An Afternoon at The Anderson Collection at Stanford University

I was curious to see the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, which is housed in a new museum specifically built for this amazing art collection. I previously visited Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson in their mid 20th century home. Their house was all about art, and not about matching wall papers or fancy decor. They “lived” with their art, which included pieces by Jackson Pollock, Diebenkorn, Mark Rothko, de Kooning, Clyfford Still, as well as West Coast artists Wayne Thiebaud, Larry Bell, Charles Arnoldi, Nathan Oliveira, and Manuel Neri.

The couple started collecting art in 1964 after a trip around the world. They speak often about the “shared passion” of collecting together and looking for the “best art”. They both say the passion behind their collection is what drove them.

Now, their focus is sharing with the world what they have created. The Anderson Collection, located near the Cantor Arts Center on the Stanford University campus, does just that. The museum, designed by Richard Olcott of Ennead Architects, highlights their collection of 86 artists and 121 modern and contemporary American artworks.

The museum is free and open every day at 11:00 am except on Tuesdays. When entering the museum, the first thing to do is watch the video in the first floor gallery, which delves into the origins of the collection. This glimpse into the collection’s history allows visitors to feel the excitement of these visionary collectors.

One can spend an extraordinary art day visiting the the Anderson Collection and the Cantor Arts Center next door, which houses an exception collection of Rodin sculpture, as well as a permanent collection and traveling shows. The cafe in the Cantor Arts Center is lovely. What could be better than sitting in the sunshine enjoying a sandwich after this stimulating art experience?

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