Adams, Curtis, Weston, Levitt, Oh My: Stanford's Cantor Center Wins Again

Adams, Curtis, Weston, Levitt, Oh My: Stanford's Cantor Center Wins Again

The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford and The Capital Group Foundation have announced that The Center has been gifted a collection of photographs by some of the most esteemed photographers working in the United States throughout the 20th century: Ansel Adams, Edward Curtis, John Gutmann, Helen Levitt, Wright Morris, Gordon Parks, and Edward Weston.

The collection was compiled by the Capital Group, an investment service, over the last four decades. The Capital Group decided to gift the collection to The Center after a two-year search for a gallery that could best do justice to both the works and the continued study of the works. Containing original prints made by the artists themselves, the collection features works from Adams' work in Canyon de Chelly.

Ansel Adams - Canon de Chelly - National Archives

Curtis' work on his The North American Indian:

Edward Curtis - Sioux Badlands - The North American Indian - Smithsonian

There are already three planned exhibitions over the next two years. It's my understanding that entrance to The Center is free. So, if you happen to find yourself in the area, be sure to attend.

It's important to note that The Center also counts original prints from Frank's The Americans, wet plates from Muybridge, a set of Friedlander's street photography from New York, and contact sheets and corresponding negatives from Warhol as part of its collection. Talk about an important collection of American photography.

The curator, Elizabeth Mitchell, notes how important photography has been to The Center and how these additions will improve upon the already stunning collection:

For years, the collection of photographs has been absolutely essential to how the Cantor Arts Center presents photography in our galleries and study rooms, and now this gift will transform how the museum addresses the aesthetic and social concerns of 20th-century American art.

Have any of you had the chance to go to the Cantor Arts Center? 

What's your favorite photography gallery or show you've ever attended?

Images used under public domain.

Mark Dunsmuir's picture

Mark is a Toronto based commercial photographer and world traveller who gave up the glamorous life of big law to take pictures for a living.

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That is good news, but I hope they have some of the work on permanent, or at least rotating, display, rather than just a couple of exhibits. I visit the Cantor occasionally, and it is a great little museum. But I think it's time for them to have a photography room, like the Art Institute of Chicago has (albeit in the basement, next to the restrooms), where there is always some kind of photo exhibit on display. The Cantor sounds dedicated enough. But even the Art Institute, which received Irving Penn's estate, doesn't show much of his work on a regular basis. Which is a shame. More effort needs to be done to show more photography. There's nothing like looking at actual prints in an optimal setting.

As for visiting the Cantor, yes, it is free, but parking during the week isn't, and can be a little tricky I think (I ride my bike there). The Anderson Collection is in a building next door now, too. So it's definitely a worthwhile museum trip.

There are some metered spaces near the Cantor entrance, probably not too heavily used on weekdays, but I've never used them myself. I usually go on weekends, when the nearby student lot is free.

Other interesting artwork in the area: Rodin sculpture collection in the Cantor courtyard, and another one (Burghers of Calais) in the Main Quad; Goldsworthy's Stone River, outside the Cantor entrance; Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden, about 1/2 mile south of Cantor.

Good info Timothy and Joe. Thanks.
I'm a huge fan of Rodin and always make time to visit any galleries that have his work on display while I'm travelling.
I also love the Art Institute in Chicago.
As for Penn, in Venice a few years ago, one of the 'lesser' galleries did a show on Penn's printed work. Stunning collection!

Cantor Arts Center. Yes. Always enjoy the Rodin bronze sculpture garden outside. I look forward to seeing the photo exhibit this October.

Most impactful photo exhibit was a simple showing, at Yokohama station, of Japanese photographs taken in the 20th century. I had gone to Yokohama to attend last year’s CP+ camera show, to figure out which digital camera I should buy. The beauty and the connection I felt with the analog B&W prints were so far ahead of anything I saw at the camera show, that I have put digital on hold. Digital has its place, but I’m investing what free time and cash I have in analog right now.

We take a RZ67 with us when we can. But, it's so heavy and there are so many places we go to that are so far, digital has to have it's place in our bag!

Love Rodin!

sharp pictures to every detail

There is certainly something to see Adams' prints in person. They are amazing.

Our local museum had an extremely large display of Edward Curtis's work last year. It was fabulous. The story behind what he did is also amazing. There's quite a bit of video on YouTube about his life.

Interesting. Which museum?

Muskegon Museum of Art - - Their website sucks.

Great thanks!