The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

Fund: $45,000

In 2019, The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens' centennial year, the organization will partner with Los Angeles–based multidisciplinary arts organization Clockshop as part of /five, the Huntington’s series of year-long collaborations that invites local arts organizations to explore its collections and archives. Artists invited by Clockshop will investigate ideas of perfection and utopia using Thomas More’s satirical work Utopia (1516) as a foundational text. The selected artists will collaborate with Huntington curators during their year-long residencies to engage with the archival materials of their choosing. Poet Robin Coste Lewis is investigating the writings and prints of American naturalist John James Audubon (1785-1851), a fabled perfectionist. Artist Nina Katchadourian is exploring ideas surrounding the fantastic imaginary in 18th-century manuscripts and maps with a particular focus on images of sea monsters. Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is producing a film centered on rare botanical specimens and their preservation for post-apocalyptic future worlds. Artist and designer Rosten Woo is drawn to the oral histories recorded by scholar Robert V. Hine (1921-2015), who published influential writings about California’s historic utopian communities. Writer Dana Johnson is creating a fictional piece focused on the pioneering early 20th-century journalist Delilah L. Beasley, who wrote about California’s African American trailblazers. The resulting exhibition will be accompanied by public readings, workshops, and a publication which will include a short story by Dana Johnson and a brief history of Delilah Beasley and her book Negro Trailblazers of California.