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Architecture
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In 1868, Judge Edwin B. Crocker purchased the property and existing buildings on the corner of Third and O Streets. He then commissioned local architect Seth Babson (1830-1908) to renovate the home into a grander, Italianate mansion. In addition, Crocker asked Babson to design an elaborate gallery building adjacent to the mansion to display the family's growing art collection.

The first public art museum founded in the Western United States, the Crocker Art Museum was established in 1885 and is now one of the leading art museums in California. The Crocker serves as the primary regional resource for the study and appreciation of fine art. The Museum offers a diverse spectrum of special exhibitions and programs to complement its collections of Californian art, works on paper, European art, international ceramics, photography, Asian art, and African and Oceanic art. The Crocker Art Museum is the only museum in the Sacramento region accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), a recognition given to less than 800 of the nation's 17,500 museums. AAM accreditation certifies that a museum operates according to standards set forth by the museum profession, manages its collections responsibly, and provides quality service to the public.

Historic Building

Babson envisioned the home and gallery as an integrated complex, unique in design and built from the finest materials. The gallery building 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. Completed in 1872, the Crocker family mansion and art gallery are considered the masterpieces of Babson's career. The family mansion went through several uses and reconstructions until a 1989 renovation restored the historic fa├žade and created a modern gallery interior. The original buildings, now connected, as well as the cast concrete Herold Wing addition of 1969, were renamed the Crocker Art Museum in 1978. The gallery building is a California Historical Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Teel Family Pavilion

In 2000, the Crocker appointed a selection committee comprising elected officials, community leaders, CAMA Board members, City staff, and potential donors to search for an architect who would lead the Museum through master planning. After a comprehensive review of all of the major museum architects in the world, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (GSAA) was chosen to guide the process because of their design aesthetic and past experience. GSAA designed the expansion of the Crocker after conducting a thorough master planning process. Many voices from the community were involved in a collaborative process to ensure that the new building and the internal reconfiguration of the existing structures would work together as a whole. On October 10, 2010, the Crocker opened the 125,000-square-foot Teel Family Pavilion. The New Crocker Art Museum: The Making of a Masterpiece is an in-depth look behind the scenes of the fundraising process, the design and construction of the new facility, and the building and exhibition of the Crocker's collection. Produced, directed, and edited by Laurence Campling, the DVD is available for purchase in the Museum Store.

The expansion more than tripled the Museum's size, enhancing its ability to serve Sacramento and the region's many visitors. For the first time in the Museum's history, there are dedicated gallery spaces for all collecting areas. The expansion also enabled the dedication of the historic building's entire first floor as the Museum's Education Center, including four studio classrooms, space for Student & Community Exhibitions, an expanded Gerald Hansen Library, the Art Education Resource Room, and Tot Land.

Rent the Crocker

Whether hosting your wedding or a corporate reception, the Crocker Art Museum is the perfect canvas for your special event. Our unique setting and exceptional service guarantees an unparalleled experience. Please contact the Facility Use Department for more information.

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Birthday Parties

Celebrate your child's special day at the Crocker.

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Holiday Artisan Market: Call to Artists

California artists and artisans are invited to apply for the annual juried Crocker Holiday Artisan Market 2015.

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