Current exhibit in the lobby on the first floor
"Golden Poppies & Scarlet Monkeys:
Celebrating California Wildflowers."

Poppy Mania: The Golden Poppy has inspired a wide variety of collectables ranging from calendars to playing cards. Western Dogwood by Henry Evans. Evans said: 'If magic ever occurs in the California forest, it is when one sees this dogwood in bloom.' A variety of items featuring the California Poppy on display at the California State Library. Brodiaea by Henry Evans on linoleum block print. California poppy by Henry Evans. In 1903 the State Legislature adopted the Golden Poppy as the State Flower. Three watercolor paintings from Myrtle Hill Thomsen's 'Wild Flowers of California.'

The Golden Poppy (Eschsholtzia Californica), designated as California's State Flower in 1903, has inspired a wide variety of collectables ranging from calendars to playing cards. Promotional postcards from the early part of the last century frequently depicted fields of poppies as a way to advertise California's vaunted healthy, all-year-round climate.

The incredible variety of California's wildflowers has enchanted artists since the early days of statehood. This exhibit includes several botanical paintings by Albert R. Valentien (1862–1925), a book of oil paintings (1898–1900) by Carrie Van Wie, and an album of watercolors (1926) by a gifted amateur artist, Myrtle Hill Thomsen. The exhibit also highlights the work of Henry Evans (1918–1990). A self-taught artist, Evans used an 1852 iron hand press to make his linoleum block prints. Digital reproductions of his botanical prints are displayed.

Current exhibit in the lobby on the second floor
"Wild Cheers Broke Loose": Sports in California
From the 1850s to the 1950s

Max Baer - Heavyweight Boxing Champion, June 1934 - June 1935. Solon's Baseball News: 1945 Official Score Book 'Wild Cheers Broke Loose!' sports exhibit now on display. Marathon Bikes Races, 1930s. View of the wide variety of sports-related items on exhibit, including horse racing, golfing, and many more. View of the sports exhibit now on display at the California State Library.

California, because of its mild climate, varied geography, and vigorous population has long been a mecca for sports of all kinds. It is no accident that the Golden State has hosted three Olympics and scores of national and international events. The exploits of California's athletic heroes have produced a vast literature. The California History Section of the State Library possesses an extraordinary collection of books, programs, photographs, posters, and scrapbooks documenting this illustrious history. As demonstrated by this display, California has enjoyed a remarkable diversity of sporting pastimes including basketball, baseball, bicycling, boxing, figure skating, fishing, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, horseracing, polo, skiing, surfing, swimming, and tennis. Space, however, does not permit representation of all forms of athletic competition. Chronologically, the exhibit begins with the late 1850s and ends with the early 1950s before the advent of major sports franchises. The one exception is the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Online Exhibits

Treasures of the California State Library

“Rich, Rare, and Curious: Treasures of the California State Library, 1850–2000” was held at the Crocker Art Museum in 2000. The exhibit catalog is available as California StateLibrary Foundation Bulletin Number 67. The issue consists of 75 pages, including several full-color illustrations describing the history and special collections of library. It can be purchased from the California State Library Foundation.