The Boggs Collection
Art inspires us to appreciate, enjoy and reflect. While no longer here to speak to that, Mae Helene Bacon Boggs generously gave us her collection of California paintings to find our own perspective in these matters. The art collection at Shasta is as unique as the collector, Mrs. Boggs, who not only collected the works, but was also instrumental in the development of Shasta as a California State Park. She donated a fine library and archives to provide intellectual support for this collection.
The legacy and philanthropy of Mrs. Boggs---her contributions to history and art---reside in Shasta State Historic Park, the only designated art gallery within California State Park System. In 1871, at the age of eight, Mrs. Boggs had moved with her mother from Missouri to Shasta. Her uncle, Williamson Lyncoya Smith, cared for them. Smith was the division agent for the California State Company from 1853 through 1888 and, in this capacity, established the first stage line along the Sacramento River. In honor, his name is assigned to the gallery as Mrs. Boggs wished.
In her later years, Mrs. Boggs moved to San Francisco, established a successful business, and in 1902 married Angus Gordon Boggs, an important mining businessman. Upon entering the social scene in San Francisco, she devoted herself to local and statewide improvements. The list of those is long.
Her correspondence, always signed “Faithfully, Mae Helene Bacon Boggs” has allowed us to appreciate, enjoy and reflect on both art and history. Those of us familiar with the story of Mrs. Boggs and her art collection develop a deep respect as well as a fervent desire to further her preservation efforts.Read More »