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Huntington Library centers 2016 schedule on American identity

Huntington Library centers 2016 schedule on American identity
Philip Leslie Hales "The Crimson Rambler" is set to come to the Huntington in January. (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts)

Amid a national conversation on race and identity, and an upcoming presidential election, the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens on Tuesday announced a schedule of upcoming exhibitions looking at what it means to be American.

The broad theme, which organizers said will also illuminate how national and international influences have shaped American culture, is to be embodied in six exhibitions in San Marino through early 2017.

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Of note are displays on Chinese American immigration, the relationship between Impressionism and gardens and a two-parter on the national parks. These will be included in the first season under Huntington President Laura Skandera Trombley, who took office in July.

In December, she cited her new role as an opportunity to continue advocating for the humanities, which she did as president of Pitzer College.

From Nov. 21 to March 21, 2016, the exhibit "Y.C. Hong: Advocate for Chinese American Inclusion" is to explore Chinese American immigration in Los Angeles during the early 20th century.

The display, with about 75 items pulled from the Huntington's collection of papers from famed lawyer You Chung Hong, includes historical documents, photographs and maps. Hong was among the first Chinese Americans to pass the California Bar and a major figure in Los Angeles' Chinese community during the period of the Chinese Exclusion Act and beyond.

Starting Jan. 23, 2016, "The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887–1920," which has been traveling nationwide since February, is to make its only West Coast stop on a five-city tour.

It showcases a handpicked selection of 17 paintings that originated at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, exploring the connections between the American Impressionist movement and the emergence of gardening as a middle-class activity. Featured artists include Philip Leslie Hale, Childe Hassam and John Henry Twachtman. A catalog, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in association with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, complements the exhibition, which is scheduled to run through May 9.

And marking the centennial of the National Park Service, two consecutive exhibitions are to tackle the origins and evolution of national parks. Through material pulled from the Huntington's American history archive, the first part, from May 14 to Sept. 3, 2016, is to highlight early encounters with Niagara Falls and the Hudson River Valley, then follow the story through the creation of the first national parks, including Yellowstone and Yosemite.

The second exhibition, from Oct. 22, 2016, to Feb. 13, 2017, is to explore how public interest in the parks has grown from the era of the Great Depression to the 21st century.

To find out about the other upcoming exhibitions, check out the Huntington's website.

Follow the reporter on Twitter: @TrevellAnderson

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