LA’s Huntington Museum Expands American Art Galleries

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. Photo: Aaron Logan, via Wikimedia Commons.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. Photo: Aaron Logan, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, is about to unveil a significant expansion of its American Art galleries, set to open to the public on July 19, reports the Pasadena Star-News.

Five new rooms (formerly used as storage) with 5,400 square feet of exhibition space will give the institution a total of 21,000 square feet of gallery space for American art spread over 18 rooms. Thanks to the expanded galleries, the museum will have 116 additional works on view, drawing from its storage facilities and new acquisitions, as well as borrowed objects.

Chief curator Jessica Todd Smith has incorporated a wide range of American artwork, tracing its evolution from the colonial era through the 20th century, in an assortment of different media. “There are few places that take this approach,” she told the Star-Times. “So we have on display painting, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, drawings, and photographs in great depth and over a greater amount of galleries than some of our sister institutions, also which have wonderful collections.”

Among the new works in the museum’s collection are pieces from the Ashcan school, Depression era, and Pop art movement. The Huntington only began expanding its holding to include work created after 1945 five years ago, when the American galleries were last expanded (at that time, their square footage doubled). In the 30 years since the museum opened the American galleries, its American art collection has grown from 50 paintings to more than 12,000 objects.


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