If you are in the market for something fun and cultural for your family to do, why not visit the Huntington Library over in San Marino? This library is rated as one of the top landmarks in the area and has a lot to offer. But, if you are going to load up the family, it helps to have a plan of action so that you can see as much as possible during your visit. Here are several amazing things you need to put in your plan to make sure you get the most out of your day.
The Gutenberg Bible
The original Gutenberg Bible was printed by Johannes Gutenberg at his print shop in Mainz, Germany somewhere around 1455. It is reputed to be the first book of substantial size to have been printed in the western world using movable metal type. While this is not the original book, it is one of 11 known copies in existence to have been printed on vellum. From time to time, the library changes the pages on display. This is done not only to help preserve the pages, but also to give the public something new to see.
The Blue Boy
The Blue Boy was painted by Thomas Gainsborough in 1170 and shows a young 18th-century person wearing 17th-century attire holding an infant. The aristocratic attire is thought to have been chosen as a way to honor well-known court painter Anthony Van Dyke. This year, the painting will be taken off display from August 8th through October 31st for a conservation study. During 2018, it will also be taken down from time to time for conservation work.
The Madonna and Child
Painted in the mid-15th century by Rogier van der Weyden, this classic painting depicts a captivating blend of peacefulness and motherly concern. It can be seen on the second floor of the library along with a large selection of other Renaissance paintings and bronze sculptures.
John James Audubon’s The Birds of America
This large format book by America’s premier bird expert John James Audubon features pages that measure a massive 26 inches wide by 39 inches tall. The pages were made this large to allow the use of the photographs of the birds to be printed full-size. Like many of the books on display at the library, the pages are turned from time to time to help preserve them and allow visitors to see more.
The Huntington Library is also home to the Desert Garden created in 1907 that features more than 2,000 different types of succulents and other desert plants. In the Japanese Garden, you will find a traditional Japanese house overlooking a pond and a moon bridge. A wandering path takes you past a waterfall and into a Zen Garden and then to the Bonsai Court where you will find a ceremonial tea house. In 2008 the library debuted the Chinese Garden named Liu Fang Yuan (The Garden of Flowing Fragrance) where you will find traditional Chinese teas and cuisine being served in the pavilions surrounding the 1.5-acre lake.
Plan for a long day or two visiting this amazing library located at 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino. The library is open Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.