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Exhibit Design & Museum-Related Projects: Huntington Library

Lifelines/Timelines: Exploring the Huntington's Collections Through Bonsai

Mar. 14, 2020–June 15, 2020

Various locations around the site


How do five venerable bonsai trees relate in age and historical significance to important works in The Huntington's library and art collections?


"Lifelines/Timelines" explores the march of time by comparing the age of selected bonsai alongside benchmarks in the institution's 100-year history, and with significant pieces on view in the library and art galleries. Lines in the grain of natural deadwood sections of these bonsai can be used to calculate the tree's age. At each of the exhibition's five bonsai installations, I designed custom stands for each bonsai, including an illustrated label and timeline, interactive elements geared toward children, and other interpretive materials.


All images are © Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens, 2020

At each display, the stand is accompanied by a banner to attract attention to this unique exhibit

Each entrance has a different orientation of bonsai and banner

Trees outside the library entrances are displayed on the grass

At every entrance special attention was paid to the display height to allow for children and those with disabilities to experience it

Each tree has corresponding pins for the dates called out on the timeline. Associated objects are within the adjacent galleries.

Each stand includes a magnetic label, cross-section of a bonsai with a magnifying glass, and a brochure holder

The label bracket is removable for future use of the stands. The metal details were laser-cut based on oriental designs.

Detail of the magnifying glass and cross-section on each display

In addition to the trees, labels within the collection were updated to cross-reference the exhibit outside

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