The first full-time director of then Stanford Museum was alumnus Thomas K. Seligman, who served in this position from 1991 to 2011. Seligman oversaw a major renovation and expansion following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which turned the museum into the centerpiece of the Stanford arts district. Upon reopening in 1999, the museum changed its name to The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, honoring two of its most generous donors.
From 2012 to 2016, Stanford alumna Connie Wolf served as the first John and Jill Freidenrich Director following Mr. Seligman’s retirement. During her tenure, the museum started to be informally known as the Cantor Arts Center. Wolf increased museum attendance by 60 percent and made major acquisitions, including Edward Hopper’s New York Corner and a collection of over 120,000 images by Andy Warhol. Prior to her role at the Cantor, Wolf served as director and CEO of San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum.
From 2017 to 2020, Susan Dackerman served as the John and Jill Freidenrich Director. During her tenure, the museum received a gift of over 1,000 photographs by American artists from the Capital Group Foundation. Stanford was chosen as a permanent home for the collection of photographs after a more than two-year, nationwide evaluation of 20 institutions because of Dackerman’s leadership’s strong commitment to the study of photography and the expansion of staffing to support the museum’s mission. Prior to her role at the Cantor, Dackerman served as the Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator at the Harvard Art Museums.
On July 5, 2022, Veronica Roberts joined the Cantor as the third John and Jill Freidenrich Director after serving as curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin from 2013 to 2022. Roberts joins the Cantor in the middle of a busy year of returning, rebuilding, and reimagining at the museum during the evolving pandemic. She looks forward to championing exciting and forward-thinking projects such as the Asian American Art Initiative, an effort to acquire, preserve, display, and research Asian American art.