Centennial Events


Nineteen Nineteen graphic

Nineteen Nineteen
Sept. 21, 2019–Jan. 20, 2020
MaryLou and George Boone Gallery
"Nineteen Nineteen" brings together more than 275 objects from the institution's library and art collections that examine The Huntington's founding during that tumultuous year. The exhibition's theme is defined by the verbs "Fight," "Return," "Map," "Move," and "Build," showcasing an era in flux.                                         


Oil field

What Now: Collecting for the Library in the 21st Century
Part 1: Oct. 19, 2019–Feb. 17, 2020 
Part 2: May 2–Aug. 24, 2020 
Library, West Hall
"Collecting for the Library in the 21st Century" is a two-part exhibition showcasing The Huntington's role in collecting and preserving items that speak to the human experience. More than 100 acquisitions represent trends in the evolving Library collection, including American and British history, medieval manuscripts, Hispanic history and culture, and the history of medicine, to name a few. 


Illustrated map in Thomas More's Utopia

Beside the Edge of the World
Nov. 9, 2019–Feb. 24, 2020 
Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, Susan and Stephen Chandler Wing 
This exhibition marks the fourth year of The Huntington's /five initiative. This year's showcase, titled "Beside the Edge of the World," displays new work by artists selected in collaboration with Clockshop, an L.A. arts organization. Each participant will create work based on artifacts and research from The Huntington's collections. Their inspiration echoes the ideas of perfection and utopia using Thomas More's satirical work Utopia (1516). 


Lynette Yiadom-Boakye portrait of a young black man in a blue tank top titled "Greenhouse Fantasies"

The Hilton Als Series: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Jan. 25–May 11, 2020  
Huntington Art Gallery
Recent portrait-like paintings by contemporary British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye are displayed adjacent to the historic Thornton Portrait Gallery at The Huntington in an exhibition curated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hilton Als, staff writer and theater critic for The New Yorker magazine, and associate professor of writing at Columbia University.


California juniper bonsai tree

March 14–June 15, 2020 
Installations at five gallery entrances
“Lifelines/Timelines” explores the march of time by comparing the age of California juniper bonsai trees alongside major moments in the institution’s 100-year history. The installation can be viewed throughout The Huntington, including the Mapel Orientation Gallery, Library Main Hall, Dibner Hall of the History of Science, Huntington Art Gallery, and Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art.


Lectures and Conferences

Old photograph of George Amstrong Custer in a group

Locked in his Private Room: A Teenager's View of the Last Days of Elizabeth Bacon and George Armstrong Custer 
Oct. 9, 2019 
Rothenberg Hall
Researcher T.J. Stiles describes the last year of Custer's life through the eyes of teenager Bertie Swett. Swett came to know Custer and his wife Libbie at Fort Abraham Lincoln and in Manhattan while America approached a historic turning point. Swett bared witness to the notorious soldier's life as he pushed his career and fortune to the brink of disaster. Listen Now 


Print of dancing people from 1919

In America, Nineteen Nineteen
Oct. 18–19, 2019, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Rothenberg Hall
This conference focuses on how social, cultural, and political events during the year 1919 influenced and inspired Henry and Arabella Huntington's act of philanthropy by founding the institution that would come to be known as The Huntington. Complementing The Huntington's major fall exhibition, the conference will feature several experts discussing the cultural context of that important year. Listen Now


Old photograph of founder

The Founder and the Future: Becoming Henry Huntington
The John Randolph Haynes Foundation Lecture in the History and Culture of Los Angeles 
Wed., Oct. 23, 2019, 7:30 p.m. 
Rothenberg Hall
William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, explores the life of Henry E. Huntington (1850-1927) against the backdrop of American history. Listen Now 


Authors Susan Orlean on the left and Viet Thanh Nguyen on the right

President’s Series: Susan Orlean and Viet Thanh Nguyen
Mon., Nov. 4, 2019, 7:30 p.m. 
Rothenberg Hall
A new series of performances, conversations, and events debuts with a conversation between authors Susan Orlean (The Library Book) and Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer) and moderated by William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West.  Listen Now           


Photograph of English manor in ruins

Hamlet and Other Ghost Stories
The Martin Ridge Centennial Lecture in Literature
Wed., Nov. 13, 2019, 7:30 p.m. 
Rothenberg Hall 
Henry Huntington acquired one of the rarest books in the history of English literature: the so-called "bad quarto" of Hamlet. Zachary Lesser, professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses how this book's discovery in 1823 transformed our ideas about Hamlet, how it made its way to The Huntington, and what we can learn about modern libraries through this book's history. Listen Now


Zachary Lesser

President's Series: Shakespeare's Bad Quarto On Stage
Thurs., Nov. 14, 2019, 7:30 p.m. 
Rothenberg Hall
Join scholar and author Zachary Lesser and actors from the Independent Shakespeare Co. for an evening of drama, audience interaction, and more than a few surprises, in a program that asks the question “What if you don't know Hamlet after all?” The Huntington holds one of only two copies of the First Quarto of Hamlet (sometimes called the “bad quarto”), the first published version of the play. Credited to Shakespeare, it has significant differences from the text you read in school or have seen performed elsewhere. In this fanciful and engaging evening, we compare scenes from the infamous First Quarto alongside the much more familiar version of the play. Together, we’ll ask, “How did it come to be that the most famous play in the world has a shadow version we’ve never heard of?"


Portrait of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin: The Often Truthful, Always Radical, Never Completed American Founder
The Allan Nevins Lecture in American History 
Wed., Dec. 11, 2019, 7:30 p.m. 
Rothenberg Hall
Joyce Chaplin, James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University, revisits The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, which was one of Henry Huntington's most prized manuscript acquisitions. Franklin tells a tantalizingly open-ended story about his life because the manuscript was left unfinished. Listen Now


Toshi Reagon

President’s Series: Octavia E. Butler’s Parables: A Music Talk with Toshi Reagon
Tue., Jan. 7, 2020, 7:30 p.m. 
Rothenberg Hall
Join Toshi Reagon, acclaimed composer and lyricist, for an evening related to her operatic adaption of Octavia E. Butler’s science fiction novel Parable of the Sower. Performances by Reagon and guests from diverse disciplines will respond to Butler’s three “Earthseed” novels, which also include Parable of the Talents and the unpublished third work, Parable of the Trickster. These creative engagements highlight the relevance of Butler’s work to the social and political landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. The program will feature Phil Allen, Shelley De Leon, Sophie Kim Tamisha A. Tyler, and Melodie Yashar, and will be emceed by Claudia L. Peña. Presented in association with UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance. Watch now


Meg Whitman

Centennial Paul G. Haaga Jr. Program on American Entrepreneurship
Mon., Jan. 13, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Featuring Paul G. Haaga Jr., Huntington Trustee emeritus, chair of the board of NPR, and retired chair of Capital Research and Management Company, in conversation with Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi, former president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and eBay Inc., and 2010 Republican nominee for governor of California. Listen Now 


Carla Hayden and Karen R. Lawrence

Why It Matters: Karen R. Lawrence In Conversation with Carla Hayden
Thurs., Feb. 6, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
For the debut of the new Centennial lecture series “Why It Matters,” Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence speaks with Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, about why archives and libraries exist and why the work they do continues to be important. Listen Now 


Civil War soldiers and civilians at Chattanooga

Founders' Day Lecture
Making History: How Historians and Librarians Have Changed Our Understanding of the Civil War
Thurs., Feb. 27, 2020, 3 p.m.  
Former president of Harvard and Civil War scholar Drew Gilpin Faust explores the ways The Huntington collections have served as a critical resource for our understanding of the Civil War. Although the collection started with Henry Huntington, it has expanded since the Library's founding, bringing new insights about the war's causes, motivations, and consequences. Listen Now 


Left: Drew Faust. Right: Karen Lawrence

Why It Matters: Drew Gilpin Faust and Karen R. Lawrence
Thurs., Feb. 27, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence speaks with Drew Gilpin Faust, Civil War scholar and former president of Harvard, about the importance of the humanities. Listen Now


Cover of the Parable of the Sower graphic novel

President's Series: Author Talk and Signing: Parable of the Sower, A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Thurs., Mar. 5, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Damian Duffy and John Jennings, the award-winning team behind the #1 bestseller Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, discuss their new graphic novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower. This event is moderated by author Nalo Hopkinson and a book signing follows. Listen Now



President’s Series: Inspired by Octavia E. Butler - A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: Lynell George in conversation with William Deverell and Karla Nielsen
Wed., Aug. 26, 2020, 4 p.m.
Writer Lynell George discusses her forthcoming book, A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler, and her experience in The Huntington archives, in conversation with William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute for California and the West and professor of history at USC, and Karla Nielsen, curator of literary collections at The Huntington.  Watch now


Special Events

Mom and daughter high-fiving at activity station

Centennial Family Day
Sat., Nov. 16, 2019, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 
Visitors can join the Centennial fun with a day of family-friendly art-making, performances, and concerts celebrating The Huntington at 100. General admission. More


Initiatives and Offerings

Group of friends taking pictures in the garden

Centennial College Membership Program
As part of its commitment to welcoming the regional college student community during its Centennial Celebration, The Huntington will offer free Sustaining Level Memberships (valued at $159 each) to the first 100 Los Angeles County college students who apply on or after Sept. 6, 2019. PROGRAM ENTRIES CLOSED - 100 WINNERS HAVE BEEN AWARDED.


Rose Parade float

Huntington Centennial Float in the 2020 Rose Parade®
Jan. 1, 2020 
For the first time in 50 years, The Huntington joined Pasadena’s world-famous Rose Parade® with a spectacular float, themed "Cultivating Curiosity," capturing the spirit of The Huntington's Centennial Celebration and winning the Golden State Award for most outstanding depiction of life in California. More


Huntington's Hundredth rose

Huntington’s 100th (the Centennial Rose)
A special variety of rose was cultivated specifically for The Huntington's centennial year, hybridized by the Rose Collection's curator Tom Carruth. 'Huntington's 100th’ blooms in pastel yellow and orchid pink and has an intense smell of lemon blossom with a hint of baby powder. The hybrid is on display in the historic Rose Garden and north of the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art. If you missed the rose lecture and sale on Jan. 9, the next opportunity will be at the Spring Plant Sale, April 24-26. You can also find 'Huntington's 100th' at local nurseries, sometimes under the synonym, 'Life of the Party'; they are the same rose.


Centennial logo on merchandise

Commemorative Gifts in the Huntington Store
Gifts inspired by the Huntington’s Centennial include a distinctive logo T-shirt, tote bag, enamel pin, mug, water bottle, and baseball hat, plus a range of merchandise based on the ‘Huntington’s 100th’ rose. Available exclusively at the Huntington Store and at thehuntingtonstore.org.

Karen Lawrence at podium
President Karen R. Lawrence presents opening remarks at The Huntington's Centennial Celebration



Purchase tickets online.