Museum Day, a Sacramento cultural tradition, invites all members of the community to experience the Capital City’s incredible wealth of art, history, science and wildlife at numerous participating museums AT NO COST.
The first Saturday of February, Cassandra and I ventured downtown for Free Museum Day. We met up with Diane at the Crocker Art Museum and explored paintings from all over. I loved Wayne Thiebaud’s “Pies, Pies, Pies” pretty much because it was covered in pie and looked delicious. The coolest part of the museum is Judge E. B. Crocker’s mansion.
They’ve recently added a new wing to the building, but originally it was just Mr. Crocker’s house. He and his wife began collecting paintings in 1869, and in 1885, donated their paintings and home to the city as an art gallery. We walked the halls of the house while Diane related facts from childhood elementary school tours. Cassandra and I are both new Californians, so having Diane, a Sacramento native, along was nice.
Our next stop was the Leland Stanford Mansion. You guessed it, the founding family of Stanford University! This building was just as beautiful as Crocker’s Mansion, with 4 stories. The staircases seemed never ending. The Stanford Mansion housed governors and in the 1860s executive office space, it later served as a house for “friendless children” from 1900 to the1980s. It’s now used by the Governor for hosting foreign dignitaries and public tours. I had always wanted to go inside. We couldn’t take any pictures, but I’d say the “friendless children” room was my favorite. I don’t think that’s its official title but I liked how they decorated each half of the room to look how it would in the 1900s and 1950s or so .
Onward from the Stanford Mansion was a walk to Old Sacramento where we explored the Sacramento History Museum, Eagle Theater, Old Sac Schoolhouse and the California State Railroad Museum. I have to finish with this funny story from the railroad museum:
There are exhibits throughout the museum of wax conductors and rail-workers; and wax models of people are pretty realistic. A couple times I thought the models were real people -until I got closer. I finally assumed they were all wax until I saw a gray man sitting in a rail-station exhibit. Just sitting, in his conductor’s suit on a bench. We stared at him and wondered if he was real, he looked real? When suddenly he moved! And I jumped up and down yelling “He’s real? He’s real?” and the man nodded as if to say “Yes, I am real”. One of the museum docents laughed and asked if he’d scared us too. It was the funniest thing so I had to go back and take a picture. By that point he was talking to some curious kids.