Huntington's new visitor center strikes studiously neutral pose

Across the country, museums are pursuing vast and pricey expansion plans, sometimes chasing more square footage or higher-wattage architectural celebrity than seems entirely wise. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Barnes Foundation and New York's Whitney Museum, to name just three, are building or have opened new facilities dwarfing the old ones in scale.

Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

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Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

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Then there's the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, which on Wednesday will open the first phase of its $68-million education and visitor center, named for outgoing President Steven S. Koblik.

This is a far cry from a West Coast version of expansion efforts at the Menil Collection in Houston or the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. New architecture planned or completed there (by L.A. firm Johnston Marklee at the Menil, working from a master plan by David Chipperfield, and by Tadao Ando and Annabelle Selldorf at the Clark) is moderately scaled and open to the landscape but also curious and deeply ambitious.

This is a far cry from a West Coast version of expansion efforts at the Menil Collection in Houston or the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. New architecture planned or completed there (by L.A. firm Johnston Marklee at the Menil, working from a master plan by David Chipperfield, and by Tadao Ando and Annabelle Selldorf at the Clark) is moderately scaled and open to the landscape but also curious and deeply ambitious.

This is a far cry from a West Coast version of expansion efforts at the Menil Collection in Houston or the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. New architecture planned or completed there (by L.A. firm Johnston Marklee at the Menil, working from a master plan by David Chipperfield, and by Tadao Ando and Annabelle Selldorf at the Clark) is moderately scaled and open to the landscape but also curious and deeply ambitious.

This is a far cry from a West Coast version of expansion efforts at the Menil Collection in Houston or the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. New architecture planned or completed there (by L.A. firm Johnston Marklee at the Menil, working from a master plan by David Chipperfield, and by Tadao Ando and Annabelle Selldorf at the Clark) is moderately scaled and open to the landscape but also curious and deeply ambitious.

This is a far cry from a West Coast version of expansion efforts at the Menil Collection in Houston or the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. New architecture planned or completed there (by L.A. firm Johnston Marklee at the Menil, working from a master plan by David Chipperfield, and by Tadao Ando and Annabelle Selldorf at the Clark) is moderately scaled and open to the landscape but also curious and deeply ambitious.

This is a far cry from a West Coast version of expansion efforts at the Menil Collection in Houston or the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. New architecture planned or completed there (by L.A. firm Johnston Marklee at the Menil, working from a master plan by David Chipperfield, and by Tadao Ando and Annabelle Selldorf at the Clark) is moderately scaled and open to the landscape but also curious and deeply ambitious.

This is a far cry from a West Coast version of expansion efforts at the Menil Collection in Houston or the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. New architecture planned or completed there (by L.A. firm Johnston Marklee at the Menil, working from a master plan by David Chipperfield, and by Tadao Ando and Annabelle Selldorf at the Clark) is moderately scaled and open to the landscape but also curious and deeply ambitious.

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