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.

Wild Cheers Broke Loose: Sports in California from the 1850s to 1950s, in the State Library's second floor gallery, documents Californians' love of all things athletic. Highlights include photos and memorabilia of 19th Century skiing, golf, polo, fishing and boxing.

The exhibit features gridiron giants the Los Angeles Bulldogs and Oakland Giants, two Pacific Coast Football League teams from the 1940s, as well as programs from an early Cal-Stanford "Big Game" and the 1936 Rose Bowl.

Materials on the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, the Oakland Oaks baseball team, and the Sacramento Solons, the Capital City's baseball team of the early 20th Century, are also on view, including several balls signed by Solon team members.

Exhibit goers can read about the record-making run of sexagenarian Abraham Lincoln Monteverde, who in 1929 ran from New York to San Francisco in 79 days, and see photos of "big wheel" cyclists who toured San Francisco in 1883.

Any real examination of California sports must include surfing. Among the photos and pamphlets on riding the waves is a first edition of Gidget: The Little Girl with Big Ideas, which launched a trio of movies and the 1960s TV show starring Sally Field.

All materials are drawn from the State Library's California History collection. The exhibit is open from 8 to 5, Monday through Friday, at 900 N Street in Sacramento and continues through April 2015.

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.