The life of Blessed Junípero Serra (1713-1784) — and his impact on Indian life and Califor¬¨nia culture through his founding of missions — is the subject of an unprecedented, comprehensive, international loan exhibition at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.“Junípero Serra and the Legacies of the California Missions,” which opened Aug. 17 and is on view through Jan. 6, 2014, coincides with the 300th anniversary of Serra’s birth (Nov. 24, 1713) and includes some 250 objects from The Huntington's collections and those of 61 lenders in the United States, Mexico and Spain. Contemporary art, including a video work created expressly for the exhibition by James Luna (Luise√±o), and first-person narratives by descendants of the missions “defy any presumptions that Native Americans ‘vanished’ or that they hold a monolithic view about the mission past,” said Catherine Gudis, co-curator of the exhibition and professor of California and public history at UC Riverside. “Rather, the show represents a range of responses — including resistance and resilience — as the result of a period of painful disruption and devastating change.”Among key items in the exhibition are a host of rare paintings and illustrations documenting the history of the Spanish island of Mallorca, Serra’s life, 18th-century Catholic liturgical art, and New Spain, as well as several sketches and watercolors that are among the first visual representations of California and California Indians by Europeans. “These images are not only beautiful,” said Steven Hackel, co-curator of the exhibition, “but they are among the most important ethnographic representations of California Indian life at the onset of the missions and of Indian life in the missions.”Hackel, professor of history at UC Riverside, and Serra biographer (“Junípero Serra: California’s Founding Father,” 2013), calls the mission period “a defining one in California’s history — and Serra is the most visible symbol of that period.“But in taking this story all the way through — from before Indians and Europeans made contact, through the construction and collapse of the mission system, and then to the present day — it is, in fact, a story of conflicting, blending and overlapping cultures, of imperial expansion and human drama and loss, and then, finally, of the perseverance and survival of not only European institutions in California, but the California Indians who were the focus of Serra’s missions.” Also on view in the exhibit are Serra’s baptismal record from Mallorca, his Bible and lecture notes from Mallorca, and the diary he composed as he traveled from Baja California to San Diego in 1769. Notable and unique items documenting Native American culture in California include a textile fragment that is thousands of years old, woven by California Indians from seaweed and fiber, as well as beads, tools, baskets, and written documents from the colonial period.“Like the Spaniards, these were people who had a significant history and culture well before the Europeans showed up, and it was a history and culture that would persevere, although not without huge changes, in and after the missions,” said Gudis.In conjunction with the exhibition, a series of events is planned at The Huntington. Among them:—A Taste of Art: California Mission Foods, Sept. 7, 9 a.m-12:30 p.m.: Chef and educator Maite Gomez-Rejón from ArtBites describes how Spanish and Native cultures blended together in the California missions. Participants will tour the exhibition and prepare a meal blending Old and New World flavors. ($.)—Curator Tour, Sept. 11, 4:30—5:30 p.m.: Co-curators Steven Hackel and Catherine Gudis lead a private tour of the exhibition and offer insights into the life of Father Serra. ($.) (626) 405-2128.—Lecture: “The Life and Times of Junípero Serra in Borderlands Perspective,” Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.: David Hurst Thomas of the American Museum of Natural History compares Father Serra’s missionary practices with those of his predecessors in the American Southwest, Texas and Spanish Florida, and examines how he accommodated his missions to the uniquely Californian native communities. Co-sponsored by the Academy of American Franciscan History. (800) 838-3006 or—Conference: “Junípero Serra: Context and Representation, 1713-2013,” Sept. 20—21: An international group of scholars explores the larger contexts within which Serra lived and the various ways he has been represented to allow a greater understanding of a man whose life was even more expansive and complex than the missions he established in California. Presented by The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in association with the Academy of American Franciscan History and the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute. —Children’s Workshop: Exploring the Missions, Sept. 21, 9:30-11:30 a.m.: What materials were used to build the California missions? Who lived there? Instructor Laura Moede helps children peek into the past to hear stories and learn how bricks and baskets were made before making their own adobe bricks and woven art to take home. Ages 5-8. (Fee includes one accompanying adult). (626) 405-2128.—Film Screening: “6 Generations: A Chumash Family’s History,” Oct. 5, 1-3 p.m.: Descendants of the Barbare√±o Chumash tell a story of cultural survival and the power of the human spirit in this one-hour documentary. A discussion following the film will include Chumash elder Ernestine De Soto, anthropologist John Johnson and historian Catherine Gudis. (General admission.) Ahmanson Room, Botanical Center.—Family Cooking Class: Californio Cuisine, Nov. 23, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Chef Ernest Miller leads preparation of authentic dishes from the earliest days of the California missions. What foods were available and how did early Califor-nians adapt to new fruits and vegetables? Includes a visit to the exhibition. Ages 7-12. (Fee includes one accompanying adult.) Registration: (626) 405-2128.The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino. It is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, noon-4:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and Monday holidays, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and is closed Tuesdays and major holidays. Admission prices vary by day; group rates available. Information: (626) 405-2100 or{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0823/serraexhibit/{/gallery}