Four Seasons Exhibition

Opening September 28th

Curator: Bob Hilvers

The Four Seasons exhibition features deciduous bonsai. This is a dynamic exhibition that is worth revisiting a few times between September 28 and February 23  to fully appreciate the changing displays of the deciduous bonsai as they transform through the seasons.  Their changing appearance  will begin with the display of the last of the lush green foliage of summer.  Once the weather cools and the days shorten in the fall, we can enjoy the gorgeous color display of a variety of deciduous tree species, such as the golden yellow gingko,  the rust of the  bald cypress, the bright yellow hornbeams or the vibrant red of the Japanese maple.   After the fall color display has passed, bonsai show us another image entirely:  the Winter Silhouette. When deciduous bonsai have shed all their leaves, we see the artistic skill that formed the structure of the tree. Only then can we fully appreciate the angularity and refinement of the branch structure. This exhibition will also feature winter blooming bonsai including  camellia and Ume (flowering apricot). 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.


GSBF Clark Bonsai Collection

in Shinzen Friendship Garden

at Woodward Park


  • Weekends and Holidays 10am-4pm
  • Weather and Docent Availability Allowing
  • All other times by appointment

The Clark Bonsai Collection

The Clark Bonsai Collection is the most recent addition to the Golden State Bonsai Federation’s (GSBF) network of public bonsai collections: the GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt in Oakland, the GSBF Bonsai Collection at the Huntington Library, Art Galleries and Botanical Gardens in San Marino and now the GSBF Clark Bonsai Collection in the Shinzen Friendship Gardens in Woodward Park, Fresno.

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.

The Golden State Bonsai Federation is grateful to the Shinzen Friendship Gardens for hosting the Clark Bonsai Collection and is proud to partner with them, the City of Fresno, and the Fresno Bonsai Society to present this unique asset to an ever increasing number of visitors.

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