The Crocker Museum in Sacramento holds a large collection of both modern and European art. Currently the museum is exhibiting various pieces of Mexican origin.
The Mexican exhibit displays various kinds of artworks, from sculpture to paintings, and even a small shrine. The pieces focused on the revolution in Mexico, and various aspects of life for Mexicans in the United States, including jokes about commonly utilized products, giving them a twist.
The Crocker’s permanent exhibit showcases a variety of pieces, such as sculpture, paintings, pottery, and other modern three-dimensional works. One of my favorite pieces of art is in the hallway connecting the European and Modern Wings of the museum. It is the painting titled Christmas Morning, Hôtel de Cluny by Edwin Deakin. I am particularly fond of this painting because I have visited this location many times (it is nearby our apartment in Paris).
Edwin Deakin is a British-American artist who is most commonly known for his landscapes, which he painted in the romantic style that was common in Britain during his time. While traveling in France, Deakin began painting the buildings in Paris while they were covered in snow. In the painting of Hôtel de Cluny one can see the warm glow of the light emanating from the window, while barely visible birds are perched on top of the ledge. The painting depicts a warm, friendly looking atmosphere, one that offered shelter and warmth during the cold winter months.
Deakin paints with loose, fluid brushstrokes and uses lighting to highlight the building. The warm light seen emanating from within the hotel can be considered an allusion to the holy light of a sanctuary. The stained glass window features the story of the birth of Jesus, which further explains the holy season being depicted. Above the window, highlighted by a ray of light, the coat of arms of the house of Cluny can be seen. This shows that the light of heaven shines upon the Cluny family, and depicts the Hôtel de Cluny as a noble and upstanding establishment.
The front door of the building is slightly ajar, allowing light to pour into the courtyard. This can be seen as an invitation to weary travelers that the Hôtel de Cluny welcomes all, just as the farmer who housed Mary and Joseph did not turn the holy family away, neither will the Cluny Family.
I find myself endeared to the Hôtel de Cluny painting mostly because it the hotel itself looks the same now as it did in 1880. The sense of continuity connects me to the subject. While the building is now a public library filled with books and magazines on art, history, and other genres, one experiences a sense of grandeur when visiting.
The Crocker, in addition to her considerable collection of paintings and modern art, also houses a large collection of pottery from Asia and the Americas, including an entire room devoted to India, China, and Japan. Since the Crocker Art Museum was once a private collection, it has an attractive collection of art and artifacts from around the globe that the Crocker family collected over time. It is an enjoyable museum to visit due it its wide collection of art from different cultures and time periods.