A Trip to the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens – From Our Eyes:
The trip was organized by Associate Dean Stephanie Takaragawa, Its National Endowment for the Humanities grant to establish an Asian American Studies branch, and funded opportunities for field trips and experiential learning workshops. Previous trips have included the Chinese American Museum, the Museum of Latin American Art, the Bowers Museum, and the Japanese American National Museum.
Asian American History at Huntington
Our trip began with a private tour of the Huntington Research Center, which houses rare books, manuscripts, and artifacts, designed to represent diverse cultures.
Huntington University used to focus primarily on Western subjects but has diversified its collection and hired experts in other areas of study. Our tour guide was Li Wei Yang, curator of the Pacific Rim Collection. One of the most interesting items we had the privilege of viewing was a long-lost Chinese encyclopedia, completed in 1408. Yang explained how Huntington came into possession of this encyclopedia through the Boxer Rebellion, which led to mass destruction and plundering of Chinese property. Cultural Heritage. The encyclopedia found at Huntington was recovered by American missionaries who used it to protect themselves from gunfire. The missionary who eventually acquired it brought it to Ohio, where his family kept it until it was donated in 1968. As a group we discussed the complexity surrounding museum objects that came into being through colonialism and Western imperialism. Our guide explained that the decision to keep the encyclopedia at the Huntington Museum was difficult, but ultimately stemmed from a desire to make it accessible to a broader academic audience than would be the case in China.
Other materials we viewed included letters between Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani and her advisor while trying to reclaim her kingdom, and papers written in multiple languages by the first president of the Philippines. Emilio Aguinaldo. Another notable item is a Japanese scroll from 1853 detailing the conquest of Japan. It included words and illustrations depicting American ships versus Japanese ships, and told the story of the Perry Gallery through the eyes of Japan. Another valuable artifact is the first Latin edition of The Adventures of Marco Polo, published in 1485.
The research centre, which was previously available only to professors and Ph.D. Candidates, is now open to anyone with a specific research project in mind, over the age of 18. If granted access, one can use the many quiet reading rooms to explore and study the extensive collections, which. The collection includes rare books, first editions, and manuscripts housed in temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms in multiple areas of study.
Gardens and art galleries
Gorgeous gardens, from the Japanese Gardens to the Forest Garden, seamlessly blend art and nature. One of the current exhibitions of the famous artist Betye Saar. Her exhibition, “Drifting into Twilight,” a large-scale assembly commissioned by The Huntington, aims to blend gardens with galleries, bringing the outside in. Saar used an 18-foot canoe, antlers, bird cages and materials she obtained from Huntington. Reasons.
From the gardens to the galleries and impressive research centre, Wilkinson’s trip to The Huntington was an enriching experience that sparked meaningful conversations about historically significant items, collections and exhibitions. Our trip to The Huntington and the private tour deepened our appreciation for this institution’s mission of making research materials accessible to those who wish to use them and the institution’s dedication to the pursuit of knowledge and the preservation of history.