Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Crocker Art Museum Expansion

Crocker Art Museum Expansion

Site Plan:

Taken from Crocker Webpage:

*Three times the current space for the permanent collection
*Four times the current space for temporary exhibitions
*300-seat auditorium/lecture theatre
*Cafe with indoor and open-air seating in the courtyard
*Double the current number of parking spaces
*Expanded Museum Store
*Increased accessibility
*7,000-square-foot courtyard plus public access to the current courtyard
*Loading dock, freight elevator and increased onsite storage space

Entrance/Ground Level:
The ground level of the expansion features a new main entrance for the Museum. This fully accessible entrance will be positioned diagonally from the existing entrance and eliminate the current need for a separate handicapped entry. Upon entering the Museum, visitors will be greeted by a dramatic two-story, glass-walled atrium opening on to a new 7,000-square-foot courtyard.

The large atrium reception space will be a great gathering place for Downtown Sacramento, and it will be one of the largest entertainment spaces in the city, accommodating 400 for a formal sit-down dinner or up to 1,200 when used in conjunction with the new courtyard. This indoor-outdoor experience is enhanced with a new link to the existing courtyard, allowing unfettered access to this space for the first time.

Off the atrium will be: a 300-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment; an expanded Museum Store with direct views from the sidewalk; two meeting rooms that accommodate up to 150 people; and a café with indoor and open-air seating.

The ground floor of the existing structure will be turned into an Education Center. The Center features three studios enabling us to offer a full-scale studio art program for adults and children; a hands-on gallery space for youth 18-months to 10-years; a docent and teacher resource room to facilitate greater use of the Museum by the community; a greatly expanded stack area for the Hansen Library; and 1,300-square-feet of exhibition space to showcase our current student exhibition program as well as the works created in our own studio art program.

The ground level is important to improving Museum operations in that it also provides: a loading dock and other service facilities; matting, framing and conservation workspaces; a large freight elevator; and a state-of-the-art security control room, all helping to ensure that the Museum will be prepared to operate efficiently into the future.

Second and Third Floor Details:
The Second and Third Floors will be dedicated to the fundamental requirement of the institution—the care and display of works of art.

Today, less than four percent of the Museum’s permanent collection can be displayed at one time, and the relatively small space available for temporary exhibitions cannot accommodate significant traveling shows. The expansion dramatically enlarges the size and number of galleries, tripling the space for the Crocker’s permanent collection and quadrupling the amount of space for special shows. With this addition, the Museum will be able to display more of the Crocker collection and host larger, “blockbuster” exhibitions. The new wing includes soaring 18-foot ceilings and moveable partition walls, creating flexible and dynamic spaces for large artworks and exhibits.

With the Third Floor (Top Level) of the expansion devoted entirely to gallery space, visitors will take a new circulation route leading gallery to gallery without the necessity to “double back.” This spatial clarity will help visitors make sense of the permanent collection as they move through the new wing to the existing Crocker complex, making a smooth transition through the history of California art from statehood to the present. The Museum’s European collections will be installed in the traditional galleries of the historic building, and the top floor of the Mansion and Pavilion Wings will house Asian art.

The Second Floor (Main Level) of the existing building will provide galleries for the growing ceramics collection as well as Victorian spaces to tell the story of the Crocker Family and the Museum’s history. One of the most unique exhibition spaces will be a Works on Paper Study Center in the current Herold Wing. The Crocker is renowned for its excellent drawings collection, but the fragile nature of works on paper requires brief display periods and careful storage. The Center will provide a controlled environment to protect the Museum’s drawings while allowing unprecedented access for students and scholars. Rotating exhibitions will also ensure a portion of this significant collection is always on view to the public.

Finally, a state-of-the-art collections storage area will be included in the new wing. The Museum currently relies on Ground Level storage that is not protected from flooding, as well as off-site storage that makes objects frustratingly inaccessible. The Second Floor of the addition provides better protection and access to the collections. It also consolidates much-needed staff offices to improve operational efficiencies.


First off, while I am a huge performing arts fan (where is my renovated Community Theater!!), I have never got into museum art.

With that being said, while I have not been to the Crocker in 15 years, and prob will only make one or two trips after the expansion is done only for people visiting, I fully understand (Unlike people who say a new arena in not needed. Should the Maloofs get it free? No, but they shouldn't/won't pay the whole thing either) the importance, enjoyment and benefits of having more and better art facilities in our city. The Crocker our cities largest and one of our only true art collection museums. It is the oldest museum west of the Mississippi...and it's run down, and it shouldn't be be that way.

We need to take care of our cultural assets, while expanding and bring new ones in. *cough* more performing arts space *cough*

One thing I would really like to see come to our city, even though as I said I'm not a art fan (I didn't even care of the NYC ones), is a Sacramento MOMA. Every cool metropolitan has a MOMA! We need a MOMA!!!

The expansion was supposed to begin in the Winter of 2004 and be completed by 2006, but nothing has began yet. I have seen the Crocker on the design review agenda for a couple weeks now, so hopefully they can begin soon. Coupled with all the great things happening on Capitol Mall, they can't help but feed off each other.

For a listing of current exhibits and permanent collections, please click the following link:

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