Quirky Tours

The Mapel Orientation Gallery, part of the Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center, offers a range of quirky tours—self-guided explorations of The Huntington appealing to a variety of tastes and interests. Photo by Kate Lain.

The Mapel Orientation Gallery, part of the Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center, offers a range of quirky tours—self-guided explorations of The Huntington appealing to a variety of tastes and interests. Photo by Kate Lain.

It’s nearly impossible to experience all that The Huntington has to offer in a single day. There are acres of gardens to explore, hundreds of world-class works of art to gaze upon, and an entire library filled with rare books and manuscripts that bring history and literature to life. How do you decide where to begin your journey? Start at the Mapel Orientation Gallery, which provides a hands-on introduction to the work and legacy of Henry and Arabella Huntington. In the racks on the wall to your right, as you enter the gallery, you will find brochures for quirky, self-guided tours. These brochures offer newcomers road maps of where to go and what to see first, while providing frequent visitors with ideas for new ways to explore the grounds and collections. Choose from several themed itineraries—or select one of each—and set off on a new adventure.

Like other wealthy Americans during the Gilded Age, Arabella Huntington prized the art and design of late 18th-century France for its fine craftsmanship and association with the royal court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. In the Large Drawing Room of the Huntington Art Gallery (formerly the Huntingtons' home), many decorative features, including the paneling and chimneypiece, derive from examples in the Petit Trianon at the Palace of Versailles. Photo by Kate Lain.

Like other wealthy Americans during the Gilded Age, Arabella Huntington prized the art and design of late 18th-century France for its fine craftsmanship and association with the royal court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. In the Large Drawing Room of the Huntington Art Gallery (formerly the Huntingtons’ home), many decorative features, including the paneling and chimneypiece, derive from examples in the Petit Trianon at the Palace of Versailles. Photo by Kate Lain.

With their stately home and expansive collection of rare books, fine art, and botanical specimens, Henry and Arabella Huntington were the definition of a Gilded Age couple. The Huntington’s “Gilded Age” tour is perfect for visitors with similar, expensive tastes, or for those who, using a little imagination, want to travel back in time to an early 20th-century palace of luxury. Visitors will get to know the Huntington Art Gallery well, as this tour highlights the architectural design and grandeur of the Huntingtons’ former digs. An audio tour, available at the gallery entrance, provides detailed information about the history of the mansion and objects in the art collection.

If a trip around the globe sounds more appealing, then the “Wanderlust” tour may be just the ticket. This tour takes you down under to the Australian Garden, where the scent of eucalyptus fills the air. Travelers are then sent to Asia to wander among the bonsai in the Japanese Garden and the picturesque pavilions in the Chinese Garden. Both gardens feature architecture in traditional styles. Visitors may be fooled into thinking that they’ve been whisked away to the Côte d’Azur when they walk through the expansive Palm Garden. Touring the globe has never been so easy… or so cheap.

If you love sharing photos, try the "#Selfie" tour. Tag your Instagram photos #AtTheH, and we might repost or share them in the Mapel Orientation Gallery. The following #AtTheH selfies are by (clockwise, starting at top left): @roronaldy, @beelo36, @1011alcorn, @joshua_zolanski (2014 Huntington communications intern), @tinaibold, and @mollerina007.

If you love sharing photos, try the “#Selfie” tour. Tag your Instagram photos #AtTheH, and we might repost or share them in the Mapel Orientation Gallery. The following #AtTheH selfies are by (clockwise, starting at top left): @roronaldy, @beelo36, @1011alcorn, @joshua_zolanski (2014 Huntington communications intern), @tinaibold, and @mollerina007.

The Huntington loves to see visitors enjoying themselves, and that’s why the “#Selfie” tour invites you to capture yourself amid all The Huntington’s beauty and glory. You can share photos of your visit on Instagram—and be sure to tag your best shots #AtTheH so that they have a chance of being reposted by The Huntington or included on the visitor recommendations wall of the Mapel Orientation Gallery. So, go ahead, show us your best angle.

The gallery offers seven additional tours that fit any mood or interest: “I’m Into Blue,” “I Need to Chill,” “I Love the Macabre,” “I Love L.A.,” “I Love Animals,” and “I Have an Hour”—not to mention one that’s “Just for Kids.” Come and try them all, and happy trails!

You'll find the tour brochures on a wall rack to your right as you  enter the Mapel Orientation Gallery. Snap one up to get a fresh perspective on The Huntington. Photo by Kate Lain.

You’ll find the tour brochures on a wall rack to your right as you enter the Mapel Orientation Gallery. Snap one up to get a fresh perspective on The Huntington. Photo by Kate Lain.

Related content on Verso:
Taking the Long View (May 19, 2015)
Let’s Get Oriented (Apr. 3, 2015)

Sara Schacht is an intern in the office of communications and marketing at The Huntington.

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