Cal­i­for­nia Art Takes Cen­ter Stage At Crocker

Riverbank News - - NEWS -

The Crocker Art Mu­seum is pleased to an­nounce an on­go­ing ex­hi­bi­tion of 41 land­scape and still-life paint­ings cre­ated by Cal­i­for­nia artists from the 1870s to the 1940s. The ex­hi­bi­tion, ti­tled Na­ture’s Gifts: Early Cal­i­for­nia Paint­ings from the Wendy Will­rich Col­lec­tion, in­cludes de­tailed de­pic­tions of Cal­i­for­nia’s ma­jes­tic Sierra Ne­vada scenery, qui­eter Bar­bizon-in­spired and Ton­al­ist land­scapes in both wa­ter­color and oil, and plein-air Im­pres­sion­ist and Post-Im­pres­sion­ist scenes of moun­tains, desert, and sea.

All of the works in this ex­hi­bi­tion are gifted by art col­lec­tor Wendy Will­rich to the Mu­seum’s renowned per­ma­nent col­lec­tion of Cal­i­for­nia art, the core of which was as­sem­bled by E.B. Crocker and his fam­ily in the early 1870s.

The Crocker is at 216 O St., Sacra­mento; call 916-8087000 for more in­for­ma­tion.

“I se­lected the Crocker be­cause it is im­por­tant to have my col­lec­tion in Sacra­mento, the cap­i­tal of Cal­i­for­nia,” said Will­rich. “More­over, I know that my col­lec­tion adds great value and depth to the ex­cel­lent col­lec­tion of Cal­i­for­nia paint­ings that al­ready ex­ists at the Crocker.”

Most art cre­ated in Cal­i­for­nia be­tween the 1870s and 1940s (the span rep­re­sented by paint­ings in the Will­rich Col­lec­tion) man­i­fests a pro­found sense of place. As with Amer­i­can art gen­er­ally, the best Cal­i­for­nia art of this pe­riod was founded upon a close com­mu­nion be­tween the artist and the land.

His­tor­i­cally, a vast num­ber of the Golden State’s artists have not been na­tive, but trans­planted from other parts of the coun­try or world, and many per­fected their craft by train­ing else­where.

Crocker Art Mu­seum founder E.B. Crocker and his fam­ily firmly be­lieved in the beauty and merit of Cal­i­for­nia art. The Crock­ers were vi­sion­ary in rec­og­niz­ing the con­tri­bu­tions of Cal­i­for­nia’s artists early on, and thus compiled the core of what is to­day the state’s pre­mier col­lec­tion of 19th-cen­tury Cal­i­for­nia paint­ings.

The Will­rich col­lec­tion be­gins with de­tailed images of Cal­i­for­nia’s ma­jes­tic Sierra Ne­vada ren­dered in the style pop­u­lar­ized by the East Coast’s Hud­son School. These in­clude four paint­ings by Thomas Hill, two by William Keith, and one by Fred- er­ick Schafer.

Now open for view, this ex­hi­bi­tion is or­ga­nized by the Crocker’s as­so­ci­ate direc­tor and chief cu­ra­tor, Scott A. Shields. Many of the works will re­main on view as part of the Mu­seum’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tion be­yond an ex­tended pe­riod of dis­play.

Paint­ings from the Wendy Will­rich Col­lec­tion, which in­cludes de­tailed de­pic­tions of Cal­i­for­nia’s ma­jes­tic Sierra Ne­vada scenery as well as lesser known vis­tas, are on dis­play at the Crocker Art Mu­seum in Sacra­mento.

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