Haunting the Huntington

A bench at the Rose Garden, Huntington Library. There are many benches adorning the pleasance, for those of us who enjoy a periodic nap.
A bench at the Rose Garden, Huntington Library. There are many benches adorning this pleasance, for those of us who enjoy a periodic nap.

My wife and I haunted the Huntington a few days ago. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens was founded in San Marino, California in 1919 by Henry Huntington.

The famous paintings, Blue Boy and Pinkie are ensconced at the Huntington. Blue Boy was painted in 1770 by Thomas Gainsborough. My wife, who was once an art student, tells me that the bright colors of this painting were unusual for the day. Many considered it ostentatious and even pornographic, and some wanted to tar and feather the poor artist. If only those prudes could be around these days to surf some of the "art" you can find on the internet.
The famous paintings, Blue Boy and Pinkie, are ensconced at the Huntington. Blue Boy was painted in 1770 by Thomas Gainsborough. My wife, who was once an art student, tells me that the bright colors of this painting were unusual for the day. Many considered it ostentatious and even pornographic, and some wanted to tar and feather the poor artist. If only those prigs could be around these days to surf some of the “art” you can find on the internet.

He was a business tycoon who married his widowed aunt in 1913. In those days, incest was perfectly acceptable amongst the gentry, as long as they kept it in the family.

Pinkie was painted in 1794 by Thomas Lawrence. My wife, the art student, had always thought the painter was the same fellow who limned Blue Boy. Ha! Pinkie was renamed by the Huntington, "Sarah Barret Moulton: Pinkie" after the young lady who posed for this portrait. She died one year later, at the age of 12. Poor Pinkie. And by the way, she never got to meet Blue Boy. Her niece was the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Pinkie was painted in 1794 by Thomas Lawrence. My wife, the art student, had always thought the painter was the same fellow who limned Blue Boy. Ha! Shows how much she knows. Pinkie was renamed by the Huntington, “Sarah Barret Moulton: Pinkie” after the young lady who posed for this portrait. She died one year later, at the age of 12. Poor Pinkie. And by the way, she never got to meet Blue Boy. Her niece was the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Together, he and his antewife auntie collected rare books, masterpieces of art, and botanical exotics.

Speaking of Pinkie, these bright pink flowers nearly blinded me, in the Desert Garden.
Speaking of Pinkie, these bright pink flowers nearly blinded me, in the Desert Garden.

They placed it all in a trust in 1919, so that the hoi polloi, including my wife and me, could come on down, give it a gander, and be awesomely inspired.

"A Breezy Day" was painted in 1887 by Charles Courtney Curran. Perhaps not a good day for a picnic, or whatever these ladies are up to.
“A Breezy Day” was painted in 1887 by Charles Courtney Curran. Perhaps not a good day for a picnic, or whatever these ladies are up to.

Today the Huntington Library hosts more than a half million guests a year.

A bloom on a Eucalyptus tree, in the Australian Garden.
A bloom on a Eucalyptus tree, in the Australian Garden. The bee loved the pollen. My sinuses weren’t so appreciative.

About 1,700 scholars from around the world conduct advanced humanities research every year, at the Huntington. Some have included Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and even Oscar winners such as Katharine Hepburn. Hey, no one gives a damn about those other folks, but Katharine Hepburn? Wow!

A sculpture in the Chinese Garden. Very mysterious meaning here.
A sculpture in the Chinese Garden. Very mysterious meaning here.

There are eleven different gardens at the Huntington, featuring plants from various climates and regions. I noticed that the Chinese Garden had many Chinese visitors, and the neighboring Japanese Garden had many Japanese guests. But not many Chinese seemed to be visiting the Japanese Garden, or vice-versa. Centuries-old suspicions seem to persist, even on American soil.

A camellia in the Japanese Garden.
A camellia in the Japanese Garden.

There are three different art galleries. One is devoted to European Art (Huntington Art Gallery), one is devoted to American Art (Scott Art Galleries), and the other is just for any old art, I guess (Boone Gallery).

I can't remember the name of this painting, or the artist. I like to call it, "Smoking Boys" by Philip Morris.
I can’t remember the name of this painting, or the artist. I like to call it, “Smoking Boys” by Philip Morris.

My wife and I were in the Huntington Art Gallery, admiring fine portraits of ancient aristocrats. We were milling about with dozens of other quiet and reflective admirers. One man thought he was alone, and let a big fart while gazing pensively at a George Romney masterpiece. He didn’t notice my wife standing behind him. She finished his flatulent statement by saying “. . . goes the weasel!” He slinked away, looking embarrassed. Too bad. There’s no need to feel embarrassed about being artsy-fartsy.

My wife, the art student, informed me in whispered, hushed, respectful tones, that the name of this sculpture is "Penis Lady".
My wife, the art student, informed me in whispered, hushed, respectful tones, that the name of this sculpture is “Penis Lady”. Frankly, I don’t see it.
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5 thoughts on “Haunting the Huntington

  1. Pop goes the weasel… love it, I’ll have to use that on someone one day. Funny what people will do when they think they’re alone. A friend reported going into a public bathroom and encountering the sounds of a patron who obviously thought she was alone–55 seconds worth! When the farter heard running water and paper towels, she opted to conceal her identity by remaining in the stall. Keep ’em coming! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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