On June 9th, the Duke Environment Club of Sacramento enjoyed a wonderfully led tour of the Crocker Art Museum and its California landscapes collection!
Organized by Neil Matouka MEM ’15 and conceived by Matouka and myself over a happy hour planning meeting, the idea was to come up with a fun, social outing for our growing network, but something that could be tied back to our collective interests in environmental science and management. When Neil mentioned he had a connection with the Crocker Art Museum, we immediately thought of the Crocker’s astounding collection of California art — particularly of the state’s changing natural landscapes over the centuries.
We jumped at this chance to go back in time through snapshots in California’s tumultuous environmental history, as captured by brushstrokes and canvas.
One of Sacramento’s landmark institutions, the Crocker is the longest continuously-operating art museum in the West, with its original structures completed in 1872. Its namesake and founders, Edwin and Margaret Crocker, were intertwined with two key facets of Californian and U.S. history: the transcontinental railroad and abolitionism.
Nearly 150 years later, Sacramentans continue to enjoy the Crocker Family’s legacy in the arts — and so too did our Sac Green Devils group. We were welcomed by docent Burt Loehr, whose knowledge of the Crockers, the historic gallery, and its collections gave us something to chew and reflect on with each exhibit and hallway we walked down.
It was a fantastic treat for our assembled crew that day — water resource managers, fisheries biologists, urban planning professionals, communication consultants, and organic horticulturalists altogether — getting a refresher course in art theory and California history, while spending a fun few hours with new friends and colleagues.
Thanks again to Neil Matouka for arranging the tour, and thanks to everyone who came out for this amazing outing!