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"A Family's Legacy"

 

Michael Baldwin’s earliest memories of The Huntington are of rolling down a grassy slope and turning cartwheels on the lawn during childhood outings with his grandparents. It was his grandmother, artist Adelle Simonson, who introduced him to Pinkie and Blue Boy and other works of art in the gallery. He was initially frightened by the portrait of Sarah Siddons. What were those mysterious faces in the background? But those images piqued his curiosity and ultimately revealed to him that art was more than just pretty pictures.

 

A Family's Legacy  

Years later, Baldwin introduced his own family to the collections. “My daughters and son grew up going to The Huntington,” he says, recalling those days of childhood discovery. And he returned with his grandmother in her final days, pushing her wheelchair through the gardens as she had pushed his stroller all those years ago.

 

When Baldwin’s mother passed away, he found himself the patriarch of his family. Reflecting on the meaning of life, he summed it up in a single word: Legacy. And he realized the most important element of that legacy was to foster the inquisitiveness of children, in the same way his curiosity and imagination had been stimulated by family visits to The Huntington.

 

To mark the first anniversary of his mother’s death, he organized a trip to The Huntington for the entire extended family. “I could feel the loving presence of the two previously passed generations of my family going through the grounds and exhibits of The Huntington as I shared it again with two following generations. I can only hope to instill in my children and grandchildren the importance of an appreciation of the arts. I believe it is incumbent upon each and every individual to determine how they define their legacy through their words and actions.”

 

Today, as Baldwin enjoys sharing The Huntington with his grandchildren, he’s passing on that legacy of wonder and discovery, secure in the knowledge that this marvelous institution will continue to delight and inspire generations to come as it has for generations past.

 

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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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