The display “Cool Clay: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Ceramics” opens Sunday, July 21 at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.
From raw textures to meticulous details, to glazes bursting with color, the works in “Cool Clay” represent one of the most exciting and expansive fields of contemporary art. This exhibition highlights a selection of notable acquisitions that strengthen the Crocker Art Museum’s ceramics holdings in both diversity and scope, the majority by artists not previously represented in the permanent collection. These include influential figures like Rudy Autio, Jun Kaneko, Edwin Scheier, and Akio Takamori, as well as more recent leaders like Peter Olson, Zemer Peled, Brian Rochefort, and Dirk Staschke. Although the artists pursue a great variety of approaches and techniques, each embraces the experimental and playful sensibility this versatile medium engenders. Spanning six decades of studio practice, this exhibition celebrates the ground-breaking achievements of 20th-century ceramists as well as those who today continue to reimagine the possibilities of working in clay.
Through engaging, innovative, and life-changing interactions with art, the Crocker Art Museum provides meaningful opportunities for people of divergent backgrounds to find common ground. Founded in 1885, the Crocker features the world’s foremost display of California art and is renowned for its holdings of master drawings and international ceramics, as well as European, Asian, African, and Oceanic art. The Crocker serves as the primary regional resource for the study and appreciation of fine art and offers a diverse spectrum of exhibitions, events, and programs to enrich the visitor experience, including films, concerts, studio classes, lectures, and an array of activities for families and children. More information about exhibits and programs can be found at crockerart.org or by following @crockerart. The Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Every third Sunday of the month is “Pay What You Wish Sunday” sponsored by Western Health Advantage.
Currently on display is “The Race to Promontory: The Transcontinental Railroad and the American West” which runs through Sept. 29.
This exhibition celebrates the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, when the Central Pacific and its eastern counterpart, the Union Pacific, were joined by a golden spike. Two photographers, Andrew Joseph Russell for the Union Pacific and Alfred A. Hart for the Central Pacific, documented the railroad’s challenging path through mountains and plains. Their original photographs and stereoviews, as well as archival materials relating to the Promontory Summit ceremony, will provide a new view into this transformative event, which allowed Sacramento – and E. B. Crocker – to prosper.
“Chiura Obata: An American Modern” runs through Sept. 29.
Born in Okayama, Japan, Chiura Obata (1885–1975) immigrated to the United States in 1903 and embarked on a seven-decade career that saw the enactment of anti-immigration laws and the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. He nevertheless emerged as a leading figure in the Northern California art scene and as an influential educator, teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, for nearly 20 years and acting as founding director of art schools in two of the internment camps. This exhibition offers an unprecedented survey of Obata’s rich and varied body of work and includes over 100 paintings, drawings, prints, and personal items, many of which have never been on public display. They range from the artist’s early formal studies as a student in Japan to the California landscapes for which he is most recognized.