Gift Reunites Boldini’s Crocker Sisters After a Century Apart


(SACRAMENTO, CA — March 10, 2020) The Crocker Art Museum is delighted to announce the gift of Giovanni Boldini’s 1906 painting “Ethel Mary Crocker, later Countess Andre de Limur.” The gift not only broadens the Museum’s renowned collection of European paintings but also reunites portraits of two Crocker sisters, close relatives of the Museum’s founding family.

In April 1906, ten days after the San Francisco earthquake and fire, Helen Victoria Crocker and and her older sister, Ethel Mary, departed New York for Paris on the liner Deutschland. Their father, William H. Crocker (nephew of Crocker Art Museum founder, Edwin Bryant Crocker) remained in San Francisco to aid in recovery efforts.

At the time, Giovanni Boldini, an Italian artist who had moved to Paris in 1872, was the city’s most sought-after portraitist, dominating the field along with John Singer Sargent and Anders Zorn. Just a month before the arrival of the Crocker girls, he completed “The Duchess of Marlborough (Consuelo Vanderbilt) and her Son,” perhaps his most famous painting, now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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