The museum ‘s vast galleries of history give families an opportunity to travel back in time and learn more about the history of Stockton and California. Exhibits concentrate on area Native Americans, the Gold Rush, San Joaquin Valley agriculture, historical firefighting equipment, as well as shipbuilding and other industries in Stockton. Visitors will see Victorian-era rooms from a ranch home in the San Joaquin Valley, a recreated local flour mill, and a California town of the turn of the last century which includes a one-room schoolhouse and a Chinese herb store. Gorgeous American Indian pots, a Holt Caterpillar truck, Emma LeDoux ‘s notorious tail, And a World War II jeep is permanently on display alongside thousands of historic artifacts.
Among the twelve paintings in the museum’s art collection by American artist Albert Bierstadt are stunning panoramas of Yosemite Valley, including one that was once on loan to the White House. Other large landscape paintings by artists such as George Inness, William Keith, Thomas Moran, and Julian Rix enrich the collection of American Art from the museum in the 19th century.
Paintings by late 19th to early 20th century European artists are also on display in the museum’s fine art galleries. Highlights include works by Rosa Bonheur, the great animal painter, William Bouguereau, the famous French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and many more.
Joseph Christian Leyendecker, born in Germany, came to Chicago in 1882, with his family. Young Leyendecker had been apprenticed to J’s engraving house at the age of 16. Company Manz &. He graduated as a full-time staff artist and completed his artistic training at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was during this period that Leyendecker created his first commercial work, which included 60 illustrations for an illustrated edition of Manz’s The Bible.
In 1896 he and his brother Frank (1878-1924) left for Paris where they were both enrolled under the tutelage of Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921), and Benjamin Constant (1845-1902) at the Académie Julian. While enrolled in the Académie’s neo-classical school, the Leyendecker brothers also got to know artists such as Jules Cherêt (1836-1932), Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) about the iconic advertisement posters.
The brothers set up a studio at the Chicago Stock Exchange once they returned to Chicago in 1897. Here was the J.C. His involvement with both Collier’s and Saturday Evening Post began, painting a total of 48 covers for the former and 322 for the latter publication. Leyendecker helped establish the modern magazine cover as a specific art form during his 43-year association with the Post-a mini poster whose concept quickly conveyed his message.