Art: Crocker Collection

A civil engineer, a lawyer, a student of botany and ornithology was Edwin Bryant Crocker when he arrived in California in 1852. Before he died in 1875, fat, goat-bearded and wealthy, he had served a term on the State supreme court, helped Leland Stanford build the Central Pacific Railroad, filled his brick mansion and adjacent gallery in Sacramento with an extraordinary mess of stuffed birds, shells and European art acquired in Dresden and Paris on his one trip abroad. Ten years later his widow gave the treasures and the gallery to the city of Sacramento, which later acquired the mansion and...

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