New Cantor exhibition focuses on African acquisitions

Courtesy of the Cantor Arts Center stool

A figurative wood stool from Angola is among more than 50 works on display through March 22.

African art from across the continent is spotlighted in the Cantor Center for Visual Arts' new exhibition, Timbuktu to Cape Town, which continues through March 22.

The exhibition features more than 50 works, including the most important African works acquired since the museum's reopening in 1999, a decade after the Loma Prieta earthquake.

"We designed this to expand visitors' concepts and understandings of art in Africa, and these works reveal media and subject matter well beyond the figurative wooden sculpture and masks that often typify displays of African art," said Thomas Seligman, director of the Cantor Arts Center and curator of the exhibition.

The oldest piece in the exhibition is a 17th-century trumpet made of an elephant tusk, from the Sherbro culture of Sierra Leone. The most recent is a 2005 photograph by contemporary Moroccan artist Lalla Essaydi. The remaining works are from the 19th and 20th centuries, including vessels of clay and ivory, silver and leather jewelry, elaborately ornamented textiles and a few sculptural objects.

The Cantor Arts Center is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday until 8 p.m. Admission is free. Docents lead free exhibition tours at 12:15 p.m. Thursdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The center is located on the Stanford campus next to the intersection of Lomita Drive and Museum Way. Parking is free after 4 p.m. and all day on weekends. For information, call 723-4177 or visit the web at