View of Liu Fang Yuan, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance 流芳園, from the Bridge of the Joy of Fish 魚樂橋. Photo by Phillip E. Bloom.
Home to gorgeous gardens, spectacular art, and stunning rare books and manuscripts, The Huntington also offers an impressive slate of programs on topics and themes related to its collections. Below are video recordings of seven recent online events.
The Pleasures of Chinese Gardens (Oct. 8, 2020)
Phillip E. Bloom, June and Simon K.C. Li Curator of the Chinese Garden and Director of the Center for East Asian Garden Studies, examines a selection of gardens from Song-dynasty China (960–1279) that explicitly thematized both the sensual and intellectual pleasures of gardening. The talk argues that close attention to the pleasures afforded by Chinese gardens enables us to reconcile their myriad, often contradictory, functions (watch here).
Still image from the art video “Fragrant Rhythms: The Seasons of Liu Fang Yuan” 漢庭溢彩，雅園流芳 by Tang Qingnian 唐慶年, the 2019 Cheng Family Visiting Artist at The Huntington.
Fragrant Rhythms: The Seasons of Liu Fang Yuan (Oct. 11, 2020)
Tang Qingnian 唐慶年, the 2019 Cheng Family Visiting Artist at The Huntington, screens the video artwork that has been the focus of his yearlong residency. A conversation with the artist follows a virtual screening of his new video. A new musical work composed by pipa virtuoso Wu Man 吳蠻 and shakuhachi artist Kojiro Umezaki 梅崎 康二郎, commissioned by The Huntington, accompanies the video (watch here).
Sowande' Mustakeem. Photo courtesy of Sowande' Mustakeem.
Waves of Calamity: Race, Water, and Power in the Evolution of Slavery's Memory (Oct. 14, 2020)
Sowande' Mustakeem, associate professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, reconstructs the significance of water and power in how slavery is remembered, exploring the roles of bondpeople, sailors, and slave ship surgeons during the centuries of racial calamity at sea. By centering maritime history and culture in the realities of transoceanic slaving, Mustakeem provides greater insight into the entangled nature of the human manufacturing system and make greater meaning of the lives of the dead, thereby ensuring the future of collective historical remembrance. This program is the 2020 Kemble Lecture in Maritime History (watch here).
Carleton Watkins, Late George Cling Peaches, 1888–89. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.
The Huntington Library at 101: 11 Million Items and Still Counting (Oct. 16, 2020)
Huntington curators share stories about some of the Library’s most remarkable and surprising acquisitions. This program is presented by Rare Books LA (watch here).
Annette Gordon-Reed. Photo courtesy of Annette Gordon-Reed.
The Past in the Present: America’s Founding and Us (Oct. 17, 2020)
Annette Gordon-Reed, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and professor of History at Harvard University, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and one of the nation’s premier authorities on the Founding era. She discusses how Americans today deal with such problematic historical figures as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington in the inaugural lecture for the Shapiro Center for American History and Culture at The Huntington (watch here).
George Whitney, A choice of emblemes, and other devises, 1568. Bookplate of Robert Hoe. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.
What Is a Second Edition? A Pictorial Introduction to Bibliographical Terms (Oct. 21, 2020)
In this webinar, Huntington Curator of Rare Books Stephen Tabor explains how printing technology developed from the hand-press period to the early 20th century, shows how to spot different typesettings and impressions, and explores how basic bibliographical terms have been used variously by book historians, publishers, and booksellers. Illustrations include examples of varying quality to show how photographic reproductions can produce false clues and digital red herrings. The webinar is useful for collectors (or people thinking of becoming collectors), dealers, and anybody who works with printed texts or digital copies of originals. This event is part of an ongoing webinar series presented by the Library’s Reader Services Department (watch here).
Map of Liu Fang Yuan, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance 流芳園, with future bamboo garden. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.
The Past and Future of The Huntington's Asian Gardens (Oct. 29, 2020)
For this presentation, James Folsom, the Marge and Sherm Telleen/Marion and Earle Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens, recounts the physical and intellectual origins of The Huntington’s Chinese Garden, Liu Fang Yuan 流芳園, reminding us of the many people, ideas, and activities that brought this garden and endeavor to its current state. To establish a broader context, he discusses how The Huntington's Asian gardens strengthen the concerted impact and significance of the institution, and how that role might gain further traction in years to come (watch here).
Kevin Durkin is the editor of Verso and the managing editor in the Office of Communications and Marketing at The Huntington.