Crocker Art Museum
216 O St., Sacramento; (916) 264-5423;
Locals learn to love the Crocker Art Museum from an early age. (It’s a popular elementary-school field-trip destination.) Founded in 1885 and housed in a stunning Victorian Italianate mansion in downtown Sacramento, the Crocker is the longest continuously operating art museum in the West. The museum takes an ecumenical approach to its collection, exhibiting everything from Old Masters and early California art to modern masterworks by the likes of Robert Arneson and Wayne Thiebaud. One of its most loved and best-known works is Charles Christian Nahl’s “Sunday Morning in the Mines,” a monumental painting from the Gold Rush era that depicts the colorful goings-on in a typical mining camp. As great as the Crocker is, it promises to be even better when a 125,000-square-foot expansion now under way is finished in 2010.