To celebrate its centennial, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is going back a century with its Nineteen Nineteen exhibit (through Jan. 20, 2020), highlighting approximately 275 objects from its vast collection from 1919, the year The Huntington was founded.
1919 was a pivotal year in history, and the exhibit offers a rich experience for people of all ages. The vast array of material being presented includes photographs, diaries, letters, records, and a super-sized map. “It is a 37-foot-long ink rendering of a streetcar line that goes from Fair Oaks and Colorado all the way to De Soto Street and it follows a streetcar line that used to run from downtown Pasadena all the way to downtown L.A.,” explains James Glisson, co-curator of the exhibit. “It’s really impressive because it is so long and a window into Los Angeles history.”
Another fascinating discovery for Glisson was a series of posters from postwar Germany. “We somewhat surprisingly have a collection of 10,000 posters from Germany that are largely unknown,” Glisson says. “These shed light on the really dire circumstances of Germany after the First World War. In different ways, these documents, maps, and posters are windows into 1919. I hope that [this exhibition] will speak to the visitor’s experience or just spark their curiosity.”
Images: Courtesy The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens