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Harold Bell and friends, circa 1933 | by The Huntington Library
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Harold Bell and friends, circa 1933

In 1933 (or thereabouts), Harold and Helen Bell and several of their friends enjoyed an afternoon at The Huntington. Like many visitors before and since, they stopped to take a photo in the Japanese Garden. Helen was apparently the designated photographer. If you look very carefully at the picture she snapped that day, you can see several people on the bridge. (We've inserted notes to help you find them; move your cursor through the image to reveal them.) Harold is at the very top of the moon bridge, facing the camera. He was wearing a dapper three-piece suit; museum-going was a dress-up affair in the 1930s! Slightly to the left of center, a woman in a dark coat with a white collar is barely visible; she's resting her arm on one of the upright posts and appears to be holding a brochure in her other hand. Near the opposite post to the right of Harold, a man in a light-colored fedora stands in profile with his hand on his hip, watching two other men in hats assist a woman up the steps of the bridge. Knowing how steep and narrow those steps are, we don't blame Helen one bit for volunteering to stay on terra firma with the camera! (Many years later, Helen Bell would join the Huntington staff.)

 

Thanks to Penny Grund, Helen and Harold's daughter, who found this wonderful old photo in a family album and shared it with us.

 

The Japanese Garden turns 100 in 2012. Do you have a favorite photo of family or friends taken in this historic landscape over the years? We'd love to see it in our Japanese Garden Centennial Scrapbook.

 

The Japanese Garden reopened to visitors in April 2012 after a year-long renovation, including historic restoration of the Japanese House and the installation of an authentic ceremonial teahouse. Read more about the renovations on our website.

 

The Chinese Garden, Bonsai Court, and Zen Garden areas remain open during renovations.

 

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

San Marino, Calif. USA

www.huntington.org

 

Photo courtesy of Penny Grund. All rights reserved.

 

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Taken on May 13, 2011