Lifelines/Timelines: Exploring The Huntington’s Collections Through Bonsai

14 Mar 2020 – 15 Jun 2020

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00

Save Event: Lifelines/Timelines: Exploring The Huntington’s Collections Through Bonsai

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Installations at five gallery entrances: Mapel Orientation Gallery, Library Main Hall, Dibner Hall of the History of Science, Huntington Art Gallery, and Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art


How do five venerable bonsai trees relate in age and historical significance to important works in The Huntington's library and art collections? With an interdisciplinary approach that only The Huntington could offer, "Lifelines/Timelines" explores the march of time by comparing the age of selected California juniper bonsai alongside benchmarks in the institution's 100-year history, and with significant pieces on view in the library and art galleries. Lines in the grain of natural deadwood sections of these bonsai can be used to calculate the tree's age, much like the rings in a cross-section. Which line of a tree's growth corresponds to the publication of Shakespeare's First Folio in 1623? How does its age relate to the creation of Thomas Gainsborough's masterpiece, The Blue Boy, painted ca. 1770? Each of the exhibition's five bonsai installations, located at gallery entrances, include an illustrated timeline, interactive elements geared toward children, and other interpretive materials, offering an entirely new perspective on The Huntington's holdings.

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