Home to gorgeous gardens, spectacular art, and stunning rare books and manuscripts, The Huntington also offers an impressive slate of lectures and conferences on topics and themes related to its collections. Below are audio recordings of 10 recent lectures. Potosí, Silver, and the Coming of the Modern World (April 12, 2017) John Demos, Samuel Knight Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University and the Ritchie Distinguished Fellow at The Huntington, presents an account of Potosí, the great South American silver mine and boomtown that galvanized imperial Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries, fueled the rise of capitalism, destroyed native peoples and cultures en masse, and changed history—for good or ill? This talk is part of the Distinguished Fellow Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Unraveling the Mysteries of Exploding Stars (April 3, 2017) Tony Piro, the George Ellery Hale Distinguished Scholar in Theoretical Astrophysics at the Carnegie Observatories, discusses how scientists are combining observations with theoretical modeling to unravel the mysteries of supernovae. This talk is part of the Carnegie Astronomy Lecture Series at The Huntington.
A Recipe is More than a Recipe (March 29, 2017) Long before recipes were shared on the internet, they were passed among friends and compiled into community cookbooks published as charity fundraisers. Drawing on The Huntington’s Anne M. Cranston cookbook collection, food writer Patric Kuh discusses what these shared recipes can tell us, not just about food and community but about the changes that shaped the way Americans cook. Kuh is the author of Finding the Flavors We Lost: From Bread to Bourbon, How Artisans Reclaimed American Food.
Framing a New Elegance: The World of George T. Marsh and His Japanese House (March 28, 2017) Originally conceived by art dealer George T. Marsh as an exotic setting in which to sell curiosities, the building that in 1912 became The Huntington’s Japanese House is a beautiful remnant of a transformational moment in design history. Art historian Hannah Sigur puts Marsh and his house in context, discussing the factors that helped make Japanese aesthetics the basis of good taste at the turn of the 20th century. This talk is part of the East Asian Garden Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Excavating the Book (March 20, 2017) Stephen Orgel, J. E. Reynolds Professor in Humanities at Stanford University, discusses books and their marketing throughout history, emphasizing the ways in which books are embedded in history, and how literary interpretation is at least partly a form of archaeology. This talk is part of the Zamorano Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Kate Sessions: A Legacy of Botanical Bounty (March 19, 2017) Landscape historian Nancy Carol Carter examines the horticultural legacy of Kate Sessions (1857–1940), the pioneering nursery owner and garden designer who left an indelible mark on the Southern California landscape. Best known for her work in San Diego, Sessions is credited with introducing and popularizing many of the beloved tree species in the region. The lecture is presented in collaboration with the California Garden and Landscape History Society.
The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics (March 15, 2017) Mae Ngai, Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and professor of history at Columbia University, discusses the role of Chinese miners in the 19th-century gold rushes of California, Australia, and South Africa, and the rise of anti-Chinese politics in the West. This talk is part of the Cheng Foundation Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Remarkable New Discoveries from Hummingbird Rescue (March 5, 2017) Hummingbird rehabilitator Terry Masear presents a lecture about nature’s tiny “flying jewels” and the work of the dedicated volunteers of the Los Angeles Hummingbird Rescue. Since its inception in 2007, the group has rehabilitated and released back into the wild 10,000 orphaned or injured birds. This talk is part of the Southern California Gardener Lecture Series at The Huntington.
A Satire of the Three Estates: Renaissance Scotland’s Best Kept Secret? (March 1, 2017) Greg Walker, Regius Professor of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, discusses Sir David Lyndsay’s remarkable play, A Satire of the Three Estates, probably the most dramatically and politically radical piece of theater produced in 16th-century Britain. This talk is part of the Crotty Lecture Series at The Huntington.
Founder’s Day Lecture (Feb. 23, 2017) David Zeidberg looks back on some of the many highlights of his career in the annual Founder’s Day lecture.