Sunday, September 15, 2013


This week's blog is brought to you by guest blogger Kami LaBerge.

Since Lori's blog post last week discussed her adventures creating art in the great outdoors, I thought I would introduce you to a place that embraces both art and nature.

The Huntington Library is one of my favorite locations in the Los Angeles area. Though it's a research-based institution, the Huntington Library is also home to an extensive art collection and acres of breathtaking botanical gardens.

The Huntington Library is located at the former residence of Henry E. Huntington, an early 20th-century railroad magnate and art collector. Huntington played a massive role in the development of Los Angeles in the first few decades of the 20th-century. He was not only President of the Pacific Railway Company, he also purchased hundreds of acres of land in the LA area for urban development purposes.

I always find the Huntington to be a calming retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life in Los Angeles.

The architecture of the Huntington Library borrows from classical design.

Vibrant colors surround visitors.

The art collection at the Huntington Library is amazing, ranging from 18th-century French sculpture, to an extensive collection of 19th-century American silver, to abstract expressionist paintings.

A Frank Lloyd Wright table set was the centerpiece of one gallery.

The Huntington Library's botanical gardens are just as lovely. The gardens include a cactus collection, a rose garden, an herb garden, a Chinese garden, a Japanese garden, and a collection of Australian plants. More than 14,000 varieties of plants call the Huntington Library home. The rose garden is perhaps the most popular section.

My personal favorite is the Japanese garden, which is home to a large Koi pond, a Japanese tea room, and a spectacular bonsai collection.

Lori's closing statement last week was to "head out into the great outdoors, look at how light affects color and have a great day." I encourage the same. Are there places in your community that blend the beauty of art and of nature?

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