About the Museum:
The Haggin Museum, an art and history museum, has been referred to by Sunset magazine as “one of the undersung gems of California.” Its art collection features works by such noted 19th-century painters as Albert Bierstadt, Rosa Bonheur, and William-Adolphe Bouguereau, as well as many other American and European artists.
Its history displays focus on this area’s past and the accomplishments of its residents, such as Charles Weber, Stockton’s founder; Benjamin Holt, inventor of the Caterpillar track-type tractor; and Tillie Lewis, the “Tomato Queen.” For 70 years, The Haggin Museum has acquired, maintained, and exhibited two important types of collections — one composed of works of fine art and the other devoted to area history.
The San Joaquin Pioneer and Historical Society was formed in 1928 with the purpose of establishing a museum for the preservation of local historical material. It was soon aided by a former Stocktonian, Robert T. McKee, whose wife, Eila Haggin McKee, provided funds to include an art gallery as part of the proposed museum and donated a magnificent collection of paintings that had once belonged to her father, Louis Terah Haggin. The museum officially opened on June 14, 1931. Originally known as the Louis Terah Haggin Memorial Galleries and the San Joaquin Pioneer and Historical Museum, the institution’s name was shortened in 1981 to The Haggin Museum.
To house the continually growing collections, the museum has undergone several additions since first opening. The McKee Room was added in 1939; an extensive addition was constructed in 1949; and the Benjamin Holt Wing opened in 1976. Today the museum’s three-story building contains over 34,000 square feet of exhibition space.
The museum’s permanent art and history exhibits are augmented by a number of temporary exhibitions annually. Special events, such as family programs, lectures, and musical performances, are held throughout the year. The Haggin Museum also maintains several libraries, which are available to researchers by appointment only.