An art museum (suprise!) in Sacramento, California.

The Crocker Art Museum is one of the oldest museums in the West, having been in continuous operation since it's first public opening in 1885. The museum is located at 216 O Street, about a mile from the Capitol, in the old home of E. B. and Margaret Crocker. Judge E. B. Crocker was a railroad tycoon who became a justice of the California Supreme Court. In 1869, Judge Crocker and his wife went on an extended tour of Germany, where they collected over 900 paintings and 1,300 drawings. This collection became the core of the Crocker Museum.

Unfortunately, in the late 19th century, art collectors seemed to favor breath over depth, so (to my admittedly untrained eye) these works seems to be rather pedestrian and mediocre at best. There is an abundance of still lifes and landscapes.

That's not to say that the museum is a bad one.

The best exhibits are the modern ones, especially those that focus on works by regional artists of the Sacramento Valley. In particular I liked Troy Dalton's Birth of Cain (a huge canvas depicting Eve giving birth to Cain while Adam struggles with Lilith (his first wife) for the child) and Wayne Thiebaud's Street and Shadow (a painting of a lonely San Francisco street that is a little flat visually, yet dynamic nevertheless).

Currently there's a pretty good temporary exhibit of African-American Art (the Walter O. Evans collection)on display. The paintings and sculpture date from 1848 to the 1997. In particular, look for the Aaron Douglas pieces.

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