Current exhibit in the lobby on the first floor
"Joe D'Ambrosio: The Book as an Art Form "

'Daises Never Tell' (1982), a serigraph poster/broadside, inspration for the rotunda floor design. 'Olympe & Henriette' (1992) by Auguste Villiers de L'lsle-Adams. Sherman Oaks: D'Ambrosio Drawing of the rotunda floor design Self portrait of the artist Books created by D'Ambrosio 'Masks' by Carol Cunningham (1983). A shadow box front cover created by D'Ambrosio

Joe D'Ambrosio, primarily known as a book artist, also designed the terrazzo floor in the Library's rotunda, installed while the building was under construction in 1993. The design was inspired from a poster featured in his miniature book entitled Daisies Never Tell (1982). The center flower was replaced by the letter CSL (California State Library), but the remainder of the design contains letters that spell no words.

Over the years D'Ambrosio many examples of his work to the State Library, including preliminary drawings, trial proofs, and samples of the materials he used in making his books. A Nest of Robbins is one of his miniature nesting books on display. A number of the other many whimsical and eye-popping books designed, printed, and bound by D'Ambrosio are on exhibit, including a book he created about actress Gloria Stewart's Bonsai garden. The Small Garden of Gloria Stewart (1986) is one of only 50 copies made. During D'Ambrosio's career, he not only produced over 90 books, but also created a variety of posters, bookplates, and special projects like the terrazzo floor in the Library.

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.