Cantor Arts Center's New Exhibitions Celebrate Major Acquisitions of Works by Richard Diebenkorn and Edward Hopper


Stanford, California—The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford is thrilled to announce an exciting year of exhibitions. Over the next 12 months, the museum will present a diverse array of exhibitions that highlight major acquisitions, showcase the museum’s ever deepening commitment to academic engagement, and explore the place of contemporary art within a historic collection. Kicking off the year are two exhibitions that focus on the recent, unparalleled acquisitions of Richard Diebenkorn’s sketchbooks and Edward Hopper’s New York Corner (Corner Saloon), 1913, joined by Artists at Work, an extensive exhibition that looks at the interplay between art history, and art practice, and considers the way we learn through looking.

Key partnerships between the museum and Stanford faculty are evidenced in wonderful curricular exhibitions. Empathy, open this fall, is curated by Jane Shaw, Dean of Religious Life and Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford. Another academic partnership is producing a rare opportunity to see ledger drawings on loan to the Cantor from the Smithsonian Museum in Red Horse Drawings: The Battle of the Little Big Horn. This important exhibition, opening January 16, is curated by Scott Sagan, the Caroline S. G. Munro Memorial Professor in Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.


Rounding out the schedule are, among many others, major exhibitions highlighting seminal mannerist and baroque prints from the Kirk E. Long collection and an exhibition that takes up a key socio-political issue of the moment as it explores depictions of water in the history of California from the Gold Rush to the 20th century.



Piranesi’s Paestum: Master Drawings Uncovered
On view through January 4, 2016
The exhibition presents 15 stunning drawings by the celebrated Italian printmaker, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778). Regarded as landmarks of 18th-century Italian drawing, this suite of large-scale renderings constitutes Piranesi’s most extensive body of work devoted to a single topographical site. The drawings depict the three ancient Greek temples, originally thought to be dedicated to Poseidon, Hera, and Ceres, at Paestum, south of Naples.


In 1777, Piranesi battled his rapidly declining health to journey to Paestum and produce a suite of drawings that he intended to translate into etchings. He never created the etchings due to his untimely death the following year. Piranesi’s son, Francesco, published them in 1778–79 in the book Différentes vues ... de Pesto.

The drawings were acquired in 1817 by British architect and collector John Soane (1753–1837) and are still held in the collection of his museum in London. They have never before been the subject of a focused exhibition. At the Cantor Arts Center—the only West-Coast venue for this special exhibition—they will be supplemented with prints, books, and other objects.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Ruth Levison Halperin Gallery
Coordinating Curator: Wim de Wit; organized by Sir John Soane’s Museum, London


Richard Diebenkorn: The Sketchbooks Revealed
September 9, 2015–February 8, 2016
This exhibition celebrates the Cantor Arts Center’s recent acquisition of 29 sketchbooks kept by renowned Bay Area artist Richard Diebenkorn throughout his 50-year career. The sketchbooks, which have never before been studied or seen by the public, contain 1,045 drawings that represent the range of styles and subjects he explored—from deeply personal sketches of his wife, Phyllis, to studies of the figure, to grand landscape studies, to the development and maturation of Diebenkorn’s signature style, a rich blending of figuration and abstraction. To illuminate the work he created while at Stanford studying Edward Hopper, the exhibition includes loans of Diebenkorn’s earliest works, many of which are on display to the public for the first time.


A companion exhibition, Edward Hopper: New York Corner, runs concurrently in the same gallery (see story below). A special publication features essays about the sketchbooks by Stanford-affiliated contributors as well as several hundred images that represent all of the sketchbooks.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Marie Stauffer Sigall Gallery
Curator: Alison Gass


Edward Hopper: New York Corner
September 9, 2015–February 8, 2016
The Cantor’s recent acquisition of Edward Hopper’s seminal 1913 painting, New York Corner, signals an extraordinary moment in the life of the museum. The work becomes a cornerstone addition to the museum’s holdings in American and 20th-century art, and also helps to chart the course for the kind of masterworks—from all eras and geographical regions—that the museum hopes to acquire.


The exhibition Edward Hopper: New York Corner was conceived as a celebratory welcome for the painting. Hopper is one of the most acclaimed and influential artists of the 20th-century. His powerful and iconic seascapes, cityscapes, and depictions of solitary figures in urban interiors expose the rugged individualism of American culture in all its beauty and isolation. Celebrated equally for his extraordinary skill as a painter and his haunting depictions of daily life in the mid-20th century, Hopper has fueled the imaginations of generations of artists, filmmakers, and writers.


The exhibition contextualizes the painting by grouping works from the museum’s collection into several art-object-based “conversations.” These constellations point to the kinds of artistic practice that preceded the painting’s creation; showcase concurrent work, both similar and different, by Hopper’s contemporaries; and present the kinds of practice that followed. Woven through the show are themes of modern urban life, the cityscape as subject matter, and realism and its connection to photography.


Artists at Work
September 9, 2015–January 18, 2016
This major exhibition examines how artists become inspired, how artists make objects and how place impacts artists’ work. Artists at Work presents more than 70 works and features a close examination of the museum’s expansive collection, including works by Édouard Manet, J. M. W. Turner, Thomas Hart Benton, Sol LeWitt, Richard Serra, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and other renowned American and European artists. Also included are loaned works by contemporary artists Trevor Paglen, Garth Weiser, Hope Gangloff, Walead Beshty, Eleanor Antin, and Rachel Owens, among others.


With more than 70 works on view, the exhibition celebrates the opening of the McMurtry Building for Art and Art History, which is adjacent to the Cantor Arts Center. Designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, this new departmental building allows for a stronger partnership between the museum and the Department of Art and Art History. The design of the building unites the two related but distinct populations of art history and art making. The architects envisioned a building comprising two strands that retain identities but embrace and interlock to create opportunities for exchange, promoting discourse and collaboration between the disciplines.


Artists at Work deeply blends the lessons of art history with the acts of art making. Unique to the museum, of course, is the possibility of learning through looking at significant objects from across history, alongside some of the best work being produced in our own moment. This exhibition considers the distinct way we come to understand the artistic condition through the works artists create. In bringing together works that create a cross-historical dialogue, the exhibition points to the ways looking at objects through the lens of history can also elucidate the ways artists have worked and continue to work to push against the myriad boundaries of social, political, and art historical norms that often seem to circumscribe their practice.


Mining the Ancient
October 14, 2015–August 29, 2016
Artists throughout the ages have looked to the past to unearth inspiration. Mining the Ancient presents the work of six contemporary artists who take their cue from the language of the ancient and find inspiration for their sculptural practices in fragments of the past. Juxtaposed with key historical works from the Cantor’s ancient art collection, this group exhibition explores the ways in which some of the most recent art practice of today creates fantastic dialogues with some of the oldest art objects in our civilization’s history. Artists include Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Matthew Monahan, Allyson Viera, Adriana Varejao, and Kris Martin.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Oshman Family Gallery
Curator: Alison Gass


Red Horse: Drawings of the Battle of the Little Bighorn
January 16–May 9, 2016
This exhibition presents 12 ledger drawings by Red Horse, a Minneconjou Lakota Sioux warrior who fought against Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, in what is now Eastern Montana, in June 1876. Selected from a group of 42 drawings that chronicle the battle, the images depict scenes such as combat on horseback, wounded and dead warriors and soldiers, and Native Americans leaving the battlefield. Red Horse: Drawings of the Battle of the Little Bighorn brings together key collaborators from Stanford and its communities to explore these indigenous-centered illustrations from diverse perspectives. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the exhibition highlights the dynamic ways Red Horse’s drawings continue to function as an artist’s narrative of this important moment in American and Native American history. The Red Horse drawings are on loan from the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Department of Anthropology.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Ruth Levison Halperin Gallery

Curator: Catherine Hale


Myth, Allegory, and Faith: The Kirk Edward Long Collection of Mannerist Prints
February 10–June 20, 2016
The Mannerist style emerged in Rome and Florence during the early decades of the 16th century and spread throughout Europe to become the dominant international style for much of the century. Selected from the Kirk Edward Long collection of 16th-century prints, this exhibition illuminates the development of the Mannerist style in Italy, traces its dissemination and adaptation for both secular and religious purposes, and follows its eventual transformation into the Baroque style at the end of the century. In the context of the cultural dialogue between northern and southern Europe, the exhibition highlights the cross-cultural “naturalization” of the style as it was assimilated at the courts of King François I at Fontainebleau and Emperor Rudolf II in Prague, by the emerging Dutch republic, and by the Catholic church in the service of the Counter-Reformation. The exhibition features some 140 engravings, etchings, woodcuts, and chiaroscuro woodcuts by such renowned artists as Federico Barocci, Parmigianino, Hendrick Goltzius, and Annibale Carracci, and by such famous printmakers as Marcantonio Raimondi, Giorgio Ghisi, and Cornelis Cort.


A fully illustrated catalogue with essays by an international group of scholars, detailed entries describing approximately 140 individual prints and suites, and an illustrated checklist of the 700 works in the Kirk Edward Long collection accompanies the exhibition.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Pigott Family Gallery
Curator: Bernard Barryte


Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine
May 25–September 26, 2016
One hundred years ago, the photographer Lewis Hine traveled to mills and factories in New England and the South, photographing child laborers. His photographs are among the most haunting images of children ever made. In this exhibition, a beautiful selection of Hine's child-labor photographs is juxtaposed with stunning contemporary photographs taken by the photographer Jason Francisco (Stanford M.F.A., ’89) of those same mill and factory sites as they look now. Provocative, unforgettable, Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine is a meditation on what endures and what disappears—as well as on the unique power of photography to convey what we remember and what we forget. The exhibition is conceived and guest-curated by Alexander Nemerov, Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities and Chair of the Department of Art & Art History, Stanford University.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Ruth Levison Halperin Gallery
Co-curators: Connie Wolf and Alexander Nemerov


California: The Art of Water
July 13–November 21, 2016
This exhibition is devoted to artistic portrayals of California’s most precious—and currently scarce—resource. It presents more than 70 works by eminent artists including Ansel Adams, Albert Bierstadt, David Hockney, Richard Misrach, and Carleton Watkins, and features images from a variety of regions around the state, from the Gold Rush to the present.


While some of these artists flocked to California’s remote waterscapes to depict pristine flows, others captured the immense and growing system of waterworks that moved water across the state—titanic dams and aqueducts that ran for hundreds of miles. These images, seen by Californians in art galleries, homes, journals, newspapers, or online, raised urgent questions about where the state’s water should go and to whom it belonged. Even as artists presented sparkling rivers and waterfalls and broad canals that brought water from north to south, their pictures obscured the bitter conflicts that surrounded these resources. Californians looking at images of water in the state were seeing simultaneously scenes of great beauty, as well as places where residents battled over every drop. Accordingly, California: the Art of Water offers a compelling aesthetic experience that is set within debates about water spanning the 19th and 20th centuries to the present.


The exhibition is accompanied by an array of public programs designed to raise awareness and appreciation for California’s complicated water issues.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Pigott Family Gallery
Guest curator: Claire Perry



Word as Image: Highlights from the Marmor Collection
On view through October 26, 2015
While artists throughout history have integrated words into their works, modern and contemporary artists have given them a significant position and function—as demonstrated in this focused installation of prints and drawings. Highlights include Ed Ruscha’s iconic screenprint Hollywood; Bruce Nauman’s first word-image print, Raw-War; and Jasper Johns’s large-scale lithograph with lead collage, No, on view at the Cantor for the first time.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Freidenrich Family Gallery
Curator: Samantha Rippner


Astley D. M. Cooper and Mrs. Stanford’s Jewels
On view through November 16, 2015
Nationally recognized during his time but largely forgotten in our own, painter Astley D. M. Cooper (1856–1924) used a faux Egyptian temple as a studio, paid off bar debts with paintings, and threw the wildest parties that San Jose, California had ever seen. With their luscious colors and trompe l’oeil trickery, his landscapes, portraits, and wild western scenes aimed to both please and astonish. This exhibition explores Cooper’s life as well as the Bay Area bohemia out of which he first emerged.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery
Guest curator: Annie Ronan, PhD, Department of Art & Art History


Stefano Della Bella: Capriccio and Fantasy
On view through January 4, 2016
During the 17th century, Europeans voraciously collected prints for their capacity to instruct and entertain. This installation features a selection of etchings from the 1640s that Florentine artist Stefano Della Bella (1610–1664) designed to delight the eye. These prints, called capriccios, are intended to be decorative and beautiful. Their iconography can be erotic, irrational, playful, morbid, graceful, or violent—anything to stimulate the viewer’s imagination while showcasing Della Bella’s exceptional dexterity and capacity for invention. The prints are drawn from the Cantor’s permanent collection, and this installation complements Warriors, Courtiers, and Saints: The etchings of Jacques Callot.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Rowland K. Rebele Gallery
Curator: Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell


On view through January 25, 2016
Curated by Jane Shaw, Dean for Religious Life and Professor of Religious Studies, this exhibition accompanies the Thinking Matters course taught by professor Shaw in fall 2015. While the word “empathy” entered the English language via aesthetics and psychology in the late 19th century, today empathy is discussed not only in the arts and humanities, but in Silicon Valley, Stanford’s, and the latest neuroscience. This exhibition traces the meaning and practice of empathy through artistic representations of Buddhist compassion; Christianity’s commandment to love our neighbor; Enlightenment moral philosophy; and Civil Rights-era photography.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Rowland K. Rebele Gallery
Guest curator: Jane Shaw, Dean for Religious Life and Professor of Religious Studies


Warriors, Courtiers, and Saints: The Etchings of Jacques Callot
On view through February 15, 2016
During his brief career, Jacques Callot (France, 1592–1635) challenged the old assumption that printmakers were incapable of inventing original compositions by creating elegant, expressive prints. Warriors, Courtiers, and Saints features a selection of 16 prints that demonstrate Callot’s remarkable range—from recording the horrors of war to rendering whimsical landscapes, formal courtly scenes, and somber religious subjects—all in his light and fluid style.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Gallery for Early European Art
Curator: Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell


Stranger Stories: Documentaries by Stanford Students
September 30–December 7, 2015
The Cantor regularly screens short documentary films created by Stanford MFA and MA students. The newest group was chosen from those produced in the last year.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Patricia S. Rebele Gallery
Curator: Kim Mansfield


Showing Off: Identity and Display in Asian Costume
October 14, 2015–May 23, 2016
Fashion is a form of language. What we wear broadcasts critical information about us and serves as a visible indicator of social rank, profession, ethnicity, or status. This exhibition of Asian textiles and other works from the Cantor’s collection demonstrates how costume and objects of personal adornment functioned as a method of identification and display from the late 18th century to today. Ranging from Qing court costumes to Indonesian textiles, the selection on view spotlights visual symbols while showcasing rarely displayed garments.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Madeleine H. Russell Gallery
Co-curated by Asia Chiao


Missing Persons
November 11, 2015–March 21, 2016
The diverse works in this exhibition, including photographs, prints, artist books, and historical ephemera, dramatize the loss of those made missing by time, death, disaster, politics, or artistic composition. A silhouette portrait by Raphaelle Peale records the trace of a person’s profile by capturing a momentary shadow. Self-portraits by Lee Friedlander and Laura Volkerding play with shadow, absence, and blankness, suggesting the presence of a person who is not directly on view. Contemporary artists such as Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, and Ester Hernández address the missing through the lenses of history and oppression.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Freidenrich Family Gallery
Curators: Graduate students enrolled in a graduate seminar co-taught by Cantor Director Connie Wolf and art history professor Richard Meyer


Word as Image II: Highlights from the Marmor Collection
December 2, 2015–March 14, 2016
While artists throughout history have integrated words into their works, modern and contemporary artists have given them a significant position and function—as demonstrated in this focused installation of prints and drawings. Highlights include Ed Ruscha’s iconic screenprint Hollywood; Bruce Nauman’s first word-image print, Raw-War; and Jasper Johns’s large-scale lithograph with lead collage, No, on view at the Cantor for the first time.
On view in the Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery
Curator: Alison Gass and Samantha Rippner


Speed and Power
January 13–April 4, 2016
People living in the 20th century witnessed an unprecedented—and often frightening—acceleration in the pace of everyday life, wrought by the introduction of a host of new travel technologies. Starting with Europe’s big cities and traveling on across the Atlantic, the exhibition will explore the many ways that trains, planes, and automobiles have shaped modern urban life and how artists have integrated the interrelated themes of speed and power into their work.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Rowland K. Rebele Gallery
Guest curator: Mark Braude


Into the Forest: Landscape as Subject and Studio in 19th-Century France
February 3–July 4, 2016
This installation of 17 prints, drawings, and photographs explores how French artists depicted the landscape in the modern age and approached making art “en plein-air” (in the open air). The phenomenon of making art outdoors took shape in the early decades of the 19th century with the experimental Barbizon School of painters and fully flourished under the Impressionists. Exhibition highlights include photographs by painter James Tissot (1836–1902), a rare cliché-verre—a drawing reproduced using a photographic process—by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796–1875), and prints by Camille Pissarro (1831–1903).
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Robert Mondavi Family Gallery
Curator: Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell


Contemporary Perspectives on the Battle of the Little Big Horn
February 24–June 13, 2016
Indigenous undergraduate students Sarah Sadlier (’16, History, American Studies, Iberian and Latin American Cultures, and Political Science) and Isabella Shey Robbins (’17, Art History) will lead a fall, student-initiated course that will yield an exhibition designed to accompany the Cantor’s major exhibition, Red Horse: Drawings of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The student-curated exhibition will include works by contemporary indigenous artists and offer their modern-day perspectives on this historic battle as well as other indigenous events and issues. Karen Biestman, Associate Dean and Director of Stanford’s Native American Cultural Center, will serve as faculty sponsor.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Rhemus Family Gallery
Coordinating curator: Catherine Hale


Intimate Frontiers: The Male Gaze in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
April 13–August 8, 2016
Using the Cantor’s extensive collection of photographs, sketches, and decorative objects from fin-de-siècle Vienna, this exhibition explores how male artists manipulated images of women in an attempt to control and define women’s roles and status. During this time, norms about women’s intimate relationships with lovers and friends and the structure of the interior, domestic sphere were greatly shifting. The exhibition presents Heinrich Kühn’s photographic prints Miss Mary Warner in Her Bedroom and Engineer Richter’s Wife, both of which suggest a woman’s inherent domesticity, since the first shows a woman inside the home and the second defines a woman as somebody’s wife. Numerous sketches by Oskar Kokoschka of one particular woman, meanwhile, speak to how the artist perceived her moment to moment. The show also decorative works from 1883 Austria such as a jewelry box and mirror that may have informed women’s understanding of themselves, as well as works by Max Kurzwell and others.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Patricia S. Rebele Gallery
Curator: Cantor Scholar Alex Zivkovic (Stanford undergraduate)


Blood in the Sugar Bowl
March 30–July 4, 2016
The sugar bowl, a humble, seemingly innocent object, once contained a commodity created by enslaved people laboring on brutal West Indian sugar plantations. In 1791 nearly 300,000 British households boycotted West Indian sugar in an effort to abolish slavery. Most people, however, were unaware of, or chose to ignore, the sugar trade’s brutality.


Blood in the Sugar Bowl focuses on sugar plantation slavery during the peak of the sugar trade, the late 18th–mid-19th century. On display are stoneware, porcelain, ironstone, and silver sugar bowls from the Cantor’s collection; Henry Corbould’s illustration Fashionable Women Pouring Tea, countered by James Gillray’s caricature The Anti-Saccharites; several volumes from Stanford University Libraries Special Collections, including James Hakewill’s beautiful plantation views from his 1821 Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica and William Blake’s depictions of slave torture in his 1777 Narrative, of a five years’ expedition, against the revolted Negroes of Surinam. Personalizing the slave narrative are Benjamin M’Mahon’s Jamaica Plantership and other audio excerpts of texts written by slaves and sugar plantation employees. D. R. Wakefield’s 2004 series Resistance Is Useless: Portraits of Slaves from the British West Indies, is also on display.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery
Curator: Mellon Curatorial Research Assistant Rachel Newman (Stanford PhD student)


An Oasis in Glass
April 13–August 8, 2016
This exhibition showcases 4th-century mosaics, beads, flasks, and other glass objects created during the Roman occupation of Syria and Egypt so as to demonstrate man’s mastery over nature. Displayed in a space that replicates the desert’s dunes and wide expanses, each object serves as a kind of tiny experiential oasis, with lightboxes amplifying the works’ sparkle and transparency. The show also incorporates themes from classical Arabic poetry.
On view in the Cantor Arts Center’s Rowland K. Rebele Gallery
Curator: Cantor Scholar Evelina Yarmit (Stanford undergraduate)


About Cantor Arts Center
The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University is a vital and dynamic institution with a venerable history. Founded in 1891 with the university, the historic museum was expanded and renamed in 1999 for lead donors Iris and B. Gerald Cantor. The Cantor’s encyclopedic collection spans 5,000 years, includes more than 44,000 artworks and beckons visitors to travel around the world and through time: from Africa to the Americas to Asia, from classical to contemporary. With 24 galleries presenting selections from the collection and more than 20 special exhibitions each year, the Cantor serves Stanford’s academic community, draws art lovers from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond and attracts campus visitors from around the world. Free admission, free tours, lectures, family activities plus changing exhibitions make the Cantor one of the most well-attended university art museums in the country and a great resource for teaching and research on campus.


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Visitor Information
The Cantor Arts Center is open six days a week, Wednesday–Monday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursday until 8 p.m; closed Tuesday. Admission is free. The Cantor is located on the Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at Museum Way. Parking is free after 4 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends and major holidays. Information: 650-723-4177,

Notes to Editors
• To obtain more information or arrange an interview, contact Anna Koster, Head of Communications, Cantor Arts Center, 650-725-4657,
•  For high-resolution publicity images, contact PR Assistant Manager Margaret Whitehorn, Cantor Arts Center, 650-724-3600,