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Crocker Art Museum

Located in the center of Sacramento, the Crocker Art Museum is a shining example of creativity and culture, beckoning art lovers and inquisitive minds to experience the captivating realm of visual arts. The Crocker Art Museum, which opened its doors in 1885, is not only the oldest museum in the Western United States but also proof of the art’s enduring ability to unite and enrich communities. With its outstanding collection, varied programming, and dedication to promoting a deeper understanding of the arts, the Crocker Art Museum has established itself as a treasured cultural asset in the state capital of California.

The Past of the Museum

The vision of one extraordinary woman, Margaret Crocker, who together with her husband Edwin B. Crocker played a crucial role in shaping the institution, is where the story of the Crocker Art Museum starts. Margaret shared her love of creativity and culture with her husband as a passionate art collector and patron. Together, during their travels in Europe and Asia, they started to gather an impressive collection of artworks.

Margaret Crocker gave the city of Sacramento their vast art collection, which included over 400 paintings, after her husband passed away. When the Crocker Art Museum opened to the public in 1885, it was largely due to this kind donation.

The Architecture of the Museum

The striking fusion of modern and historical design found in the architecture of the Crocker Art Museum is among the first things that catch the eye of onlookers. Completed in 1872 and designed by Seth Babson, the original structure features Italianate-style elements that capture the era’s architectural fads. The museum has grown over time with new modern additions that have improved the overall experience for visitors.

The Teel Family Pavilion, the biggest addition, skillfully combines the old and the new. This contemporary wing, which was created by renowned architects Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, adds extra amenities and exhibition space to the historic building. The striking background that the juxtaposition of modern and historic architectural elements creates for the wide variety of artworks on show is appealing.

The Assortment

The remarkable collection of the Crocker Art Museum, which spans centuries, continents, and artistic movements, is its main attraction. With more than 15,000 pieces of art, the museum provides a thorough look at the development of art throughout history, from ancient to modern.

European Art: Renowned artists such as Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir have iconic pieces in the museum’s collection of European art. The magnificence of 19th-century European art is available for visitors to experience, along with the inventiveness and beauty of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.

American Art: The Crocker Art Museum is pleased to present American art, showcasing the diverse range of artistic expression across the country. The American art collection encourages visitors to investigate the breadth of American artistic expression, showcasing everything from vivid contemporary pieces to landscapes by the Hudson River School.

Asian Art: The museum’s vast collection of Asian artworks is a testament to Margaret Crocker’s love of the genre. Fine sculptures, elaborate textiles, and delicate ceramics from China, Japan, and other Asian countries are on display for visitors to admire.

African and Oceanic Art: The museum’s collection of African and Oceanic art is more proof of its dedication to promoting cultural diversity. A glimpse into the diverse artistic traditions of Africa can be found in the masks, sculptures, and textiles produced by these cultures. Similar to this, works of oceanic art take viewers to Pacific island nations while showcasing the inventiveness and symbolism of native cultures.

California Art: The Crocker Art Museum is home to a sizable collection of California art as a nod to its origins. This collection honors Californian artists and their contributions to the art world from the time of the state’s Gold Rush to the present.

Special Exhibitions

In addition to its permanent collection, the Crocker Art Museum regularly hosts special exhibitions that showcase the creativity and innovation of artists from around the world. These exhibitions span a wide range of styles, genres, and time periods, offering fresh perspectives and engaging experiences for museum visitors.

Education and Outreach

The Crocker Art Museum serves as a center for cultural and educational enrichment in addition to being a place to view art. The museum offers a wide range of programs and initiatives aimed at fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the arts.

Education Programs: The museum’s education programs cater to learners of all ages. From school tours and art classes to lectures and workshops, the Crocker Art Museum encourages visitors to engage with art on a personal level. Educational initiatives extend to underserved communities, ensuring that art remains accessible to all.

Art-Based Events: Throughout the year, the museum hosts a variety of art-based events, including art-making activities, gallery talks, and live performances. These events create opportunities for visitors to interact with art in dynamic and immersive ways.

Community Engagement: The Crocker Art Museum is committed to being an integral part of the Sacramento community. It collaborates with local organizations and artists, contributing to the cultural vibrancy of the city.


The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California, is more than just a repository of art; it is a dynamic and evolving institution that celebrates creativity, culture, and community. With its diverse collection, engaging exhibitions, and commitment to education and outreach, the museum continues to inspire and enrich the lives of visitors from all walks of life. As it preserves the legacy of its founders and the vision of Margaret Crocker, the Crocker Art Museum stands as a testament to the enduring power of art to transcend time and connect people across generations.

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