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Creativity Sparks Learning

A vibrant arts district occupies the space around Stanford’s palm-lined entrance. This creative hub is anchored by two acclaimed museums and an expansive home for the Department of Art and Art History; a premier concert hall and spacious outdoor amphitheater; and Memorial Auditorium and the Stanford Art Gallery near the Oval, both venues for student showcases. Public art across the campus enriches the campus landscape, inspires creativity, and fosters connections across disciplines. 

Generous community support has helped Stanford orchestrate a 21st-century arts renaissance, reasserting the core value of art in a well-rounded education. Students now have more courses and opportunities than ever to study, create, and experience the arts.

Entrance to Cantor Center for Visual Arts
Photo: Andrew Brodhead

Acclaimed Museums

The Cantor Arts Center, located to the left, opened in 1894 as the Leland Stanford Junior Museum, a memorial to the young collector. It was rebuilt twice, after the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes, and its diverse collection spans 5,000 years of art history. Next door, the world-class Anderson Collection of modern and contemporary American art opened in 2014. Admission to both museums, including special exhibitions, tours, and all-age programs, is free.

Photo: Andrew Brodhead

Inspiration Everywhere

More than 85 public artworks, such as The Stanford Columns by Beverly Pepper located in the Arboretum across from the Anderson Collection in the arts district, reflect the spirit and dynamism of life on campus. Stanford’s architecture — from the iconic arches of the Main Quad to the modern angles of the Department of Art and Art History’s McMurtry Building — also serves as environmental inspiration, defining movement, light, and space.

Photo: Kate Munsch

An Ovation for the Arts

Stanford’s performing arts run the gamut of genres and styles — from classical to avant-garde. Theater, dance, and music productions — by students or renowned artists at Bing Concert Hall or across campus at the Nitery theater — all invite broader community appreciation. Stanford has over 100 student arts groups and a robust residential arts program.