Monday, March 09, 2009

Cantor Arts Center

I've always enjoyed the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. This small museum has art from around the world and various periods of time. This weekend I was drawn to see two new exhibits: Rodin! The Complete Collection and Timbuktu to Cape Town.

Last month, the museum reopened its remodeled Rodin galleries and is now displaying its entire collection of sculptures in bronze, plaster, ceramic, tile, and wax - about 200 works. The outdoor sculpture garden is home to an additional 20 works, plus the Burghers of Calais are on the Main Quad. The Cantor Arts Center has the largest collection outside of Paris of works in bronze by Rodin. Most of the pieces were given to the museum by Iris and Gerald Cantor, who were great collectors of Rodin and commissioned castings of some of Rodin's works. For me, this exhibition alone makes a visit to the Cantor Arts Center worthwhile. Rodin! The Complete Collection is ongoing, with no planned end date.

To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the museum's reopening after repairing the damage done by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the Cantor Center is highlighting works acquired since 1999. Timbuktu to Cape Town collects the African art obtained during the past decade. While the small exhibit has some interesting works, it is not worth visiting the Cantor solely to see these works. However, combined with the Cantor's regular gallery of African art, you can see a pretty good small collection. Timbuktu to Cape Town runs through March 22.

The Cantor Center is also home to a nice place for lunch: Cool Cafe. You can get tasty sandwiches and salads and dine inside or on the outdoor terrace. Prices are a little high but, since the the museum is free, it's worth paying a little extra for lunch.

The Cantor Arts Center is open Wednesday and Friday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. On Thursday, the museum is open from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Cool Cafe has the same hours.

If you would like to take a private tour that includes a visit to the Cantor Arts Center and the Stanford campus, please contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or by clicking here.

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