Get thee to a museum!

For our adventure day today we went up to the Cantor Museum at Stanford. I know that’s not the official name, the real name has Visual Arts and Center and Ms. Cantor’s first name in it, I just don’t remember how it all goes together.

We left with plenty of time for me to get lost, which usually happens at least slightly. It was good we had that added time today, because I relied on Google Maps to get me there, and Google LIED to me. I ended up on the other side of campus from where we should have been, but luckily we live in the future, and the maps function on my magical iPhone kept us headed in the right direction as we navigated our way on foot across the campus.  (We’d already paid for parking, and I didn’t feel like driving all over creation again.)

It was lovely walking through the campus — it really is gorgeous. Totally old school looking, and just beautiful.



The kids LOVED the museum. We only hit the Early European and Americas sections, we’re planning on going back a number of other times to see the rest. Too much at once and it starts to go a little blurry.  So this time we talked about painting, and how it looks different than drawing, and how woven baskets look different than clay, that kind of thing.

This was my favorite painting, Corridor in the Prison of Saint-Lazare by Hubert Robert. :


And what was Zoe’s, you ask?

Was it this?

100_5076or this?

100_5075Oh goodness no.

This was Z’s favorite painting:


It looked to me like a depiction of Dante’s Inferno, but it’s actually The Last Judgement. The artist is unknown, but it came from Cuzco, Peru.  Would you like a close up of the beauty that stole my daughter’s heart?

100_5102Yes, that would be damned spirits being speared down at the bottom, and other tortured souls being herded away…. but I don’t think she was noticing the detail so much as the color and size. 🙂

Her favorite other item was this:

100_5107-1The lady who greeted us as we entered told us there was a dragon, so we ducked into the Asia section on Z’s request, and this is what we found. She LOVED it.

She thought her daddy would like this:

100_5088I was highly amused by these:


Remember this horror from the wildlife refuge a while back?

100_4931Apparently the “artist” was inspired by our friend Giuseppe Arcimboldo.  Arcimboldo’s paintings have charm and skill and artistic technique, however, while the two headed monstrosity above is just….. well, I’m sure whoever drew it made their mom proud. Or something.

We’re looking forward to going back again, and parking even remotely close to the museum this time. 🙂  My trekking across campus muscles haven’t been worked out like that for a while!

AAH! I totally forgot to post about this, and it was so cool. Around the balcony on the second floor, there was “sheet music” displayed.  It was made up of symbols, with their meanings left ambiguous by the composer.  Musicians come in at specific times and play their interpretation of the music.  I don’t remember the point- metaphysics of music or something, but it was such a deconstructionist Santa Cruz thing to see on such an old school campus, it made me incredibly happy. I’d love to hear how it’s interpreted. Here’s some of the music:





3 thoughts on “Get thee to a museum!

  1. Cindy on

    What an awesome mom you are! I used to love our trips to the Children’s Museum and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum in Salt Lake. The kids and I had so much fun together! I like how you can even turn parking at the wrong side of campus into an adventure and fun time! You rock!

  2. a. Stanford’s campus is very cool, when we first moved here my brother was going there and we spent a lot of time up there.
    b. we’ve never been to this museum. Does it cost to get in?

  3. Maryanne on

    Hilary, the museum is free. It’s open Weds- Sat. (I think) and opens at 11. It’s AWESOME. But, as I said before, don’t trust google to get you there. 🙂

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