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Andersons give major graphics collection to Stanford

STANFORD -- Harry W. (Hunk) and Mary Margaret (Moo) Anderson, owners of one of the largest private collections of contemporary art in the United States, have given their collection of graphic art to the Stanford University Museum of Art.

Stanford President Donald Kennedy and James Gaither, chairman of Stanford's Board of Trustees, announced the gift at a luncheon Dec. 16.

The works will be housed in a new 2,000-square-foot gallery in the museum, which will be constructed as part of major renovations of the building. The museum has been closed since it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The Anderson graphics collection comprises approximately 650 prints and monotypes created since 1967 by American artists. The Andersons sought to collect each artist's graphic work in depth.

The artists include Jennifer Bartlett, Richard Diebenkorn, Sam Francis, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Elizabeth Murray, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella and Wayne Thiebaud. Several of the artists included in the collection, such as Diebenkorn, Frank Lobdell, the late Robert Motherwell and Nathan Oliveira, have either taught or studied at Stanford.

"This gift, along with the previous Gerald B. Cantor gift of art to the university, is one of the most important gifts to the museum since it was founded by the Stanfords," Kennedy said in accepting the gift for Stanford. "It will add strength and dimensions to the contemporary holdings of the museum and will significantly strengthen the arts at Stanford. It will be a resource for students, faculty and the community that today is unparalleled at the university."

The Andersons have supported the arts at Stanford for many years, loaning works from their collection for exhibitions at the museum, providing a curatorial internship program for graduate students, and allowing art history students and faculty to use their collection for research.

"We believe that the visual arts will play an ever-increasing role in the lives of people in our society," Harry Anderson said. "Stanford has met the challenge of excellence in medicine, the sciences and engineering. Now, Moo and I are making this gift of the graphic portion of our collection as an initial challenge to Stanford and the community at large to attain the same level of excellence in the visual arts."

The Andersons also will contribute $200,000 toward an endowment fund of $600,000 for the purchase of contemporary prints to add to the collection. The balance of the endowment will come from the Committee for Art and other donations. The collection will be curated by a newly created position of Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art that has been endowed by Robert and Ruth Levison Halperin.

Before the Stanford Museum reopens, the collection will be on loan to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation at Quadrus in Menlo Park, where it will continue to be available for viewing by appointment, and for ongoing research and scholarship. The Stanford Committee for Art docents have been offering public tours of the collection at Quadrus for the past year.

There will be several focused exhibitions from the collection in the T.W. Stanford Art Gallery during the museum's rebuilding. After the museum reopens, the collection will be available for loan to other arts institutions, said Thomas K. Seligman, the John and Jill Freidenrich Director of the museum.

The Quadrus office complex, owned by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, is the former headquarters of Saga Corporation, which Anderson founded with two partners. After the Andersons started collecting in the mid-1960s, the collection outgrew their home and was installed at Saga headquarters for the enjoyment of the Saga employees.

The entire Anderson collection now comprises 1,400 works - paintings, sculpture, drawings and prints. It includes examples of most of the major periods of post-war American art, and has been built around the personal tastes of the Andersons, and their daughter, Mary Patricia (Putter) Anderson Pence.

The cost of rebuilding the Stanford Museum has been estimated to be $20 million for the first phase, and $6 million for the second phase. Fund raising for the project to date has produced approximately $8 million, including a commitment of $5 million from an anonymous friend of the Stanford Museum. The amount that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will reimburse the university is still being negotiated.



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