of all, take 20% off all plant purchases. Complimentary refreshments will be served, including freshly squeezed lemonade. A plant sale follows the talk. Free; no reservations required. Plant Sale Nursery

Talk & Book Signing

Belonging on an Island: Birds, Extinction, and Evolution in Hawaii

Aug. 16 (Thursday) 7:30 p.m.

Daniel Lewis, the Dibner Senior Curator of the History of Science at The Huntington, discusses his new book about the birds of Hawaii. Belonging on an Island: Birds, Extinction, and Evolution in Hawaii takes readers on a thousand-year journey as it explores the state’s magnificent birds, touching on topics ranging from the concept of belonging to the work of pioneering bird conservationists. Lewis builds his lively text around four species: the Stumbling Moa-Nalo, the Kauai O’o, the Palila, and the Japanese White-Eye. A book signing follows the lecture. Free; no reservation required. Rothenberg Hall

Chinese Music – Love, Hatred, Passion, & Vengeance: A Selection of Kun Opera Arias

Aug. 19 (Sunday) 2 p.m.

Enjoy an afternoon of Kun opera arias and traditional Chinese chamber music performed by the Chinese Kwun Opera Society and Spring Thunder Music Association. Kun opera, or kunqu, is one of the oldest and most refined forms of opera in China. Highlights of the performance will include A Stroll in the Garden and An Interrupted Dream from the 16th-century play The Peony Pavilion, and a scene from the opera Prophetic Paintings. $10. Register online.Rothenberg Hall.

Curator Tour

Spirit and Essence, Line and Form: The Graphic Work of Henry Moore

Aug. 22 (Wednesday) 5 p.m.

The most prominent British sculptor of the 20th century, Henry Moore was also a prolific graphic artist, producing drawings as well as hundreds of prints. Curator Melinda McCurdy will give a private tour of the current exhibition that showcases approximately 25 prints drawn from the recent gift of some 330 works of Moore’s graphic art. Members: $15. Non-Members: $20. Register online.


Succulent Plants Symposium

Sept. 1 (Saturday) 9 – 5 p.m.

Succulent experts from across the United States will discuss topics including conservation ecology, phylogenomics in Cactaceae, plants of South Africa, and what’s new within theCotyledon, Adromischus, and Tylecodon genera. $85. Preregistration is required. Registration: 626-405-3504. Ahmanson Room, Brody Botanical Center

Garden Talk & Sale

Embracing the Nature of California: The Trials and Rewards of Native Plant Gardening

Sept. 13 (Thursday) 2:30 p.m.

The transition from conventional to native plant landscaping can involve a bit of trial and error. Kitty Connolly, executive director of the Theodore Payne Foundation and a self-described enthusiastic amateur gardener, shares her experiences with her own garden makeover as a case study to inspire others to embrace native plants. A plant sale follows the talk. Free; no reservations required. Ahmanson Room, Brody Botanical Center

Nightwalk in the Chinese Garden

Written and Directed by Stan Lai

Sept. 21 – Oct. 26 (nightly, excluding Sundays)

7:30 – 9 p.m.

A new work by internationally acclaimed playwright Stan Lai will have its world premiere at The Huntington this fall. Nightwalk in the Chinese Garden, presented in partnership with CalArts Center for New Performance, was written by Stan Lai exclusively for The Huntington’s Chinese Garden. Set against the mystical backdrop of the garden, lake, and pavilions at night, the play weaves together elements of the famous Chinese romantic tragicomedy The Peony Pavilion with tales of early 20th-century California. The play will be performed in English with some passages from The Peony Pavilion sung in Chinese. Lai is one of the preeminent voices in contemporary Chinese theater. He helped revolutionize modern theater in Taiwan in the 1980s, and his work has influenced a new generation of artists and theater-goers throughout mainland China. Tickets: Members: $85 – $140 / Non-Members: $95 – $150. Advance reservations required. Tickets on sale Aug. 1. Details:

Huntington-USC Western Environment Series

Slick Policy: Environmental and Science Policy in the Aftermath of the Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Sept. 17 (Monday) 4 – 5 p.m.

This fall, the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West will kick off a suite of programs on the environmental history of the modern American West. In the first lecture, Teresa Sabol Spezio, visiting assistant professor in Environmental Analysis at Pitzer College, will discuss the 1969 oil spill in the Santa Barbara Channel, which galvanized the modern environmental movement in California and beyond. Free; no reservations required. Ahmanson Room, Botanical Center.

Rogers Distinguished Fellow Lecture

Our Civil War: How Americans Understand the Great American Conflict

Sept. 26 (Wednesday) 7:30 p.m.

Gary W. Gallagher, the John L. Nau III Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Virginia, will explore how popular and academic understandings of the Civil War align with, or depart from, the reality of the conflict. Free; no reservations required. Rothenberg Hall


Huntington-USC Western Environment Series

California, Birthplace of the Hispanic Conservative Movement

Oct. 2 (Tuesday) 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Geraldo L. Cadava, associate professor of History at Northwestern University, will discuss the role of California as the birthplace of the Hispanic Conservative Movement between the 1960s and 1990s, including political and environmental issues. The lecture is part of a series on western American environmental history organized by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. Free; no reservations required. Ahmanson Room, Botanical Center.

Isherwood-Bachardy Lecture

Filming Christopher Isherwood: A Single Man from the Page to the Screen

Oct. 3 (Wednesday) 7:30 p.m.

Tom Ford, fashion designer and filmmaker, discusses the making of his 2009 film A Single Man, based on Christopher Isherwood’s semi-autobiographical novel, published in 1964. Isherwood’s archive, including the manuscript of the novel, is part of The Huntington’s literary collections. Ford’s lecture will be followed the next evening by a screening of the film. (See next listing). Free; reservations required. Reservations will be available in mid-August Rothenberg Hall

Film Screening

A Single Man

Oct. 4 (Thursday) 7:30 p.m.

The Huntington will present a screening of Tom Ford’s 2009 film A Single Man, which was based on Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel by the same name. Isherwood’s literary archive is part of The Huntington’s collections. On the evening preceding the screening, Ford will give a lecture about the making of the film, which starred Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. (See previous listing.) Free; reservations required. Reservations will available in mid-August Hall

Ridge Lecture

Jack London in Hawaii

Oct. 10 (Wednesday) 7:30 p.m.

Paul Theroux, travel writer and novelist, will discuss how Jack London’s experiences and observations in the Hawaiian Islands still resonate today, based on his own experiences and observation as a 30-year resident there. This pairing of speaker and subject has particular relevance at The Huntington, as the Library’s holdings include the literary archives of both Theroux and London. Free; reservations required. Reservations: Hall

Garden Talk

Designing a Firewise Landscape

Thursday, Oct. 11 (Thursday) 2:30 p.m.

When a wildfire breaks out, residential landscapes can become fuel, causing flames to spread. Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping, will discuss how to protect your home by designing a firewise landscape that incorporates low-ignition plants such as California fescue grass, deer grass, manzanita, agave, aloe, and ice plant, among others. Free; no reservations required.


Empowering Appetites: The Political Economy and Culture of Food in the Early Atlantic World

Oct. 12 – 13 (Friday/Saturday) 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This interdisciplinary conference focuses on the transatlantic dynamics of food and power in the long 18th century. Historians, historical geographers, and literary scholars will assess the significant role of food in shaping interpersonal and geopolitical relations during this period, focusing in particular on the perceived and real impact of scarcity and social unrest. $25. Registration: Rothenberg Hall

Talk & Book Signing

Desert Gardens of Steve Martino

Oct. 14 (Sunday) 2:30 p.m.

Award-winning landscape architect Steve Martino will be joined by Caren Yglesias, author of Desert Gardens of Steve Martino, for a discussion about landscaping for arid climates. For more than 30 years, Martino’s pioneering designs have combined dramatic man-made elements with native plants in gardens that honor the natural ecology of the desert. Starting with the interplay of light and shadow, Martino’s desert-derived aesthetic creates inviting spaces of beauty and color while solving common site problems such as lack of privacy or shade. The book features 21 of Martino’s projects (including his own Arizona home, which he dubs his “laboratory”), photographed by Steve Gunther. Desert Gardens of Steve Martino (The Monacelli Press; $50 hardcover) is available in the Huntington Store. A book signing follows the talk. Free; no reservations required. Rothenberg Hall

International Orchid Show and Sale

Oct. 19/21 (Friday/Sunday) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Celebrate the amazing diversity of orchids – a vast family of more than 22,000 species in 880 genera – as hundreds of exotic blooms compete for honors at The Huntington’s 4th annual International Orchid Show and Sale. The event will showcase lush displays by local and regional orchid societies and international growers, and vendors will have a wide range of orchid plants and related merchandise for sale. General admission. Brody Botanical Center

Ritchie Distinguished Fellow Lecture

Reader, Can You Assist Me?: John James Audubon and the Origins of Citizen Science

Oct. 24 (Wednesday) 7:30 p.m.

Gregory Nobles, professor emeritus of history at Georgia Institute of Technology, explores the role of ordinary observers in scientific developments from Audubon’s era in the 19th century to the present day. Free; no reservations required. Rothenberg Hall

Huntington-USC Western Environment Series

California Greenin’: How the Golden State Became an Environmental Leader

Oct. 25 (Thursday) 4 – 5 p.m.

From its historic protection of Yosemite in 1864 to its contemporary initiatives to address global climate change, California has long been a leader in environmental policy. David Vogel, professor emeritus at the Haas School of Business Ethics at UC Berkeley, will examine California’s “greening,” emphasizing the role played by the state’s distinctive geography, citizen mobilization, and business interests. The lecture is presented by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. Free; no reservations required. Ahmanson Room, Botanical Center.

Fall Plant Sale

Oct. 26 – 28 (Friday – Sunday) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Autumn is the perfect time to plant California natives, and our Fall Plant Sale is the perfect place to stock up on all your favorites. You’ll find manzanita, salvia, buckwheat, ceanothus, desert mallow, and many others. The sale will also feature water-wise Southwestern gems such as Texas ranger, tecoma, and chocolate daisy; plus an assortment of Australian natives that are ideal for our local climate, including grevillea and callistemon. If you live in the foothills or canyons, check out the selection of firewise grasses, shrubs, and groundcovers. The sale will also offer a wide variety of herbs, cacti and succulents, bulbs, and much more. General admission. (Members enter free.) Plant Sale Nursery

Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre with Poe and Gorey

Oct. 27 (Saturday) 6:30 – 10 p.m.

Thrill to the tales of Edgar Allan Poe and Edward Gorey in an evening of chilling drama presented by the actors of the Guild of St. George. Haunting works will be enacted throughout the moonlit grounds, including “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Gashlycrumb Tinies,” and more. Ages 10 to adult. (May be too intense for younger children.) Members: $55. Non-Members: $65. Registration:


Architects of a Golden Age

Oct 06, 2018 – Jan 21, 2019

Library, West Hall

Documenting one of the most creative and influential periods in Southern California architecture, the exhibition spotlights about 20 original drawings and plans selected from The Huntington’s important Southern California architecture collection.

Project Blue Boy

Sep 22, 2018 – Sep 30, 2019

Huntington Art Gallery

The Blue Boy undergoes its first major technical examination and conservation treatment in public view, in a special satellite conservation studio set up in the west end of The Huntington’s grand portrait gallery.

Sustainable Luxury

Jul 14 – Nov 12, 2018

Huntington Art Gallery

This exhibition presents a selection of 18 drawings, wallpapers and textiles from The Huntington´s holdings of Morris & Co. materials.

Spirit and Essence, Line and Form: The Graphic Work of Henry Moore

Jun 16 – Oct 01, 2018

Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art

“Spirit and Essence, Line and Form” showcases approximately 25 works on paper culled from the recent gift of some 330 works of Henry Moore’s graphic art from the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation.

Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens

May 19 – Aug. 27, 2018

Brody Botanical Center, Flora Legium Gallery

Organized by The New York Botanical Garden and the American Society of Botanical Artists, this traveling exhibition of original botanical artworks spotlights one of the planet’s most important and beautiful resources-its trees-as cultivated by botanical gardens and arboreta.

Orbit Pavilion

Oct. 29, 2016 – Sept. 2, 2019

Celebration Lawn

The outdoor installation is the brainchild of Dan Goods and David Delgado, visual strategists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who conceived an innovative “soundscape” representing the movement of the International Space Station and 19 Earth satellites.