The Huntington and Norton Simon Museum

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 14, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, June 3, 2011

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I went to The Huntington Library and Museums today.  The Huntington Library has one of the world's largest collections of rare books and manuscripts in the fields of British and American history and literature.  Among the books on display is the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a Gutenberg Bible and a volume of the double-elephant folio edition of Audobon's Birds of America.  Another section of the library's displays contains a large number of books on science, medicine and technology including replicas of Galileo's telescope and a couple early microscopes.  They also have a large display of early light bulbs, which I liked.

The Museums portion of the name refers to their art collections, which occupy two separate buildings.  One building contains European art and decorative arts.  The other building contains American art and decorative arts from the colonial period through the middle of the 20th century.  A few of the highlights are Mary Cassatt's Breakfast in Bed, Edward Hopper's The Long Leg and Frederic Church's Chimbarazo.  Among the highlights for me were the Sam Maloof and Frank Lloyd Wright furniture.

They have 120 acres of gardens, which also contain some statuary.  Unfortunately, I didn't have time to see much of them.  From the little I saw and what I've been told, they're quite good.

Next on the agenda was the Norton Simon Museum.  The museum has European and American works from the 14th to the 20th centuries, a large Asian art collection collection, mostly from South and Southeast Asia, and a Sculpture Garden.  They have a lot of important works.  Among the highlights are their Rodin, Degas and Henry Moore sculpture collections and paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso, Braque, Klee, Kandinsky and Warhol and a Calder mobile.  I liked the museum a lot and wasn't ready to leave when they closed at 9:00.
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