Sacramento, Calif. – One-hundred and twenty years have passed since Edwin Deakin was accorded a major show in Sacramento. Beginning January 26, works by the celebrated California painter will return in a long-overdue, career-spanning exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum. Nearly 50 of his paintings and eight drawings will go on display through April 20, 2008, in Edwin Deakin: California Painter of the Picturesque.
This exhibition presents the works for which Deakin is best known, including landscapes, still lifes and architectural scenes of the American West and Europe. Contrary to the grandiose scenes that were then the norm, Deakin’s quiet landscapes and studies of age-worn buildings embraced the trend toward the picturesque. His depictions of California’s 21 missions epitomize Deakin’s romantic style and are considered his crowning achievement.
"The Crocker Art Museum is one of the primary resources for the study and appreciation of the art of California," said Scott A. Shields, exhibition curator and author of the accompanying Deakin catalogue. "It is thus exceptionally appropriate that the Museum should exhibit the work of a premier, yet under-recognized California artist, Edwin Deakin." After showing at the Crocker, much of the exhibition will travel to the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno.
Deakin himself knew the Crocker Art Gallery well and thought highly of it. He visited in 1888, three years after Margaret Crocker donated the gallery building and its collections to the citizens of Sacramento. Impressed, Deakin was warm in his commendation, thinking "the city possessed … a great treasure in such a property." Nineteen paintings included in the show were recently entrusted to the Crocker by the State of California. A bequest from the Deakin estate, the artist considered these paintings to be among his most significant works and never sold them.
Born in Sheffield, England, Deakin moved to San Francisco in 1870 and spent the majority of his life painting and drawing in the Bay Area. In his own time, as today, his paintings were popular for their beauty and romantic depiction of California’s fleeting wilderness. On exhibition 26 January through 20 April, 2008.
The Crocker Art Museum was founded in 1885 and continues as the leading art institution for the California Capital Region and Central Valley. The Museum offers a diverse spectrum of special exhibitions, events and programs to augment its collections of California, European and Asian artworks. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in Downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday; Thursday until 9 p.m. Admission is free on Sundays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information on exhibits and events call (916) 264-5423 or visit www.crockerartmuseum.org .