RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden – My Impressions

The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden was created by Kinzuchi Fujii between 1935 – 1940 for Charles and Ellamae Storrier Stearns. Fujii (1875 – 1957) designed and built Japanese landscapes across Southern California in the first half of the 20th century. The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden (located in Pasadena, California) is his only remaining garden. It is also the only intact example of a major Japanese-style garden created before World War II for a residence in Southern California.

This pond-style stroll garden features a fifteen-foot waterfall and a formal teahouse on approximately two acres of land. The garden is considered by many to be a masterwork and it demonstrates the adaptability of Japanese culture in modern America. Under the direction of Dr. Takeo Uesugi, landscape architect, professor emeritus at Cal Poly Pomona and a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden was faithfully restored from 2007 – 2013.

Photography copyright roslyn m wilkins


Reflections in a pond and art gallery

huntington library reflections

On Thursday I took advantage of another free day at the Huntington Library in San Marino. I didn’t take a lot of photos this time as I was concentrating on the art galleries.

huntington library reflections

But while I was waiting for a friend I took these pics of the reflections in the pond (lake?) at the Chinese Gardens.

huntington library reflections

And as much as I love to see the Lotuses in bloom, I’m always fascinated by the dry, brown winter versions of the plants. Just as beautiful in their own way.

huntington library reflections

Before and after catching up with my friend, I wandered through the galleries. Probably the most famous paintings at the Huntington are The Blue Boy, (1770) by Thomas Gainsborough and Thomas Lawrence’s Pinkie (1794). But I can’t say they are my favorites.

In the same gallery are some other stunning portraits from that era by Joshua Reynolds, George Romney and Thomas Gainsborough. I’m really not usually a fan of this kind of painting, but when I spent some time studying each one instead of just breezing by I was stunned by the skill and craftsmanship. I especially enjoyed Anne Killigrew, Mrs. Kirke by Anthony van Dyck (scroll down the page).

There are also some paintings by two of my favorite British artists, J. M. W. Turner and John Constable. On one of my trips to England my friends took me to “Constable Country” so I stood in front of a painting of the Stour, remembering my visit.

I’ll probably wait until the spring when all the flowers are out before my next visit. But since discovering how easy it is to get to the museum by train (although it is quite a trek with three trains and two long walks) AND being able to take advantage of the free days, the Huntington is becoming one of my favorite haunts.

You may be interested in previous posts: In hot water at the Huntington Library and Thirsty afternoon in the desert garden at the Huntington Library.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!