All visitors who aren’t members must buy a general admission ticket.

9am-7pm daily

Sturt Haaga Gallery

On now

HWAJODO: Flowers and Birds in Korean American Art

June 27–September 29, 2024
10am to 4pm daily

Hours and admission

Admission to the Sturt Haaga Gallery is free with admission to Descanso Gardens
Gallery hours: 10am – 4pm daily. Please note that the Gallery is only open during exhibitions.

Find it on the map

Connecting nature and art

While Descanso’s outdoor “living museum” will immerse you in the landscape of gardens and collections, the Sturt Haaga gallery’s raison d’être is to encourage you to contemplate the intersection between contemporary art and garden science. 

Each exhibition transforms the gallery space with an array of art styles, art mediums, and facets of garden science. Visit the gallery to explore botany, horticulture, biology, ecology, and conservation. Take a deep dive into the environmental and cultural history of the land and its flora and fauna through the perceptive lens of contemporary art.

About the gallery

Rotating themes

Most Sturt Haaga exhibitions are group shows featuring works based on a single theme proposed by a curatorial advisory committee made up of garden staff, trustees, and art experts from Descanco’s surrounding community. 

Art and education

At Descanso, nature is our favorite classroom, and the gallery extends the classroom with art viewing and art making. Gallery exhibitions typically include artistic, theme-based, educational or enrichment activities for children.

Wild artistic enchantments

Exhibitions and installations are designed to intrigue, delight, and often invite visitor participation.  If you visited past exhibitions, you might have encountered:

  • Rooms filled with hundreds of bells and feather boas
  • Stunning life-sized sculptures of native fauna
  • Breathtaking photography with intricate, zoomed-in details of local wildlife
  • Mixed media explorations of the parasitological ecosystem of the forest floor
  • Participatory plant foraging with an ecological systems engineer

Elevating your perspective of plants

Two lush, vertical gardens enliven the facade of the Sturt Haaga gallery building with an intriguing mélange of plants, horticulture, and architectural design that reinforces the gallery’s mission to inspire new perspectives about the surrounding gardens. 

For an utterly enchanting view, venture up the hillside steps next to the gallery. There, Hope’s Garden will reward you with a choice Descanso view including the gallery’s rooftop native plant garden and the energy-saving green roof of the building below.

Garage, gallery art, and architecture

The space that’s now the Sturt Haaga Gallery had relatively humble beginnings as a car garage near the entrance to the Boddy House. For the gallery, we restored the Boddy garage and nestled a newly constructed building into the hillside for an ample art display space that includes three exhibition areas and the “green roof” garden.

The gallery’s design concept, by Frederick Fisher & Partners Architects of Los Angeles, like much of Descanso, combines the historic and the contemporary, with materials, finishes, technologies, and construction processes that reflect the highest standards for sustainable design and operation.

View the Sturt Haaga Gallery floor plan

Support for Sturt Haaga Gallery

Funding for the gallery came entirely from private, community sources, with a lead gift from Heather Sturt Haaga and Paul G. Haaga Jr. of La Cañada Flintridge. Additional funding was provided by The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation of Los Angeles, Georgianna and Paul Erskine of Pasadena, and many additional individual and foundation supporters.

Significant funding for programming in the Sturt Haaga Gallery has been provided by Richard Carlson and Erin Maclean Culley of Los Angeles, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Mindy and Gene Stein of La Cañada Flintridge, Heather and Paul Haaga, and the Pasadena Art Alliance.

Did you know?

Sturt Haaga Gallery’s “green roof” garden adds insulation, absorbs rainfall, and is a perfect location for California native plants. It also serves as a habitat and provides food for pollinators and other insects.