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Stanford University
The Melancholy Museum: Love, Death, and Mourning at Stanford

The Melancholy Museum: Love, Death, and Mourning at Stanford

September 18, 2019–


Mark Dion (U.S.A., b. 1961), Universal Collection: A Mark Dion Project, 2016. Mixed media. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles. Photograph by Jeffrey Jenkins 

Mark Dion: Artist in Residence

When Leland Stanford Jr. died unexpectedly just before his 16th birthday, he had already established himself as a dedicated collector who showed extraordinary curiosity about the world. The museum, founded 125 years ago in conjunction with the opening of the university that bears his name, was to provide education and serve as a reminder of young Leland’s enthusiasm for collecting. 

To celebrate this milestone anniversary, the Cantor Arts Center has invited Mark Dion, known for his work on the history of museums and their collections, to serve as the Diekman Contemporary Commissions Program Artist in Residence for 2019. Dion will delve into the original Stanford family collection to create a cabinet of curiosities for the 21st century. 

In addition, Susan Dackerman, John and Jill Freidenrich Director at the Cantor, and Paula Findlen, professor of early modern Europe and the history of science in Stanford’s Department of History, will teach a winter quarter course titled Wonder, Curiosity, and Collecting: Building a Stanford Cabinet of Curiosities. Students enrolled in the course will explore the history of collecting, with special attention to the Renaissance origins of the cabinet of curiosities and the modern afterlife of this historical object. Students will also get unique, hands-on experience working with Dion. 

The Diekman Contemporary Commissions Program, in honor of Mona Duggan and her extraordinary dedication to the arts at Stanford, is organized by the Cantor Arts Center. We gratefully acknowledge support from The Diekman Special Projects Fund. 

Museum Hours

Monday: 11AM–5PM
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 11AM–5PM
Thursday: 11AM–8PM
Friday-Sunday: 11AM–5PM

Map and Directions

The Cantor Arts Center is located at the intersection of Museum Way and Lomita Drive in the heart of the arts district on the Stanford campus. The Cantor faces the Bing Concert Hall across Palm Drive, northwest of The Oval and the Main Quad.

328 Lomita Drive at Museum Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5060

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Parking is limited. Visitor parking is available on Lomita Drive and in a nearby parking structure at Roth Way and Campus Drive. On weekdays until 4PM visitors may use marked, metered spots. On weekdays after 4PM and all day on weekends, visitor parking is free and visitors may also use A and C permit spaces.

Parking Rates and Map