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The entrance to the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts

The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, formerly the Stanford University Museum of Art, is an art museum on the campus of Stanford University in Stanford, California. It displays art in 24 galleries plus sculpture gardens, terraces, and a courtyard -- all with free admission.

The museum was established, along with the university, in 1891 by railroad magnate Leland Stanford and his wife Jane. As with the university, the museum was created in memory of the couple's late son, Leland Stanford, Jr., and the museum was known initially as the Leland Stanford Junior Museum. The museum opened to the public in 1894 as one of the largest museums in the United States.

Less than a year after Mrs. Stanford's death, more than two-thirds of the building and collections were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, after which the museum received little attention and was finally closed in 1945. In 1963, Lorenz Eitner, the new Chair of the Department of Art, worked to revive the museum. In 1985, with work by Professor Albert Elsen, the B. Gerald Cantor Rodin Sculpture Garden was established. In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the museum and it was again closed. Following further donations by broker B. Gerald Cantor (co-founder Cantor Fitzgerald) and his wife Iris, the center reopened in 1999 as the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University. It is also known as the Cantor Arts Center, or, informally as the Stanford Museum.

One of the highlights of Cantor Arts Center is the Rodin sculpture garden which contains 20 bronzes. Among them are the famous Gates of Hell, Adam, Eve, The Three Shades, and The Thinker. The Burghers of Calais is displayed in the Stanford Main Quad. In total, the Cantors donated 187 of Rodin's works [1], making Stanford University the third largest Rodin collection in the world after the Musée Rodin in Paris and the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, PA.

Other public exhibits include the Papua New Guinea sculpture garden, southwest of the Stanford Main Quad, with unique examples of the striking traditional Visual Arts of Papua New Guinea. In addition, the museum also contains a cafe, Cafe Cool. [2]


  1. ^ "History of the Cantor Collection".  
  2. ^ "One Cool Closes, Another Comes".  

External links

Coordinates: 37°25′59″N 122°10′16″W / 37.433°N 122.171°W / 37.433; -122.171



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