Press Release - Countdown Begins for the Grand Opening of the Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center

March 05, 2015

Front Portion of New Education and Visitor Center to Open on Jan. 14, 2015



Major new complex opens to the public April 4, 2015. Includes 6.5 acres of gardens, dining facilities, meeting spaces, classrooms, orientation gallery, and auditorium


Press Preview March 27, 10 a.m.–1.p.m.



The Rose Hills Foundation Garden Court in the new Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo: Tim Street-Porter.


SAN MARINO, Calif.— The new Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center will open to the public on April 4, 2015, offering the 600,000 annual visitors to The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens a dramatically improved experience, replete with six and a half acres of gardens interspersed with beautiful facilities for dining, shopping, meeting, seeing a lecture or performance, or attending a class.


The front, northernmost section of the complex opened to the public in January, making available to visitors a new and substantially larger Huntington Store, a new specialty coffee shop, and a new full-service admissions and membership area. The rest of the visitor center, opening on April 4, features a 400-seat auditorium; a large café with indoor/outdoor seating and garden views; four multi-use classrooms; meeting and event spaces; and an orientation gallery, all arranged amid new, beautifully landscaped, drought-tolerant gardens.


The $68 million project broke ground in April 2013. An additional $10 million has been raised to endow the new facilities’ operations.


Designed by Architectural Resources Group, the Education and Visitor Center consists of 52,000 square feet of educational facilities and visitor amenities. The design of the complex of buildings and gardens harmonizes with the original early 20th-century Beaux-Arts architecture on the property (once the estate of Gilded Age railroad magnate, real estate developer, and collector Henry E. Huntington). The landscape, designed in concert with the architecture by the Office of Cheryl Barton, reflects the local Mediterranean climate as well as both the agricultural and elegant estate history of the 207-acre Huntington grounds. Much of the new construction replaces existing facilities built in 1980 that no longer accommodated the needs of Huntington visitors, scholars, or staff.


The project also includes the addition of 42,000 square feet of underground space to house The Huntington’s growing collections of original historical research materials as well as provide institutional storage.


The Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center was funded entirely with private contributions, with a lead gift from Charles T. Munger.


Upcoming Programs in Rothenberg Hall - Spring 2015


Distinguished Fellow Lecture

“God’s Wounds!” Blasphemy in the Early Modern World

April 8 (Wednesday) 7:30 p.m.

Susan Juster, professor of history at the University of Michigan and the Robert C. Ritchie Distinguished Fellow, discusses the changing nature of blasphemy and blasphemy prosecutions in early modern England and the North American colonies. Free; no reservations required.

Cheng Visiting Artist

Cho-Liang Lin with Ayke Agus

April 9 (Thursday) 7:30 pm

Violinist Cho-Liang Lin, The Huntington’s 2015 artist-inresidence, explores the work of Chinese composers working in Western orchestration. The program includes accompaniment by Ayke Agus on the piano. Free. Reservations: or 800-838-3006.


Haaga Lecture

Entrepreneurial Values

April 13 (Monday) 7:30 p.m.

Jonathan Levy, associate professor of history at Princeton University, discusses the history of entrepreneurship as an idea, focusing upon the values that American entrepreneurs have shared and created from the early 20th century to today. A book signing follows the lecture. Free; no reservations required.



“Rethinking Shakespeare in the Social Depth of Politics”

April 17–18 (Friday–Saturday) 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

The “new social history” has exploded the myth that Shakespeare’s society comprised a culture of obedience. Repositioning his works in the culture wars of the period, social historians and literary critics reassess Shakespeare’s presentation of power and authority. $25. Registration: or 626-405-3432.


George Dock Lecture

A Look at America’s First Sex Manual

April 22 (Wednesday) 7:30 p.m.

Mary Fissell, professor of the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, discusses Aristotle’s Masterpiece. First published in London in 1684, it became one of the most popular medical books ever published in England and America. The lecture is sponsored by the George Dock Society for the History of Medicine. Free; no reservations required.


What We’ve Forgotten about Lincoln’s Body, and What We’ve Never Known

April 23 (Thursday) 7:30 p.m.

Richard Wightman Fox, professor of history at the University of Southern California and author of Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History, explores how, in the 150 years since Lincoln’s assassination, Americans have tied Lincoln’s eloquent words and heroic deeds to his utterly unique physical body. Free. Registration: or 800-838-3006.


Distinguished Fellow Lecture

Admiral Nelson’s Women: Female Masculinity and Body Politics in the French and Napoleonic Wars

April 29 (Wednesday) 7:30 p.m.

Kathleen Wilson, professor of history at Stony Brook University and the R. Stanton Avery Distinguished Fellow, discusses the revolutionary changes in body politics and policy that occurred in England during the late 18th century, as symbolized by the activities and representations of Admiral Horatio Nelson and his mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton. Free; no reservations required.


Zamorano Lecture

Library Fires, Medieval English Manuscripts, and the Value of Old Books

April 30 (Thursday) 7:30 p.m.

Matthew Fisher, associate professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, discusses the earliest collections of medieval English manuscripts, the fires that almost destroyed them, and the radical changes in archival procedures that followed. Free; no reservations required.



Camerata Pacifica

May 12 (Tuesday) 7 p.m.

Camerata Pacifica returns to The Huntington to close its 25th anniversary season as it began its first, with a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s six lively Brandenburg Concerti. A champagne reception at intermission celebrates the ensemble’s return to The Huntington. $45. Tickets: or 805-884-8410.


Distinguished Fellow Lecture

A Tale of Two Armies: A Preliminary Examination of the Union Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia

May 13 (Wednesday) 7:30 p.m.

Joseph T. Glatthaar, professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th-Century American History, compares the great Union and Confederate armies in the American Civil War. A book signing will follow the talk.

Free; no reservations required.


Pasadena: Unexpected Roots

May 14 (Thursday) 7:30 p.m.

Independent scholar Roberta H. Martínez shares intimate stories of Pasadena’s earliest days as reflected in the marriage and writings of Arturo Bandini and Helen Elliott Bandini, members of two of Pasadena’s founding families. Free. Registration: or 800-838-3006.



“The American Revolution: People and Power”

May 15–16 (Friday–Saturday) 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

This conference explores how common Americans struggled to comprehend the many changes gripping the country during the difficult years of the American Revolution. Leading scholars will compare the American Revolution to revolutions elsewhere and examine mobilization, politics, religion, insurgency, and the frontier, all with an eye toward appreciating how common men and women made sense of tumultuous periods. $25. Registration: or 626-405-3432.


Ridge Lecture

Ted and Sylvia Revisited

May 20 (Wednesday) 7:30 p.m.

Sir Jonathan Bate is about to publish the first full literary biography of British poet Ted Hughes. It includes a mass of new information that will transform our understanding of one of the most significant literary marriages of the 20th century: Hughes’ marriage to American writer Sylvia Plath. This lecture offers an exclusive preview of some of Bate’s most startling findings. A book signing will follow the talk. Free; no reservations required.


Crotty Lecture

Making the Charter Great

May 21 (Thursday) 7:30 p.m.

Paul Halliday, professor of history and law at the University of Virginia, explores how the Magna Carta has always appeared anew in the eyes of its beholders, for eight centuries and counting. Complements the Huntington exhibition “Magna Carta: Law and Legend, 1215–2015.” Free; no reservations required.


Shakespeare’s Pericles

June 6 (Saturday) 7 p.m.

William Shakespeare’s rarely performed epic fairy tale Pericles is brought to life in a magical full production by the Independent Shakespeare Co. The fantastic story includes shipwrecks, pirates, an abandoned baby, a long-lost wife, and a knight in rusted armor fighting for love. By turns lyrical and rough, the sprawling play was wildly popular in Renaissance England. It is likely the result of a collaboration between Shakespeare and George Wilkins (a novelist, petty criminal, and purported brothel keeper). Members: $35. Non Members: $45. Tickets: or 800-838-3006.



“Beyond the Copernican Revolution: New Narratives in Early Modern Science”

June 12 (Friday) 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Copernican Revolution in astronomy has long been regarded as a central theme in the transformation of the sciences in the early modern period. Leading experts on the history of science explore the relevance of this and other narrative frameworks for understanding scientific developments in the era. $25. Registration: or 626-405-3432.


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[EDITOR’S NOTE: High-resolution digital images available on request for publicity use.]



Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260,

Lisa Blackburn, 626-405-2140,


About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. More information about The Huntington can be found online at


Visitor information

The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, Calif., 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday holidays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Summer hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day) are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and major holidays. Information: 626-405-2100 or


About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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