All lectures and symposia are held in the Cantor Arts Center auditorium and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Also see the Art Focus Lecture Series, which offers visitors an opportunity to expand their knowledge of art through lectures, seminars, and workshops with faculty, curators, art experts, and artists.

Spotlight on Art
First Wednesday of the month, October to May, starting at noon.
Graduate students in the Department of Art & Art History give free gallery talks on objects in our collection. For the 2014–2015 academic year, talks will occur on the dates listed below. Check back soon for speakers and topics!

• February 4, 2015: Lora Webb on Cantor building

• March 4, 2014: Lexi Johnson on George Segal's Gay Liberation (located off Serra Drive, on Lomita Drive next to Main Quad; see outdoor sculpture map)

• April 1, 2015: Grant Hamming on William Keith's April Showers

• May 6, 2015: Caroline Culp


Imagining the Universe Lecture Series

The cosmos has long inspired our imaginationsfueling research, reflection, and creative response. Through exhibitions, performances, public conversations, and courses, this year-long collaborative project will bring together scientists, artists, and humanists to explore the nature of the universe.

For more information about the series, please visit artsinstitute.stanford.edu.


Artist Lecture: Alyson Shotz

Thursday, January 22, 6 pm

Cantor auditorium

Alyson Shotz explores the nature of perception and space through sculptures that utilize synthetic materials, such as mirror, glass beads, plastic lenses, thread, and steel wire. AsThe New York Times writer Karen Rosenberg puts it, Shotz's work responds to "the challenge of visualizing concepts from theoretical physics (string theory, dark matter)." Her work has been exhibited and collected in institutions worldwide, including SFMOMA, the Guggenheim in New York, Storm King Art Center, the Whitney Museum, and MOMA.

Co-sponsored by the Stanford Arts Institute


Artist Lecture: Matthew Richie

Thursday, February 26, 7 pm

Cantor auditorium

Matthew Ritchie is the artist-in-residence at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, where he has developed several major works that will activate the museum through installation, sound performance, and video. His large-scale, multimedia work has been shown in exhibitions worldwide, including the Whitney Bienniel, the Sydney Bienniel, and the Sao Paulo Bienniel and is included in the permanent collections of MOMA, the Guggenheim, ICA, SFMOMA, and the Whitney Museum.

Co-sponsored by the Stanford Arts Institute


Faculty Lecture: Bissera Pentcheva, "Animation in Medieval Art"

Wednesday, February 4, 5:30 pm

Cantor auditorium

Stanford Associate Professor of Medieval Art, Bissera Pentcheva, discusses her co-curated exhibition, Sensual Splendor: Medieval Art from the Cantor Collection. She explores how Medieval viewers interacted with works of art in religious and secular ceremonies. Shifting light and shadow, reverberant sound, and glittering materials combined to produce a multi-sensory experience of liveliness. Professor Pentcheva's talk will shed light on several questions that are central to the study of Medieval art.

Jazz Talk: Loren Schoenberg, "Jazz in Hollywood"

Thursday, February 5, noon

Cantor auditorium

Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, hosts a close-listening and participatory session on jazz in Hollywood. The program preludes Friday night's Stanford Live concert by Dianne Reeves, the four-time Grammy Award winner who played a nightclub singer in Good Night and Good Luck.

Co-sponsored by Stanford Live


Curator's Talk: Robert Rauschenberg's "Stoned Moon" Projects

Thursday, March 5, 5:30 pm

Cantor auditorium

Guest curator James Merle Thomas speaks about his research for the exhibition Loose in Some Real Tropics: Robert Rauschenberg's "Stoned Moon" Projects, 1969-70, about the artist and his work with the NASA Art Program.


Gallery Talk: Dr. Attiya Ahmad on She Who Tells a Story

Thursday, March 5, 12:15 pm

Pigott Family Gallery

Attiya Ahmad, Stanford Humanities Center Fellow and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the George Washington University, provides a unique perspective on the exhibition's photographs through the lenses of gender, feminist studies, and her scholarship on the Middle East. This gallery talk will occur in lieu of the regular She Who Tells a Story public tour.


She Who Tells a Story Artist Panel

Thursday, March 19, 5:30 pm

Cantor auditorium

This panel discussion, moderated by Iranian-Canadian artist Sanaz Mazinani (Stanford MFA '11), features three artists whose photographs are included in She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World.

  • Boushra Almutawakel was born in 1969 in Yemen, resides in Sana'a, Yemen and Paris, France. Her series of nine photographs, Mother, Daughter, Doll (2010) is included in the exhibition.
  • Tanya Habjouqa, born in 1975 in Jordan, now residing in East Jerusalem, has six photographs from the series Women of Gaza (2009) on view in the exhibition.
  • Rania Matar was born in 1964 and currently resides in the U.S. The exhibition features six of Matar's portraits of women photographed in Lebanon and the West Bank.


Reframe Iran: 40 Iranian Artists through Journalism and Film

Thursday, April 30, 5:30 pm

Cantor auditorium

Members of the Brown Institute, a team of journalists, film-makers, and engineers from Columbia University and Stanford University, present the stories and work of 40 Iranaian artists through high-res photographs and immersive, virtual-reality video.

Learn more about the rich history of art.
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