Way Back Wednesday

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Aug 14, 1934 Lopez Mezquita, came to the Museum to paint a few portraits, was a member of the Hispanic Society, which AM Huntington founded

Our first picture this month shows artist Lopez Mezquita in August of 1934.  He was a member of the Hispanic Society, which was founded by Archer Milton Huntington, who also founded our museum.  Mezquita was asked to come to the museum to paint portraits of some of the staff, including resident painter Thomas Skinner (a picture of that is to come later).

This next image shows Admiral E.W. Sylvester and a ship’s officer with lifering from USS Wisconsin.  Not sure what exactly is happening in the photo, but it looks as if the guy on the left cracked a joke that the guy on the right didn’t appreciate.  Wisconsin is now resting in Norfolk where people can explore her decks.   Read more

Artifact of the Month – Jaguar statues

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Inspired by a recent story about how they came to be, I have decided to make our two Jaguar statues the artifacts of the month for April!  These two pieces are currently displayed in what we call our Huntington Room, so a lot of visitors probably haven’t seen them as this room is mostly used as a rental space or for staff meetings/events.  The room was named for Archer and Anna Huntington, with a smaller adjoining room (The Anna Room) being named for Anna Huntington.

The jaguars, titled “Reaching Jaguar” and just “Jaguar” were carved by Anna Hyatt Huntington sometime between 1926-1932.  Anna was a talented sculptress known for the accuracy in which she portrayed animals.  Anna’s father, Alpheus Hyatt, was a professor of zoology and paleontology and so Anna gained a love of animals early in life.  Despite this love, she had intended to become a violinist until an illness caused her to have to re-evaluate her chosen path.  Anna’s sister, Harriet, is who Anna credits with having really pulled her into the world of sculpting.  Harriet worked with Anna to create a sculpture of a boy and an animal as Harriet was not able to sculpt animals well.  (You can read an interview of Anna HERE where she mentions this)  Harriet is also known for sculpting a statue on our property called Shouting Boy.  For many years he was located in Kettle Pond, but now he is in one of our courtyards.   Read more

Enjoying the Beautiful Outdoors

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Lion's Bridge
Lion’s Bridge

With the arrival of Spring and sunny, warm weather, I am reminded of all the fun things the museum has to offer outside of the building (especially as my office is rather chilly). It seems as though a lot of people don’t already know this, but the museum owns 550 acres of property, including the Noland Trail and Lake Maury. Part of the vision of our founder, Archer Huntington, was to create an outside space for the public to be able to enjoy along with the museum. Lake Maury was created by constructing a dam (the Lion’s Bridge) near the James River.

Many people in our community are very familiar with Lion’s Bridge as it is a frequently visited area. I mean, what’s not to love? There are a few places to sit down and enjoy beautiful weather while also getting great views of the James River and Lake Maury while the majestic lions stand guard. Every November festive wreaths are placed around the necks of the lions to help bring in the Holidays, which has become a popular event in the community. As for the history of the lions, they were sculpted by the museum’s founder’s wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington (click HERE to learn more about her), ca 1932.   Read more