Melinda McCurdy is associate curator for British art at The Huntington.

An 18th-Century Star in Stripes

What do a zebra and a musical genius have in common? In the case of George Stubbs’ painting Zebra and Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait of his friend, the composer and musician Karl Friedrich Abel, there is, surprisingly, more than one connection. First, both the zebra herself and the portrait of the composer were … Continue reading

For the Love of Flowers

Have you ever found yourself fascinated by the intricate shapes and features of plants, or even taken the time to draw or photograph a beautiful flower that caught your eye? In the exhibition “In Pursuit of Flora: 18th-Century Botanical Drawings from The Huntington’s Art Collections,” you’ll find 16 drawings by … Continue reading

Looking at Loved Ones

The Huntington is rightfully known for its collection of British portraits. Most of these are the product of a professional association between artist and client. For example, Thomas Gainsborough’s dazzling full-length portrait of Elizabeth Beaufoy (circa 1780), on view in the Thornton Portrait Gallery, is a flattering image of wealth … Continue reading

George Romney’s Other Side

A monstrous frog-like creature nibbling at the breast of a corpse; a claustrophobic encounter between two women who embrace under the eyes of a shadowy watcher; a raving sorceress surging forward, bent on destruction—believe it or not, these disturbing images come from the mind of George Romney, the British painter … Continue reading