Right Now: Art at Stanford University
by Doug and Kathleen Lang
In the last millennium,
the Stanford football team was known as the Indians and the Stanford
band's signature song was "All
Right Now" by the 70's rock group Free. A
lot has changed since then.
What's new at Stanford?
The song is still a favorite, but the Indian mascot is long gone.
The Stanford Museum is now known as the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor
Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University. If you haven't
had a chance to visit the Center, please do. Art a GoGo highly
several exhibits currently on view at the Center.
The Frame in America:
Ruth Levison Halperin Gallery, December 15, 1999 - March 5, 2000
Frames are essential, and yet their artistic contributions to
the painting are frequently ignored. This exhibition seeks to
correct this misconception as it focuses on American frame production
during the 19th and 20th centuries.
of John Gutmann: Culture Shock
Pigott Gallery, January 19 - March 26, 2000
This exhibition features documentary works selected personally
by the artist. Featured are photographs taken in Asia, Europe,
and the United States during1905-1998.
to Victor Hugo
Pigott Gallery, January 26 - March 26, 2000
In this exhibition,
the sculptor Auguste Rodin explores the literary genius Victor
Hugo. Viewers are able to examine the artist's creative process
that culminates in Monument, a 2,750 pound bronze sculpture
dedicated to Hugo.
The Permanent Collection
The permanent collection at the Cantor Arts Center includes bronze
copies of Rodin's sculptures. One gallery in the museum is dedicated
to the sculptor's smaller works. Outside, there are number of
large bronze casts. Of particular interest is the dramatic "Gates
of Hell," which depicts the damned being cast into Hell.
Located on the first
floor of the museum, the Stanford Family Room contains a treasure
trove of family memorabilia. Everything from boxing gloves, to
Egyptian artifacts, to a really creepy death mask (a tradition
at that time) taken after the death of Stanford's son, Leland
Also located on the
first floor are the Asian, African, and Ancient Mediterranean
galleries. Of particular interest is a Mummy from Thebes, Egypt,
1070-945 BCE Children were captivated by it!
The Hidden Gem
Upstairs in the Friedenrich Family Gallery a real treat awaits.
This long-term loan installation could easily function as an introductory
course in contemporary art. Many of the important artists and
their respective artistic movements are represented here. Don't
forget to introduce yourself to Duane Hanson's 1976 sculpture,
The Slab Man.
Just outside the gallery
on the terrace you'll find some intriguing contemporary sculpture.
Make a point of looking down from the terrace to see Richard Serra's
huge steel sculpture, Call Me Ishmael. Be sure to go down to the
ground level and walk through the sculpture, it's fascinating
to see up close. We found it very interesting to see two massive
pieces of steel leaning at an angle in earthquake country!
Overall our experience
at the Cantor Arts Center was very enjoyable. Following some serious
damage after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the building was
closed for 10 years while it underwent an extensive remodel. The
new facility is fantastic! It has a relaxed, open feel. And even
though the museum was quite crowded the day we visited, the space
never feels cramped. Unlike a lot of museums you don't feel like
a rat shuffling through a maze of rooms.
If you feel like taking
a break, there is an excellent café located within the Cantor
Center that offers indoor and outdoor seating. There are also
several picnic tables in front of the museum, so why not plan
ahead and bring a picnic.
Parking is ample and
free on weekends and there is no charge for admission (donations
are always gratefully accepted). For more details visit the Cantor
Center web site.
One final thought.
Stanford changed the name of their football team to The Cardinal
years ago. The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band
still plays "All Right Now," but there is one thing we can't figure
out. How did they come up with a TREE
as a mascot?? Really, a tree, see for yourself.