Crocker Museum's New Gwathmey Siegel Addition

The Original Crocker Art Museum
Last Sunday, my mom and I, along with thousands of other art enthusiasts, decided we had to be a part of the opening day of the Crocker Art Museum's new addition. We have always known the Crocker in it's beautifully historic Victorian incarnation, having been donated to the City of Sacramento and the California Museum Association by Margaret Crocker in 1885.

Original Crocker Art Museum Entrance
  On 10.10.10, the new and very modern addition designed by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates was officially opened to the public. And what an opening! As we approached the building (I had been following progress for months prior to seeing it finished) there was a definite air of celebration. Parked on the street and in the park in front of the museum was a huge collection of cars on display. Not just any cars. These were from the Art Cars Fest 2010.These are cars decorated by artists who use them in their daily lives. I will have more on them later!

The Marriage of Original Craocker and the new Expansion by Gwathmey Siegel
The new building is very modern and creates a beautiful counterpoint to the Victorian tradition. For much more information about the design and process, click HERE.

New Expansion by Gwathmey Siegal
As soon as we entered, we were sold. The spaces soared, as did our spirits. I cannot tell you how we felt. A feeling of civic pride, sure, but also a feeling of excitement and anticipation that we were going to be able to have access to this fantastic new facility.

New Entry look out to the Original Crocker
We noticed how many volunteers were on hand to answer questions and direct traffic flow. Everyone was knowledgeable, helpful and enthusiastic to be a part of something grand. Their enthusiasm is quite catching. Both my mom and I are planning to become much more involved with the museum.

Kamehameha by Deborah Butterfield, with a very helpful docent
So let me show you around a little... This is the main entry level. Already we are seeing monumental art....

Pacific Ocean, by Jennifer Bartlett, "84
 And the space is awesome (to quote a teenager that happened to be standing near us). I discovered that the cafe in the Museum is under the direction of one of my favorite Sacramento restaurateurs, Patrick Mulvaney, owner of Mulvaney's Building and Loan. More info about the cafe HERE. I will be back.....often.

Crocker Art Museum Hall and Cafe Seating

We were advised to head up to the third floor, the main exhibit halls, before they became too up we went....

....and in the stair well discovered this ethereal computer animated projection entitled Rapunzel by Jennifer Steinkamp

Rapunzel#10 by Jennifer Steinkam

Rapunzel just got us in the mood for more. The third floor is where the main exhibition galleries are located. We were lucky to see a couple of the galleries full of art that has been promised to the museum by generous donors. I was not able to take pictures here, but there was plenty more to see in the may other gallery spaces....

Cold and Cloudy Today, Tonight and Tomorrow Sam Richardson
This is an example of the spaces allotted to contemporary art....The skylights you see are the sawtooth design on the building exterior. They are reminiscent of the old factories in the Sacramento area....

New Gallery Space

 I have included just some of the pieces that stopped me in my tracks. There is so much to see that we are going to be coming back throughout the year.

Portrait of My Father by Stephen J. Kaltenback

Untitled (Disasters of War 10) by Gettfried Helnwein
Large spaces for large art

Birth of Cain by Troy Dalton
There are also new gallery spaces dedicated to historical California art...

New California Art Gallery Space
 They were buzzing with happy art enthusiasts....

More Gallery Space

California Gallery, Yosemite
This photo is where the new is married to the old. It was not intentional in my photo, but the white walls of the new wing looks almost heavenly as it leads a patron into the gracious tradition of the original building.....
Entering the Original Crocker
Not only did the Crocker treat us to an uplifting new addition to the Sacramento Cultural scene with the museum opening, they also reminded us there is a wealth of culture in the arts that are just as important. The Grand Opening had dancers from Mexico..... 
And India.....

And there was inspiring music...
Sacramento Youth Symphony
 I wish that I could have stayed longer, but other commitments were calling....and we promised ourselves we would be back often.

On the way out, I stopped into the Museum gift shop and saw a couple of things to add to my Holiday wish list....

The Crocker Art Museum Collection, Unveiled

The Vase Unveiled, The Sidney Swidler Collection of the Contemporary Vessel (This is one of the exhibits we did not have time to see...we are making it back to the Museum next week!)
I hope you had a memorable 10.10.10!