The week leading up to that day when we swap out the old calendar for the new is always a favorite for taking stock of all that has happened—from the mundane to the milestone—over the past 12 months and gearing up to embark on the dozen to come. As we here at Verso took a look back with an eye to the months ahead, we compiled a list of 10 posts from the past year that we think have captured—each in its own way—some essence of what it is that we set out to do here on the blog. From behind-the-scenes stories of everyday processes that keep this place running to glimpses at obscure collections items, from noteworthy events and announcements to those “who knew?” connections between The Huntington and the world beyond its gates, these are some of the 2012 moments that we’d like to celebrate as we look ahead to 2013. Running more or less chronologically, here they are:
- You’ve heard of “Whistler’s Mother,” but are you acquainted with his brother-in-law? To complement a small show featuring James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s etchings, we took a look at the familial relationship at the heart of both Whistler’s early career and the exhibition. Read “Whistler’s Brother (In Law).”
- In March, we celebrated the forthcoming April reopening of the 100-year-old Japanese Garden—then in the final stages of its major year-long renovation—with a post featuring audio from a lecture by Kendall H. Brown from Cal State Long Beach. Read “Three Ways of Looking at the Japanese Garden” and listen to the lecture.
- Nearly a year after the launch of the Huntington Digital Library (HDL)—an impressive online database of images and other goodies—we took a virtual spring break trip down the Colorado River with a story and snapshots pulled from the 35,000-image Otis Marston Colorado River Collection that had just been added to the HDL. Read “A Grand Collection.”
- We rounded out the spring with the launch of In Motion, a new video endeavor here on the blog. First in the queue was “A Song of Pebble and Line,” a short piece playing with sound, texture, and motion in the Children’s Garden. Read “Presenting The Huntington In Motion” and watch the video.
- As part of the exciting announcement of a major art acquisition—that of Robert Rauschenberg’s Global Loft (Spread) from 1979—we mused on the historic connection between the artist and our institution and offered up a curator-helmed video intro to the acquisition. Read “From Gainsborough to Rauschenberg” and watch the video.
- Conferences are part and parcel of the scholarly side of The Huntington, and in April, that side let its hair down a bit with a rollicking academic celebration of folk singer Woody Guthrie. As something of a tribute on what would have been this American musical legend’s 100th birthday in July, we took a look back at this unique conference—and highlighted audio of lectures from the event. Read “Woody Guthrie Beyond 100” and listen to audio from the conference.
- Come August, we relaunched the blog with a new name, a new look—and a new email subscription feature. (Speaking of which, have you signed up yet?) Read “The Huntington’s Blog Turns a New Page.”
- We kicked off the fall season with a journey into the inner workings of our research library, a peek at how it is that our collection items make their way into the hands of eager researchers. Read “Navigating the Labyrinth.”
- In October, it was back out to the gardens—and beyond—with a look at The Huntington’s International Succulents Introductions program and its relationship with a visiting doctoral student studying Madagascan plants. Read “Paying it Forward.”
- For Veterans Day, we ventured into our rare book collection to thumb through a small, unassuming Civil War–era hardback containing a remarkable account of the last living veterans of the American Revolution. Read “Last Men of the Revolution.”
We close with a hearty thanks to you, our readers, for a great year. Here’s to another! Cheers!
Kate Lain is the new media developer in the office of communications at The Huntington.