(KTXL) — The Crocker Art Museum has been a Sacramento staple since the late 1800s, showcasing permanent and rotating collections of art.
According to the National Archives, the Crocker Art Museum was donated to the city of Sacramento in 1885 and is the “oldest state or municipally owned art gallery west of the Rocky Mountains, and is considered to be the second oldest in the United States.”
What is known today as the Crocker Art Museum started as a place for Judge Edwin B. Crocker to display his collection of art that, over time, grew into a full-fledged art museum.
According to the museum, in 1868, Crocker purchased 216 O St in Downtown Sacramento and commissioned Seth Babson to renovate the home into an “Italianate mansion.”
Crocker also asked Babson to design a gallery in the building next to the home to hold the private art collection owned by Crocker and his family.
The gallery included, “a bowling alley, skating rink, and billiards room on the ground floor; a natural history museum and a library on the first floor; and gallery space on the second floor.”
Both the mansion and gallery were completed in 1872.
According to the City of Sacramento, Mrs. Crocker donated the building and all of the art inside to the city in 1884. The original building, which is still standing, is only one part of the art complex that sits at the site today.
In the 2000s, the museum was expanded, and in 2010, it opened the Teel Family Pavilion which is a 125,000-square-foot expansion next door.
According to the museum, the expansion tripled the size of the original building, which allowed for more gallery space and collecting areas.
The expansion allowed the first floor of the original building to be dedicated as the “Museum’s Education Center, including four studios, space for student and community exhibitions, an expanded Gerald Hansen Library, the Art Education Resource Room, and Tot Land.”
The “Crocker,” as it is locally known, features California art along with European master drawings and international ceramics.
The museum also offers a “diverse spectrum of exhibitions, events, and programs to augment its collections, including films, concerts, studio classes, lectures, children’s activities, and more.”
The museum states that it is the only museum in Sacramento that is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
This recognition has only been given to less than 1,100 museums out of over 33,000 museums that are in the United States.
An AAM recognition stated that a “museum operates according to standards set forth by the museum profession, manages its collections responsibly, and provides quality service to the public”