Exhibition about the Stanford family opens at Cantor Arts Center on March 29, 2002

The Life and Legacy of the Stanford Family
Opens March 29, 2002

Stanford, CA - The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University announces the newly-installed exhibition “The Life and Legacy of the Stanford Family,” opening in time for Stanford's inaugural Community Day on Sunday, April 7, an open house for Stanford's neighbors. The exhibition centers on the biographies of Leland, Jane, and Leland Stanford Jr. and includes material relating to the founding of Stanford University and the Stanford Museum.

“This exhibition will give visitors a glimpse of Stanford history and the American Gilded Age,” explained Claire Perry, the Cantor Arts Center's consulting Curator of American Art. “We've used wallpaper, colors, and molding that reflect the tastes of the period, as well as a selection of carpets and furniture inspired by the décor of the Stanford's Nob Hill mansion. This setting will provide a historical context for the art objects and Stanford family memorabilia displayed in the two galleries dedicated to this exhibition.”

Many visitors' favorite objects, selected and arranged by Stanford historian Roxanne Nilan for the Center's re-opening in 1999, will remain on view in the new installation. The Golden Spike and Little Leland's ice skates will reappear, along with many well-known photographs of the Stanford family.

In addition, a variety of new material will be presented from Stanford University archives and the Cantor Arts Center's Stanford Family Collection of nearly 5,000 objects. A pair of Mrs. Stanford's embroidered shoes, the preserved ears of the champion trotter Electioneer, and a large framed owl will be put on display, as well as a selection of Leland Jr.'s toys. One of the most important elements of the exhibition will be Thomas Hill's recently conserved oil painting Palo Alto Spring (1878). The grand, 7 by 11-1/2 foot canvas, restored through the generosity of the Honorable “Bill” and Jean Lane, portrays the Stanford family at their Palo Alto farm. The Lanes have a deep commitment to the history of the Stanford family and recently made a significant endowment gift to the Cantor Arts Center, which is recognized in the Stanford Family Room.

A new, free self-guided brochure will be available for the first time on Community Day for visitors who want to find connections between the museum's collection and its founders. "'Leland Jr. and His Travels' invites both young and mature visitors to imagine the adventures and collecting interests of the University's namesake,” said Patience Young, Curator for Education at the Cantor Arts Center. “We've designed this guide as a passport, and we will stamp it for visitors at the end of their 'travels' here.”

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VISITOR INFORMATION: Cantor Arts Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm, Thursday until 8 pm. Admission is free. The Center is located on the Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at Museum Way. Parking is free after 4 p.m. and all day on weekends. Information: 650-723-4177, museum.stanford.edu.