One of the best secrets on the Stanford campus is the Cantor Arts Center, a free and family-friendly museum housing a variety of art and hours of enjoyment. It’s one of the top local go-to places for a relaxed day trip and a great place to bring house guests.
THE CANTOR ARTS CENTER IS TEMPORARILY CLOSING TO THE PUBLIC WHILE REMAINING OPEN TO SUPPORT STANFORD’S ACADEMIC FUNCTIONS.
FROM MARCH 7, 2020-APRIL 15, 2020, A STANFORD ID WILL BE REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION.
The museum’s main claim-to-fame is its Rodin collection, including his magnum opus, the Gates of Hell. You’ll find numerous sculptures in the museum, the adjoining garden, and, worth a small detour, over in the University’s Main Quad (for the haunting images of The Burghers of Calais).

The Cantor’s Permanent Collection is diverse, ranging from art and artifacts, to photography, drawings, and sculpture, including classic and modern, and encompassing local and cantorglobal works. http://cantorcollection.stanford.edu/

The ever changing temporary and ongoing exhibitions also cover a wide-range of history, culture, and art forms. Also changing is it’s vision. The Cantor is now focusing on encouraging diverse ideas and showing art in more current ways. Check out their recent acquisition, OY/YO, a sculpture encouraging discussion about images and language. https://museum.stanford.edu/exhibitions/oyyo

rodinNotably, the museum includes galleries dedicated to the Stanford family and the history of the University. No spoilers here; you’ll have to visit to discover this historic family’s saga.

Families find the museum an easy outing. The main child-friendly event is Second Sunday, which includes talks, hands-on art projects, and gallery experiences for all ages. And for all visiting days, the museum offers kids art packs to borrow, story times, and art-making tables (a wonderful break for little artists). https://museum.stanford.edu/programs/family-programs

Tucked into the side of the building, along a field of grass, is the Cantor Cafe, run by noted local chef Jesse Cool, the perfect place for a quick coffee or a slow family meal. It offers indoor or terrace seating (tip — let the kids release their extra energy by playing on the grass while you relax on the overlooking terrace) and a view of some outdoor Rodin sculptures.

Schedules for free tours and talks are on their website. https://museum.stanford.edu/

Check out their easy-to-use website to organize your visit (great info on hours, parking options, and campus maps!). https://museum.stanford.edu/visit
The Cantor Art Center is proof that Stanford isn’t only about engineering and medicine!
Merci Lynn Auslander

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