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Stanford University

Stanford Students & Faculty

A collection of digital resources for the academic community to explore Stanford’s art museums virtually

Each academic year, thousands of scholars rely on the Cantor and Anderson Collection at Stanford University for research, teaching and learning. While there is no substitute for experiencing art in person, we also encourage students and faculty to engage with our collections virtually and to reach out to our education team with questions and ideas.

Check back often⁠—we will be updating these resources throughout the spring, summer and autumn quarters.

Engage with Stanford art museums

We’re here to help! Please reach out for questions about research, teaching and learning with the museums' collections.

Cantor Arts Center
Contact: Alyssa Diaz
Academic Programs Coordinator

Anderson Collection at Stanford University
Contact: Aimee Shapiro,
Director of Programming and Engagement

Thematic Portfolios

A selection of works in the museums' collections organized by period, author, medium, theme and/or particular exhibition.

Cantor Arts Center

The Melancholy Museum

Love, Death and Mourning at Stanford

This page features objects included in the exhibition and on view in Cantor’s two Stanford Family Galleries based on themes of mourning, loss, and the Stanford empire in the Melancholy Museum.



By Sanford Biggers

Sanford Biggers (b. 1970) builds fantastical composite art objects, or invents images of them, to explore the hybrid ideas born out of encounters between different cultures.


A Gift of Art from Marilyn F. Symmes

An eclectic selection of twelve prints and drawings given by Stanford alumna Marilyn F. Symmes (BA, ’71) ranging from an Italian Renaissance portrait a stark memorial to the World Trade Center in New York.


Richard Diebenkorn


Throughout his long career, seminal California artist Richard Diebenkorn (Stanford BA ’49) always kept a sketchbook—a “portable studio,” as he called it—to capture his ideas. The books contain 1,045 drawings that span the artist’s career and represent the range of styles and subjects he explored.


Andy Warhol

Photography Archive

This collection of Warhol’s contact sheets – printed thumbnails from a roll of film – represents the complete range of the American artist’s black-and-white photographic practice from 1976 until his unexpected death in 1987.


Auguste Rodin

This impressive collection is the result of a close working relationship and friendship between Albert Elsen (1927–1995), the Stanford University curator, professor, and Rodin scholar, and B. Gerald Cantor (1916–1996), the American financier and philanthropist.


Eadweard Muybridge

His pioneering work in photographic studies of motion took place in a studio at Stanford's Palo Alto Stock Farm, using Leland Sr.'s horse 'Occidental' as his subject.


Surf Sequence

Though each photograph can be shown separately, a group of five displayed together has the greatest effect. Surf Sequence is one of my most successful photographic expressions. Ansel Adams


The Capital Group Foundation

Photography Collection at Stanford University

This gift includes works by American photographic masters Ansel Adams, Edward Curtis, John Gutmann, Helen Levitt, Wright Morris, Gordon Parks, and Edward Weston.


Buying and Selling

Commerce in Early Modern Europe

European artists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries took great interest in depicting what was new and exciting in public life, including the rapidly expanding market for material goods and services.


Studio, Shop, Cabinet, Gallery:

Spaces for Experiencing Art in Europe, 1600-1800

Before public and private art museums proliferated in Europe during the nineteenth century, artists illustrated—and imagined—emerging public venues where art was experienced, discussed, and collected.


The Medium is the Message:

Art Since 1950

In 1964, Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan published his groundbreaking study, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, in which he argues that the way information is transmitted is as important as the content being conveyed—or in his words, “the medium is the message.”


Anderson Collection at Stanford University

The New York School

In the wake of World War II, an informal group of artists referred to as “Abstract Expressionists” or “The New York School” introduced the first major avant-garde art movement to develop in the United States.

© 2019 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Reproduction of this image, including downloading, is prohibited.

Bay Area Figuration Movement

In the 1950s, a small group of artists in San Francisco took a surprising turn away from Abstract Expressionism by reintroducing recognizable subject matter into their painting.

Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993), Girl on the Beach, 1957. Oil on canvas.


Explore digitized catalogs and other museum publications to go deeper on current and past exhibitions.

Cantor Arts Center

The Melancholy Museum

Gallery Guide

Using over 700 items from the Stanford Family Collections, artist Mark Dion’s exhibition "The Melancholy Museum" explores how Leland Stanford Jr.’s death at age 15 led to the creation of a museum, university, and—by extension—the entire Silicon Valley.

Explore Guide

Crossing the Caspian

Exhibition Brochure

Explore the cultural exchanges between the Safavid Empire in Persia and Europe in Crossing the Caspian.

Explore Brochure

Jacob Lawrence

Exhibition Catalog

Explore a gift of drawings, prints, and paintings by African American modernist Jacob Lawrence addressing Black history and civil rights, public life, faith, and creativity.

Explore Catalog

Aura: Art and Authenticity

Exhibition Brochure

This Mellon curatorial research assistantship project reveals new insights about objects in the Cantor’s collection in order to demonstrate the complexity of labels such as “authentic,” “fake,” and “forgery.”

Explore Brochure

The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection

At Stanford University

The Capital Group Foundation Photography Collection at Stanford University consists of more than one thousand twentieth-century photographs highlighting seven masters of photography.

Explore Brochure

Anderson Collection at Stanford University

Left of Center

Exhibition Catalog

Curated by Stanford PhD Candidates, Left of Center seeks to show how modes of art-making that originated on the West Coast decisively changed the topography of American modernism.

Explore Catalog

Manuel Neri

and the Assertion of Modern Figurative Sculpture

Representing the breadth of the artist’s oeuvre, this book offers insights into the development of Manuel Neri’s sculpture and a fresh perspective on his contributions to contemporary art.

Explore Publication

A Family Affair

Feature Essays

Explore the Andersons' journey of art discovery made possible with the guidance of two prominent Stanford University professors—Albert E. Elsen and Nathan Oliveira—as well as Henry Sayles Francis, a retired curator from the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Helen Heninger, who developed the Andersons’ first working collection plan.

Explore Essays
 Essays on Modern and Contemporary Art from the Anderson Collection at Stanford University

Formed and Fired

This brochure is published on the occasion of Formed and Fired: Contemporary American Ceramics, curated by Jason Linetzky, Director, and organized by the Anderson Collection at Stanford University.

The museum extends its deepest gratitude to the artists and lenders.

Explore Brochure
An image of the cover of Formed and Fired brochure

Hostile Terrain 94

This publication is written entirely by students at Stanford University, and includes essays from graduate students Koji Lau-Ozawa, a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology; Jon Ayon Alonso, MFA candidate in Documentary Film and Video Studies; and undergraduate students Ekalan Hou, Melissa Santos, and Georgia Gardner.

The installation will be on display in the first floor of the Anderson Collection at Stanford University upon reopening and through the Spring of 2021.

Explore brochure
Hostile Terrain 94 exhibition brochure

Other Resources

Explore other digital resources to engage with art in teaching, research and learning.

Library Resources

Stanford offers a wide array of research digital resources through their libraries. Explore notable collections, digital archives and online exhibits available. The Library also offers services for Faculty and guidance for Students on how to search through their catalog.

Museums From Home

For more to explore, visit Museums From Home, a digest of digital visual arts content for the broader community. Explore digitized collections, virtual tours, recorded lectures and oral histories and more through this new online portal.


Learning Guides

Digital & printable PDFs and in-depth object narratives from our collection

Our curators have prepared special learning guides for use with Stanford coursework and research. Videos and virtual gallery talks will be available in upcoming weeks!


Student Programs

Engage with the Cantor—jobs, internships, and social events are open to students of all levels and majors.

Learn about Student Programs

Faculty Support

The Cantor Arts Center is a laboratory of learning and a center of scholarly inquiry. Our programs offer substantive opportunities for students and faculty to engage with our encyclopedic collection.

Learn about Faculty Support