This spring, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens will present a major exhibition exploring a colorful and captivating aspect of California’s natural history: its wildflowers. “When They Were Wild: Recapturing California’s Wildflower Heritage,” on view March 9–June 10 in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery, will showcase more than 300 items—drawings, paintings, herbarium specimens, and other objects—that trace the journey of California’s plants from the flower fields into the home garden.
The exhibition is a collaborative project of The Huntington, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, Calif., and the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants in Sun Valley, Calif. Works from all three collections, along with loans from several other public and private collections, will be on view in the Huntington show, with related displays at the two other institutions and at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. More than a dozen public programs including lectures, workshops, plant sales, and wildflower walks will be offered at The Huntington, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and the Theodore Payne Foundation.
“When They Were Wild” draws on a rich heritage of wildflower illustration to take a closer look at California’s natural and cultural history: exploring the source of the state’s floral bounty; how people have used, categorized, and depicted these flowers; and how wildflowers came to represent the state.
“We couldn’t be more grateful to be collaborating with our colleagues on this project, presenting what might be the most ambitious exhibition on the horticultural history of California wildflowers ever mounted,” says Huntington botanical educator Kitty Connolly, who is co-curating the exhibition along with James Folsom, The Huntington’s Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens. “To be working across disciplines, looking at the intersections of science and art has been especially rewarding.”
About The Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. More information about The Huntington can be found online at www.huntington.org.
The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, Calif., 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday holidays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Summer hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day) are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and major holidays. Admission on weekdays: $20 adults, $15 seniors (65+), $12 students (ages 12–18 or with fulltime student I.D.), $8 youth (ages 5–11), free for children under 5. Group rate $11 per person for groups of 15 or more. Members are admitted free. Admission on weekends and Monday holidays: $23 adults, $18 seniors, $13 students, $8 youth, free for children under 5. Group rate $14 per person for groups of 15 or more. Members are admitted free. Admission is free to all visitors on the first Thursday of each month with advance tickets. Information: 626-405-2100 or www.huntington.org.