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Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University













Located outside the museum in The Rodin Sculpture Garden. Auguste Rodin The Gates of Hell. 1880-1900. Bronze cast. 1981.

Female Mummy. Thebes, Egypt, 21st Dynasty, 1070 - 945 B.C.E.

Richard Serra. Call Me Ishmael. 1986. Cor-Ten steel.


All 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 recommends it.

Current Exhibits
There are several exhibits currently on view at the Center.

The Frame in America: 1869-1960
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.

The Photography 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.

Rodin's Monument 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 Stanford, Jr.

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!

Museum Rating
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.

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