IF YOU GO:
• PLACE: The Haggin Museum
• ADDRESS: 1201 N. Pershing Ave., Stockton
• HOW TO GET THERE: From Interstate 5 northbound, take the Pershing Avenue exit and go two blocks to Victory Park.
• PHONE NUMBER: 209.940.6300
• WEBSITE: www.hagginmuseum.org.
• HOURS: Saturday through Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; Wednesday & Friday, 1:30-5 p.m.; first and third Thursday, 1:30-9 p.m.
• ADMISSION: $8 adults (ages 18-64), $7 seniors (ages 65 and up), and $5 students (ages 10-17).
Ronald Reagan loved California.
The Administration of the 40th U.S. President proudly displayed a breath-taking panorama of Yosemite Valley by American painter Albert Bierstadt inside the White House.
That’s the same painting prominently displayed at the Haggin Museum otherwise known as the “Jewel of Stockton.”
The Haggin loaned out the piece to the White House during Reagan’s term in office.
Lisa Cooperman, who is the museum’s curator of education, says it’s no surprise that the President was a fan of Bierstadt’s work.
After all, he was once governor of the Golden State and many of his screen roles were that of the pioneers.
Bierstadt, George Inness, William Keith, Thomas Moran, and Julian Rix – the Haggin is home to an outstanding collection of 19th century American art.
“These were works that belonged to three generations of the Haggin family,” said Cooperman.
But it doesn’t end there. The Haggin also features the works of great European artists such as Rosa Bonheur, William Bouguereau, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, to name a few.
Cooperman indicated that the Haggin was constructed specifically as a museum.
Named for Louis Terah Haggin, son of Kentucky-born attorney and mining magnate James Ben Ali Haggin – he settled with his family in San Francisco, where he amassed a large fortune including a large collection of art works.
Those pieces were donated to the museum along with a generous endowment by Eila Butterworth Haggin McKee, Louis Terah Haggin’s only child. She married Stockton native Robert Tittle McKee.
The Haggin Museum opened on Flag Day, June 14, 1931. Along with the valued art works is the story of the pioneers of the area.
On display is the history of Stockton and California, from the Native Americans to the Gold Rush era and agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley.
Charles Weber, who is the city founder of Stockton, along with Benjamin Holt of Caterpillar tractor, Tillie Lewis, who is the “Tomato Queen” of cannery, and George Shima, who is regarded the “Potato King” are also featured.
Visitors can take trip back in time by checking out the period rooms. They can see a Victorian-era San Joaquin Valley ranch home or a recreated local flour mill along with life during the turn of the last century – try a one-room school house or a Chinese herb factory.
The Haggin features special exhibitions and museum events.
The first and third Thursdays offers up an evening with a guest speaker or live music. The second Saturday of each month is saved for families with children ages 5 through 12. Included here are hands-on art workshops or museum-wide festivals.
Beginning Oct. 16, the exhibition will be Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross.
“He’s the one who took the Superman from the Dark Ages (of comics) to today,” said Cooperman.