The Anderson Collection at Stanford University is a place of creative engagement, community programming, and active learning. In addition to collaborations with academic departments, professors, and students, the Anderson Collection at Stanford University produces public programs that include live performances, workshops, and dynamic experiences that explore the connections between art and life.

Nick Cave

September 14, 2016 – August 14, 2017

Interdisciplinary artist Nick Cave challenges conventions on what it means to be a visual artist, a performer, a crafter, and an educator. Cave is well known for his Soundsuits, full-body sized sculptures, often worn as costumes and performed in. Soundsuits conceal the wearer’s identity leaving the viewer with no indication of race, gender, or age.

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Cave’s Soundsuits are made of everything from collected and repurposed buttons, to wooden sticks, beaded baskets, doilies and sequined fabric. The Anderson Collection at Stanford University is proud to present an exhibition of eight Soundsuits along with three video works by Cave, as well as a recently completed documentary on the artist, titled Here. Visitors are invited to experience these marvelous creations on view in the Wisch Family Gallery and throughout the first floor of the museum.





The exhibition is organized by the Anderson Collection. The museum gratefully acknowledges support from the generosity of museum members and the Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson Charitable Foundation.

Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2010, Human hair and mannequin, 96 x 29 x 20 in. Collection of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson, 2011.007. © Nick Cave.  Photo by James Prinz Photography.  Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.


Paintings by Norman Lewis

January 5 – March 27, 2017

Norman Lewis, <em>Many Faces of Legend</em>, 1962

The three paintings on loan from the Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Guiffrida Collection, help tell a fuller story of artists working during the post-war period, notably by those often left out of modern and contemporary American art history.

The work is installed in concert with Symposium: Refracting Abstraction which took place January 27-28, 2017. The symposium allowed the museum to look in depth at black artists working abstractly at mid-century in order to nurture the growing scholarship in this area. This symposium aimed to make visible intertwined narratives in order to explore how blackness and the Abstract Expressionist movement have been tethered all along; but more often than not, their periodic overlapping aims tend to move between invisibility and hypervisibility depending on the needs of a public.


Norman Lewis, Many faces of a Legend, 1962

Abstraction and the Movies

March 1 – June 5, 2017

This exhibition is curated by Carlos Valladares, class of 2018 (B.A. Candidate in Film and Media Studies & American Studies).

This exhibition pairs and compares movies and paintings from the early to mid-twentieth century. Primarily American, the movies span the classical Hollywood period—from 1927, which marked the introduction of sound in movies, to 1967, the influential releases of Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate, which signaled dramatic stylistic and thematic changes in American popular cinema. The companion paintings are drawn from the abstract works in the Anderson Collection.

What happens when a movie is put in dialogue with a painting? Ideally, something new is unearthed and activated in the artwork. The movies and paintings reflect the moods of the times, conveying what people thought and felt. But they are also stand-alone works, meant to be contemplated beyond the era in which they were made. Unexpected angles reveal fresh visions of what these works were and are.

This exhibition, openly personal—based on my love of and experience with movies—offers my perspective on the meeting of painting and film.

-Carlos Valladares, Stanford University ‘18, Film and Media Studies & American Studies

Another Look at the Permanent Collection

September 9, 2015 – ongoing

The museum presents a refresh of the inaugural Anderson Collection installation by showcasing a broader spectrum of the Anderson family’s gift to Stanford University. The installation introduces museum visitors to new works by artists they’ve come to know in the museum’s galleries and provide visitors with opportunities to experience the collection in new ways. It includes major works by Vija Celmins, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Irwin, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, David Park, Jackson Pollock, Martin Puryear, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Gallery texts found through the installation were developed by PhD students in Art History at Stanford University.