San Francisco

Wayne Theibaud, Lida Giambastiani, Don Reich, Ruth Elliot, Carl Morris, George Harding, William Ritchel and Phil Paradise

Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento

Exhibitions from the permanent collection are up for the summer and afford rewarding browsing for the historian: the 1870’s (E. B. Crocker) Collection, the Oriental Collection, the Ralph Lee Collection of religious and devotional art, the Rococco Gallery, and the 20th Century Collection. The Crocker’s avowed objective is the building of fine arts collections to strengthen the educational effectiveness of the museum. No effort is made to be all inclusive in any one art or period, “nor is it the intention to specialize.” Yet the Crocker Art Gallery has specialized. In conservatism. Its emphasis has been, understandably enough, on California history—but its acquisitions seemingly are made to keep peace with the clubby members of an industrial aristocracy.

Certainly the artists of California have been more adventurous than the Crocker would indicate! A slight nod to more exploratory artists has recently been made by the addition of the small Contemporary Collection. Paintings for this collection were selected from 20th Century western artists, mostly Californians, to illuminate the various idioms of our time: Wayne Theibaud, Expressionism; Lida Giambastiani, Abstract Expressionism; Don Reich, Symbolic Abstraction; Ruth Elliot, Abstract Symbolism; Carl Morris, Decorative Abstraction; George Harding, Decorative Realism; William Ritchel, Realism; Phil Paradise, Decorative Realism.

E. M. Polley