Diana W. Thompson is senior writer for the office of communications and marketing at The Huntington.

Prized Succulents

The Huntington recently acquired a collection of rare succulents from the late Gerald Barad (1923–2016) of Flemington, New Jersey. Participants at the Philadelphia Flower Show knew Barad as the guy who cultivated the stunning cacti and other succulents that grabbed top ribbons year after year. The beach ball–sized specimen he grew … Continue reading

Seeing to It

Chicago-based collage artist Candace Hunter first started reading Octavia Butler’s speculative fiction as an undergraduate. Themes from Butler’s writing permeated Hunter’s work through the years and reached a pinnacle with the opening this summer of her solo show in Milwaukee, “So Be It. See To It,” based on Butler’s stories. In … Continue reading

Greene & Greene in Context

Some people may remember the exquisite furniture in The Huntington’s permanent exhibition about Arts and Crafts masters Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene. The space was just reinstalled and the take-home message is clear: The Greenes did much more than simply produce gorgeous furniture. Arriving in Pasadena, Calif., in … Continue reading

Found in Translation

What does the 20th-century Arts and Crafts architecture of Americans Charles and Henry Greene have to do with the 17th-century Katsura Imperial Villa outside of Kyoto, Japan? For admirers of the work of Japanese-American photographer Yasuhiro Ishimoto (1921–2012), it turns out, quite a bit. With the opening of the exhibition … Continue reading

China Rose

It’s easy to imagine that heritage roses—with names such as ‘Archduke Charles’, ‘William R. Smith’, and ‘Maman Cochet’—originated in England or France. But every repeat-blooming rose today traces its history back to the China rose, Rosa chinensis, says Tom Carruth, The Huntington’s E. L. and Ruth B. Shannon Curator of the Rose … Continue reading

Mementos of Downton

If you’re one of the millions of people who watched the British period drama “Downton Abbey,” you might be craving a juicy story about a lord or lady right about now. “Downton” led viewers on a rollercoaster ride as the titled Crawley family—and their (mostly) faithful staff—navigated the emotional waters … Continue reading

Top 10 Water-Wise Plants

You’ve heard the dire news about California’s drought. And you’ve been thinking about swapping out your lawn for water-wise plants. But if you’re used to traditional grass and ornamental plants, where do you begin? Enter Scott Kleinrock, The Huntington’s landscape design and planning coordinator, who helped design the Frances and … Continue reading

Into the Fold

One of The Huntington’s partner schools is Esteban E. Torres High School in East Los Angeles. Last month, students from their Engineering and Technology Academy visited The Huntington as part of a yearlong program exploring the ancient Japanese art form of origami. Torres students toured The Huntington’s Japanese Garden to … Continue reading

Who Was Adah Isaacs Menken?

In a library collection as deep as the one at The Huntington, it’s not unusual for scholars to encounter items that propel them on new paths of research. That’s what happened recently to The Huntington’s 2015–16 Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow, Shirley R. Samuels, when she examined an extra-illustrated copy … Continue reading