Shall we enter through the grand, c.1860s Italiante mansion or the luminous, cutting-edge, structure? No matter which doorway we decide, we will soon be roaming through an impressive blend of art eras - discovering Master drawings, European paintings, one of the largest international ceramics collections in the U.S. and marvelous wings of Asian, African, and Oceanic art. We have found ourselves in the Crocker Art Museum.
Crocker Art Museum, Historic building | via crockerart.org
Originally purchased in 1869 by Judge Edwin C. Crocker and renovated by local architect Seth Babson, the property was unique from the start. Babson designed the mansion to a spectacular degree by using the finest materials and focusing on the goal of integrating and displaying the Crocker family's growing art collection. The original family complex included a bowling alley, skating rink, billiards, a natural history museum, library and gallery space. However, as the decades progressed, the mansion went through several uses and reconstructions. Eventually, the interior was transformed into a fully connected gallery space and renamed the Crocker Art Museum in 1978. It is now a California Historical Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Crocker Art Museum, Teel Family Pavilion | Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects
The second, modern structure, named the Teel Family Pavilion, was completed and opened to the public in 2010. This sleek expansion, which directly connects to the historic building, more than tripled the Museum’s size and enabled the dedication of gallery spaces for all of the Museum’s collecting areas. This also allowed for the historic building to house the Museum’s Education Center, including four studios, space for student and community exhibitions, as well as enhancements to the Gerald Hansen Library, the Art Education Resource Room, and Tot Land.
The Crocker Art Museum is dedicated to serving the community of Sacramento and acts as the primary regional resource for the study and appreciation of fine art. The Museum offers a diverse range of exhibitions, events, and programs to compliment its collections, including films, concerts, studio classes, lectures, children’s activities, and more. They are also committed to increasing accessibility with initiatives such as Art Rx; a virtual experience each month which gives people living with chronic pain, their families, friends and caregivers the ability to enjoy viewing the collections together via Zoom with guided conversations about select works. Art Rx is presented in collaboration with the Center for Pain Medicine’s Integrative Pain Management Program, part of the UC Davis Health System.
This year, Bidsquare is proud to partner with the Crocker Art Museum in hosting a series of auctions now through July 18th which will benefit many aspects of this valued institution. The catalogs feature 200 + artworks, many of which are created by artists in the Museum’s permanent collection. The support raised from these auctions is critical for the Crocker to continue to serve the thousands of children, families and adults that flock to the collections to learn and appreciate art.⠀
This year’s Art Auction Season at the Crocker has three components:
BIG NAMES, SMALL ART (BNSA) is a silent auction of artworks 12in x 12in or smaller, with bidding on each piece starting at just $25 | June 17-July 18, ending at 4:00pm EDT.⠀
LIVE ART AUCTION will begin on July 18 at 8:30pm EDT with a spirited live auction of 10 artworks and the evening’s fund-a-need.⠀
SILENT ART AUCTION features 90 original works of art by the region’s most renowned artists | June 17th - July 18th, ending at 10pm EDT.
Here are several featured artists, included in the upcoming auction catalogs, which are also represented in the Crocker’s *permanent collection:
Lot 275, Bubble No. 5, 2014. Pigment print on rag paper, 23 x 34 in.
Stuart Allen‘s photographs deal with fundamental elements of perception, such as light, time, gravity, and space. His Soap Bubble series focuses on the camera’s ability to record light in a way that is imperceptible to the naked eye. Over time, he has simplified his subjects so the viewer’s attention focuses on the light itself. He writes:
“Within the playful form of a soap bubble, daylight is deconstructed and re-assembled. As a bubble is tossed and turned by the wind, its shape and thickness are constantly changing, creating ephemeral and unpredictable patterns of color. The bubbles, and the photographs which record their brief existence, become a lens through which we witness the complexity of daylight” (Stuart Allen, 2020).
Stuart Allen is represented by JAYJAY and his work is held in institutional and museum collections worldwide. He has completed more than 15 permanent art installations in public and private spaces throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 2003, he produced a solo exhibition of photographs, Dance Lines, in the Crocker’s Historic Ballroom.
(2) ROBERT BRADY
Lot 302, Robert Brady, Mask, 2016. Ceramic, 18 x 8 x 9 in.
San Francisco artist Robert Brady has enjoyed a long and successful career. Originally a potter, Brady is also proficient with bronze, paper, and most notably, wood. His sculptures — including ceramic ones — are highly reductive, with an emphasis on spiritual and mythological archetypes. (His nearly life-size, totemic figures are perhaps his best-known works.)
Robert Brady is represented by b. sakata garo. His work is in many museum collections, including those of the Crocker, the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum of California, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He taught art at California State University, Sacramento for 33 years.
(3) MARK BOWLES
Lot 233, Mark Bowles, Summer Heat 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 in.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Mark Bowles has always been fascinated by texture, form, and color, which he uses to express himself in everchanging ways. Although he prefers the solitude of his studio, painting infrastructure and color interplay, Bowles’s knowledge of plein air techniques is crucial to his artistic process and is evident in he finished works. Scott A. Shields, the Crocker’s chief curator and associate director describes his works as “individual statements that have emerged with individuality from a rich tradition of California landscape painting.”
Similarly, Jerry N. Smith, Curator of the Phoenix Art Museum, writes “Recent paintings suggest vaguely familiar land masses and agrarian fields of central California, but they are clearly imaginative responses not intended to be read as literal. They balance the familiar with the highly personal. These are not landscapes in a classical sense that ask us to pinpoint a precise location. Instead, we are seeing landscapes of the mind. We are seeing Mark’s responses to his lived experience and his shifting reactions brought on by various sites over time.”
Mark Bowles is represented in galleries in Santa Fe, Houston, Palm Desert, San Francisco, Tucson, and Park City. His work is included in numerous private, corporate, and public collections including those of the Crocker, the Denver Art Museum, the Tucson Museum of Art, Booth Wester Art Museum, and the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson.
(4) BRUCE TEMUCHIN BROWN
Lot 211, Bruce Temuchin Brown, Avian Translucide BTBI, 2019. Digital painting on metalprint. 24 x 20 in.
A commercial photographer and filmmaker, Bruce Temuchin Brown specializes in portraitures of the human condition. This work is part of his Avian Translucide series, a set of “digital paintings inspired by the flight of avian creatures in a translucent state” (Bruce Temuchin Brown, 2020). According to Brown, the paintings “are a cross between an X-ray in motion and a Rorschach test in which every viewer perceives something different hidden in the skeletal structure of the birds.”
Bruce Temuchin Brown’s works are in the collections of the Crocker and the di Rosa Preserve in Napa. His commercial and editorial clients include AT&T Wireless, United Airlines, Black Entertainment Television, McGraw-Hill, Money, Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Magazine, and others.
(5) KIM FROHSIN
Lot 257, Kim Frosin, City Street Moves, 2018. Mixed media, 10 x 12 in.
Since the early 1950s, when Bay Area artists like David Park, Elmer Bischoff, and Richard Diebenkorn began returning to representational motifs, California artists have pursued abstract depictions of the human figure. Few have done so with the consistency of Kim Frohsin.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Frohsin studied at San Diego State University, the Aix-en-Provence in France, and at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Much of her inspiration comes from figures, some nude and some clothed; some outdoors and some not. Flat and patterned, Frohsin's figures often become one with their environment.
Kim Frohsin is represented by Andra Norris Gallery. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Crocker, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the San José Museum of Art.
(6) PAT MAHONY
Lot 307, Pat Mahony, Dahlias, 2020. Oil on canvas, 60 x 40 in.
A life-long California resident, Pat Mahony’s lush, abstracted paintings are the result of years of studying the characteristics of light. Her decision to move from East Sacramento to the Garden Highway in 1988 significantly impacted her work. It was then that she began to “capture the river landscapes and local farmland visible from her studio”, instead of cityscapes (John Natsoulas Gallery, 2020). During that time her light studies began in earnest, as she compared the visual effects of the Sacramento Valley light to that of Southern France, Spain, New Mexico, and the California Coast. These latter works have an “ethereal, but authentic, ambiance” to them.
Pat Mahony is represented by John Natsoulas Gallery. Her work can be found in the permanent collection of the Crocker Art Museum, the Springfield Art Museum, and the Nevada Museum of Art.
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Jessica Helen Weinberg | Senior Content Editor at Bidsquare
*Images and descriptions from, "14 Artists From Crocker's Collection to Look For at Art Auction 2020!" crockerart.org