On November 8 th , 2013 the School of Environmental Design hosted a gala and ribbon cutting for the grand opening of The Huntley Gallery. This event highlighted the campus community’s appreciation to Don B. Huntley, as a friend and distinguished alum of, and benefactor to, Cal Poly Pomona. His art collection, which began taking form in 2006, captures the essence of the American West and reflects one of his many passions.
In 2010, the campus proudly held its first formal exhibition of the Huntley collection, titled Windows to the West at the W. Keith & Janet Kellogg University Gallery. The opening of the beautiful Don B. Huntley Gallery housed in Cal Poly Pomona’s University Library, next the Special Collections, provides a permanent home for the Don Huntley Western Art collection, many of which are exhibited periodically in the gallery and throughout the campus. In addition to traditional oil paintings depicting wildlife, landscapes, Native American, and “buckaroo” art, the collection also includes gunpowder art, bronze sculptures, and Western artifacts and memorabilia. The Collection includes over 100 paintings, including works by Bill Anton, Mian Situ, Bonnie Marris, Kyle Simms, and Larry Dyke, among others. According to Carrie Geurts, Director of Development for the College of Environmental Design, “The western art collection is the first of its kind at any CSU campus.”
The Huntley Gallery also provides a place for curated exhibitions of emerging and mid-career professional artists, while also being a facility for the College of Environmental Design’s Departmental, Faculty and Student-based projects, related lectures and events. Beyond the initial Huntley Collection show, the gallery is also used for showcasing art from other collections, and most recently highlighted the University Permanent Collections including the Ink & Clay Collection, the Raymond Burr and Robert Benevides Collection of Japanese art, the Col. Jones Print and DPI Collections, the Bruce Jewett Collection of Beatrice Wood Ceramics, the Channing Gilson Collection of Mid-century Industrial Design, the Huntley Collection and the Neutra VDL Archives, all under the oversight of the College of Environmental Design. Other works from Huntley’s collection are regularly rotated among the various showings. Overall, the Huntley Gallery exhibits a considerable range of artwork. The Huntley Gallery is a beautiful and dynamic new addition to the Library and fits perfectly into the University’s guests invited to socialize and view the various paintings on display.
The Don B. Huntley Gallery is located on the 4th floor of Cal Poly Pomona University Library (Building 15) Room 4435. Admission is free. Parking is available in the student parking structure, Lots F8 and F9 and all-day- parking permit is $8 Mon – Thursday, and $5 on weekends, with $2 hourly permits also available at the visitor information booth and permit dispensing machines.
About Don B. Huntley
Don Huntley grew up in the San Gabriel Valley during the 1940s and 50s.
At that time, Los Angeles County was still largely rural, and it was the leading agricultural-producing county in the country. Huntley became enraptured with the romance of the Old West and dreamed of owning his own cattle ranch one day.
He enrolled at Cal Poly Pomona and studied animal husbandry in pursuit of his dream. Huntley’s senior thesis focused on a blood disease in cattle called anaplasmosis. He graduated in 1960, a few years after the San Bernardino (10) Freeway was built and suburbia began to replacing farming in Los Angeles County.
Huntley’s first job was working for American Cyanamid Corp., selling animal health products to cattlemen and farmers in the San Joaquin Valley. After several years, the company wanted to send him to Louisiana, but Huntley decided to stay in the valley. He gave up his dream of owning a cattle ranch and instead acquired a real estate license.
Huntley began selling agricultural and hill-country land in valley. He eventually bought his own farm land and began growing pistachios and cherries. At his peak, Huntley had 475 acres of pistachios and 140 of cherries. His pistachios were sold under the Huntley-Moore Farms label to clients in Russia, Hong Kong, China, Canada, Israel, and India. He also sold them to gourmet food retailer Williams-Sonoma, the Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch, and private corporate clients.
Throughout the years, Huntley has shared the fruits of his success with his beloved alma mater. He has donated funding for research into more nutritious lettuce that requires less water, sponsored student scholarships, and supported agricultural literacy efforts. Huntley also backed the creation of the 14-acre Huntley Vineyard on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. The College of Agriculture harvests the grapes to make Horsehill Vineyards wine, which is served at the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch and sold at the Farm Store.
“Cal Poly Pomona is a fantastic university with a beautiful campus and a unique history. The students who graduate are making an important impact in California, and I want to support them and provide new opportunities,” he said. “We need Cal Poly Pomona students and faculty to continue making advancements in agriculture, biotechnology, science, and other research. I’m going to support the school for as long as I have the ability.”
A Renaissance man, Huntley has many interests, including mining, collecting gemstones, rocks, fine wine, and Western art. He has generously shared pieces from his art collection with the College of Agriculture and the Huntley Art Gallery at the University Library. He also has supported initiatives, projects, and scholarships in the colleges of science, engineering, environmental design, and education and integrative studies, including the Native American Pipeline and Pathways to Graduation program.
In 2016, Huntley decided to pledge his pistachio farm to the College of Agriculture as an estate gift. In response, the California State University Board of Trustees approved a new name for the college: the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture. It is only the second named college at Cal Poly Pomona, following the Collins College of Hospitality Management, and the only one named for an alumnus. It is the second college in the 23-campus CSU system to be named, following the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State.