Cantor Arts Center Announces Photography as an Area for Expansion

Connie Wolf, the John and Jill Freidenrich Director of the Cantor Arts Center, announces the launch of a comprehensive plan for the growth of the Cantor’s photography program.

Richard Misrach, Swamp and Pipeline, Geismar, Louisiana, negative 1998, print 2012. Inkjet print. High Museum of Art, Atlanta © 2012 Richard Misrach

Richard Misrach, Swamp and Pipeline, Geismar, Louisiana, negative 1998, print 2012. Inkjet print. High Museum of Art, Atlanta © 2012 Richard Misrach


This will position the Cantor as a leader in the collection, exhibition and study of photographs in the Bay Area, which is recognized internationally as a center of photograph collecting and scholarship. The museum will significantly build its already strong holdings, present innovative exhibitions of work by distinguished artists and be an inspiring resource for students and faculty to learn directly from photographs.

While the Cantor will continue to expand and deepen all areas of its comprehensive collection, Wolf identified photography as an area for strategic development. This focus on photography will enhance the museum’s collection, which currently includes more than 5,700 photographs representing techniques and formats developed in the medium since its 19th-century origins. Development in this strategic area also includes the intention of establishing an endowment for a new curatorship in photography.

Photography has a very long history at Stanford University. In 1872, former California governor Leland Stanford hired Eadweard Muybridge (U.S.A., 1830–1904) to study the gait of horses at the Stanford family’s stock farm, which would later become the university campus. Muybridge began his famous studies of animals in motion by capturing images of Stanford’s galloping horses. Those photographs and many others by Muybridge were among the early works to enter the museum’s collections, and they remain among the most important collections of his work.

In 2012, at the beginning of Wolf’s Cantor directorship, the museum proudly presented the work of Walker Evans from the collection of Elizabeth and Robert J. Fisher, MBA ’80. The critical success and positive reception by the public and academics to this exhibition along with the history of photography at Stanford prompted Wolf to consider furthering the Cantor’s leadership and development in this area.

Information: 650-723-4177, museum.stanford.edu

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