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

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

Evolution of a Van Dyck

A major U.S. exhibition on Flemish master portrait artist Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) opens today at New York’s Frick Collection. The Huntington has its own van Dyck story to tell. At its center is the artist’s beautiful full-length painting Anne (Killigrew) Kirke (ca. 1637), showing its subject lavishly attired in a … Continue reading

Art and the Garden Movement

The relationship between garden design and painting is the subject of “The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887–1920,” on view Jan. 23–May 9 in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery. It explores the connections between the American Impressionist movement and the emergence of gardening as a middle-class … Continue reading