GSBF Clark Bonsai Collection

in Shinzen Friendship Garden

at Woodward Park



November 21, 2020-March 13, 2021


Curator: Bob Hilvers

Our annual Four Seasons exhibition opened November 21 featuring deciduous bonsai, some with the last of their green foliage, but because of the cooler fall this year, many of the bonsai have their fall colors and a few have already defoliated. As the weather cools and the days shorten, we are enjoying some gorgeous color displays. After the fall color display has passed, bonsai show us another image entirely: The Winter Silhouette. Only then can we fully appreciate the architecture of the branch structures. Some bonsai exhibits are exclusively devoted to showing the trees in their Winter Silhouette, particularly for the appreciation of the patience and skill required to develop a beautiful “skeleton.” This exhibition will also feature winter blooming bonsai including  the “Pink Perfection” camellia currently covered in buds  and Ume (flowering apricot also known as plum blossom). At the end of the exhibition, the final seasonal image occurs when the bright green or red leaf buds of early spring emerge on the bare branches, bringing the journey of the seasons full circle. This is a dynamic exhibition that is worth revisiting a few times between November 21 and March 13 to fully appreciate the changing displays of the deciduous bonsai as they transform through the seasons.


“Come and See Bonsai in Winter Silhouette”

 & “Coming Soon: Winter Blooming Camellia and Plum Blossom”


The Clark Bonsai Collection

When the world renowned Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture ceased operations,  its impressive collection of bonsai was transferred to the Golden State Bonsai Federation. GSBF accepted this gift with the express intention of partnering with the Shinzen Friendship Gardens (SFG) to keep the Clark Bonsai Collection in Central California and honor  the legacy of Bill and Libby Clark.  That partnership resulted in the construction of an entirely new bonsai maintenance and exhibit facility in the beautiful  Shinzen  Japanese gardens.  Serenely inviting pathways beckon visitors to stroll past waterfalls, over an iconic double moon bridge to be greeted by scores of resident koi and then on to the Clark Bonsai Collection. As visitors enter the bonsai exhibit they are instantly aware of being in a special place. They discover a hide and reveal garden that, at once, presents stunning examples of the art of bonsai and yet hints that more hidden beauty is only steps beyond a bend in the path.

In keeping with its museum heritage, the Clark Bonsai Collection is presented in “Themed Exhibitions” quarterly. These ever- changing presentations are designed to provide a new interpretive experience with the art of bonsai upon each visit.  Bob Hilvers, who, along with Bill Clark, was a co-founder of the Clark Bonsai Collection and long-time Curator of Bonsai at the Clark Center, continues in the role of Curator of the GSBF Clark Bonsai Collection in Shinzen Friendship Gardens.

GSBF and the Shinzen Gardens invite you to visit and experience for yourself the beauty and wonders of bonsai and a North American Style Japanese Garden.


The Golden State Bonsai Federation’s Clark Bonsai Collection at Shinzen is a living museum encompassing the history of the art of bonsai in California and an educational center for the appreciation and practice of the art form.


  • To continue the legacy of the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture to promote and preserve the Japanese aesthetic and cultural values expressed by the beauty of this art.
  • To preserve and maintain a collection of bonsai representing the historical spectrum of styles.
  • To be an educational center for the art of bonsai in keeping with the mission of Golden State Bonsai Federation
  • To provide continuing education for bonsai practitioners by recognized bonsai masters.
  • To provide bonsai classes/workshops for local schools and other interested groups
  • To provide our visitors with a serene experience and an introduction to this art through thematic bonsai displays.
  • To insure the sustainability of the Collection and its programs by attracting and developing the support of donors and volunteers.
  • To maintain a mutually beneficial partnership between the Golden State Bonsai Federation, the Fresno Bonsai Society, the Clark Bonsai Collection, and Shinzen Friendship Garden in furtherance of our common goals.


GSBF Clark Bonsai Collection

P.O. Box 5382

Fresno, CA 93755

© COPYRIGHT 2019. Golden State Bonsai Federation

© 2014-2019 Clark Bonsai Collection. All Rights Reserved. Registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization