Huntington New: American Art Galleries Wing

Something big is blooming at the San Marino landmark.

Hearing an excited guest summon their friends to see an especially towering cactus, or sizable succulent, or a bush covered in dozens of saucer-sized roses, is not all that unusual at The Huntington Library, Art Galleries, and Botanical Gardens.

After all, big-o-sity and the beautiful San Marino spread have long been partners, both in the footprint of the spread (it occupies about 120 acres) to well-tended trees and shrubs that can grow to healthy, and sometimes gargantuan, proportions.

But something bigger than any tree on the historic property, or any rose bush, is in the process of blooming, with expected full-flowering date of Oct. 22, 2016. It's the new addition to the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, a wing that will measure an impressive 8,600 square feet.

Name? The Jonathan and Karin Fielding Wing, a space that will host "an inaugural exhibition of more than 200 works from the Fieldings' esteemed collection of 18th- and early 19th-century American works including paintings, furniture, and related decorative art, some of which are promised gifts to The Huntington. There will be a new entrance in addition to the new wing, too.

The Fieldings are the "lead donors" on the 10.3-million building project, a project that joins the recent spate of re-imaginings and new construction at the stately destination, which will mark its centennial in 2019. (A large store, a restaurant, and presentation spaces are among the recently debuted spaces at The Huntington.)

If you've been also awaiting the reopening of the Scott Galleries, one of The Huntington's art-lovely centerpieces, look to June 18, when "the original portion" will reopen after a period of "reconfiguration and re-installation."

Clearly not only flowers bloom at the celebrated nature-laden treasure, but buildings, too, can bud over time. Structures that boast a host of visual wonders, and historically important treasures, some of which flowered centuries ago but live on today at The Huntington.

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