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.
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.
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