collectors council acquisition group of letters

Collectors' Councils

The Collectors' Councils play a critical role in supporting The Huntington's collections, ensuring they will be vibrant for generations to come, and assisting library and art curators in selecting works for acquisition that further enhance the holdings begun by Henry and Arabella Huntington. The councils are a convivial group of Huntington supporters who enjoy exclusive events throughout the year including behind-the-scenes tours of special exhibitions and collections, and curator-led trips to institutions and private collections around the world.

Art Collectors' Council

Founded in 1994, the Art Collectors' Council meets every spring to select works for acquisition presented by The Huntington's curatorial staff. Annual dues: $7,500.

Sept. 2020 - The Huntington acquired a newly discovered painting by John Singleton Copley (1738–1815) depicting celebrated 18th-century British actress Mary Robinson, as well as works by British artists Alice Mary Chambers (ca. 1855–1920) and Madeline Green (1884–1947) and a set of screenprints by R.B. Kitaj (1932–2007), who, like Copley, was born in America and worked in England. The acquisitions were funded by The Huntington's Art Collectors' Council at its annual meeting last month. In addition, longtime council members Hannah and Russel Kully purchased as a promised gift for The Huntington a painting by the 19th-century British artist and designer Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898). The painting, a portrait of the artist's daughter, had been kept in the family since it was painted around 1888. More

John Singleton Copley (1738–1815), Mrs. Mary Robinson in the Character of a Nun, ca. 1780. Oil on canvas, 26 3/4 x 23 1/2 in. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.
John Singleton Copley (1738–1815), Mrs. Mary Robinson in the Character of a Nun, ca. 1780. Oil on canvas, 26 3/4 x 23 1/2 in. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Library Collectors' Council

For 21 years, the Library Collectors' Council has assisted in the development  of the collections by supporting the purchase of important works the Library would not otherwise be able to acquire. This group of supporters, with their sophisticated understanding of what would constitute significant enhancements to the collections research value, meets annually to add to the library holdings. Annual dues: $5,000.

Feb. 2020 - The Library Collectors' Council acquired a recently discovered archive documenting an 18th-century investigation into a land deal—the so-called Walking Purchase—that defrauded the Lenni Lenape (known to Europeans as Delawares) out of more than a million acres in Pennsylvania. The collection of 75 manuscripts includes affidavits, depositions, sworn testimonies, maps, and letters that document the inquiry, which involved not only the agents of Pennsylvania's proprietors, Delawares, and Quakers, but also Benjamin Franklin (who represented the colony of Pennsylvania in London), the British military command, and the British Crown. The Council also purchased three original illustrated Japanese handscrolls—one measuring 12 feet, and each of the other two extending more than 21 feet in length—that record U.S. Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s maritime expeditions to Japan in 1853 and 1854. More

Documents of the Walking Purchase and the Councils of Easton, 75 manuscripts, including two manuscript maps, 1685–1762. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.
Documents of the Walking Purchase and the Councils of Easton, 75 manuscripts, including two manuscript maps, 1685–1762. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. 

To Join

Art Collectors' Council
Email or call 626.405.2225

Library Collectors' Council
Email or call 626.405.2224