Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…

Riding the rails…


Recently, a group of women I drink coffee with each week decided to catch a train to Sacramento for a day trip visiting the Crocker Art Museum. Some of the group have been my friends since our kids were in early elementary school together and some are new friends, just since I retired and could actually partake in a weekly coffee klatch in the morning. What a luxury that is! One of the group moved to Sacramento and the rest of us decided to meet her for a tour of the Museum and lunch. So “the women who coffee” caught the train in Martinez. It is called the Capital Corridor and, for seniors, only costs $19.00 for a round trip. Takes an hour and is the best deal in town. Also, Toulouse-Lautrec was playing at the Crocker. Eleven of us hopped the train and enjoyed the rolling view.

Martinez Train Station

Martinez Train Station

Train View as we rolled along

California Train View, as we rolled along

Our tour guide met us at the station holding up a large sign so we would not miss her (just like the best of tour guides!)

Michelle Leong (Peet's is where we usually drink coffee)

Michelle Leong (Peet’s is where we usually drink coffee)

Then she led us down to the museum (only about a mile’s walk from the station…)

IMG_9377 IMG_9384 IMG_9385 IMG_9388 IMG_9389


The Museum is a combination of old and new…the original building donated by the Crocker’s and a new portion that expands the exhibit space, holds the restaurant and museum store, and has classrooms.

crocker2 copy

The Toulouse exhibit did not allow photos but I visited with some of my old friends…


Jade Beads Guy Rose c. 1907-1912


Sacramento River Gregory Kondos 1981, oil on canvas


Wayne Thiebaud


Early California Artifact

Then we discovered two small gallery rooms that were fabulous. In the first, there was a display of the tile-makers art. In particular, early California faience art tiles and some Julia Morgan designed pressed tiles for the Hearst Castle bell tower. Heaven!

From the museum website:

William Bragdon was a ceramic engineer trained at Alfred University in New York. He moved to Berkeley in 1915 to teach at the California School of Arts and Crafts and shortly thereafter formed a partnership with his Alfred University classmate Chauncey Thomas, then running a Berkeley pottery studio. Together they created decorative tiles, vases, and sculpture, calling their wares California Faience. The most prestigious of the company’s projects came in the 1920s when architect Julia Morgan commissioned a complete environment of tiles for William Randolph Hearst’s palatial home and grounds in San Simeon.


Showroom Display 1914-25 California Faience

Showroom Display
California Faience

Display Panel 1922-23 Earthenware press molded

Display Panel
Earthenware press molded

IMG_9419 IMG_9418

Hearst Castle Bell Tower Julia Morgan design

Hearst Castle Bell Tower
Julia Morgan design

The Green Man

The Green Man

Julia Morgan's elevation drawing

Julia Morgan’s elevation drawing


Snowflake and Daisy California Faience by Julia Morgan Winged Seahorse by Julia Morgan Spanish Tile 16th century

Snowflake and Daisy California Faience by Julia Morgan
Winged Seahorse by Julia Morgan
Spanish Tile 16th century

This exhibit will be there until May 17…the Crocker Museum website is here

My next post will be about the gallery in the next room and BLOCKPRINTS!

Author: loisreynoldsmead


9 thoughts on “Riding the rails…

  1. I’m going to ck if this could be a 1-day trip from Hanford. What is the name of the station where you got off so close to the Crocker?
    Sounds and looks like a great trip.
    Thanks, Kata

  2. I think that train we were on only went to the Sacramento station that you would take to get to the State Capital (we could see the building as we walked). Somebody in our group asked and they were given the answer that our train only stopped at the one. It was a really big station but lots of helpful people around to get us to the right track to get back home!

    • Thanks, Lois. This is a big help. I will ck into the time it would take and if it could be a 1-day trip. The station looks huge and gorgeous.

      • Oh, I hope you can make it…train travel is sooo fun!

      • Just talked w/Amtrak…could get to Sacto 10:10 a and return 8:39 p…so it’s doable.
        Is dining within walking distance?
        Thanks so much. Not sure we can pull this off for this exhibit.

      • We ate lunch in the museum restaurant but I left and got home before dinner. Most of the group did stay for dinner but I do not know how far away they went. There are lots of restaurants over near the Capitol building.

      • Thanks for the dining info. I will see if I can find interested ppl to go.
        Or, I may just go by myself?

  3. Wow. I feel like “I’ve truly made it” when I made it into Lois Meads blog! Thanks Lois. I hope I paid you enough.

    Blessings, M


  4. Well, we will talk about that Michelle…hah, hah, hah! Seriously, thank you for the lovely, lovely day and the eggs!

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