Crocker Art Museum
A Pioneering Collection: Master Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum
172 pages, paperback, 265 x 228 mm, 100 colour illustrations
ISBN: 978 1 884038 17 4
William Breazeale with Cara Denison, Stacey Sell and Freyda Spira
The master drawings at the Crocker Art Museum, dating from the late fifteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries, form an unusually rich and historic collection, known to include many keystones of the history of art. Sheets by Carpaccio, Dürer, Callot and Boucher only scratch the surface of a collection whose sources include the great eighteenth-century collectors Pierre-Jean Mariette, Pierre Crozat, Joshua Reynolds and Antoine-Joseph Dezallier d'Argenville, their seventeenth-century predecessors Evrard Jabach, Nicolas Lanier, Jan Pietersz. Zoomer and Pieter Lely, as well as nineteenth-century collectors like William Esdaile, Thomas Lawrence, and Dominique Vivant-Denon.
Purchased for the most part in 1869–71 by the founders of the Crocker Art Museum, the works are in some ways a time capsule that gives insight into the European art market and the taste of the patrons. Through this catalogue the Museum introduces a selection of the best drawings to the public for the first time, and provides a splendid overview of this unique collection, shedding fuller light on its history and context, both in relation to California events and to American patronage.