Outdoor art needs special treatment, even when it’s made out of trees. Stanford’s two totem poles carved and painted by Pacific Northwest artists recently got respectful facelifts by two fellow artists trying to preserve the original spirit.
Art Thompson’s “Boo-Qwilla,” which has stood in Dohrmann Grove since 1995, and Don Yeomans’ “The Stanford Legacy,” near Crown Quad since 2002, both needed cleaning and repainting. Enter the Cantor Arts Center, which detailed the project on its “Cross-Sections” website.
The Cantor’s Elizabeth Saetta cleaned the towering artworks and added preservatives to keep insects away. Then came artists and husband-and-wife team John Livingston and Maxine Matilpi. Livingston was a longtime friend of the late artist Thompson, and he and his wife clearly have great respect for the art of the totem pole. The pair were careful to use only paint that matched the originals.
Above are before-and-after photos of “The Stanford Legacy,” a totem pole that incorporates figures representing the Leland Stanford family. What do you think of the results?
SoCal meets Palo Alto in a new show of 15 paintings by PA native Bryan Ida. On round and rectangular panels, his thick epoxy layers recall his history with Southern California architecture: its boxes and lines, the experience of looking straight up at a tall building and losing all perspective. When a city becomes all abstract floaters, can you still feel connected to it?
Ida’s local ties (besides playing the French horn in the El Camino Youth Symphony) include his stint as a studio assistant for the late abstract expressionist painter Sam Francis in Francis’ Palo Alto studio. This was an influential time for the young artist.
“We often talked about the correlation between music and painting, how it is really the same thing just using different senses,” Ida says on his website. “I have applied some of the same principles of music theory to my visual practice.”
In case you were wondering, this is how you climb a pyramid. Especially if you’re in the 19th century and you’re being photographed by Felix Bonfils (1831-1885).
This photo, a print titled “Ascent of the Great Pyramid,” is part of a new small exhibition at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center, showing 19th-century images of North Africa and the Holy Land. These photos were especially popular with Westerners who never left the States or Europe, either because they couldn’t or because they were afraid of being pushed up a pyramid.
Other vintage views include a print of the Mosque of the Emeer Akhor by Francis Frith (1822-1898), a Briton who was a grocer before his first jaunt to Egypt inspired him.
That sign certainly doesn’t mess around, Cantor Arts Center. I guess it’s so the people looking over from the new concert hall won’t get confused and think they’re at the de Saisset.
Photo by Rebecca Wallace
THIS is how you let people know about a lecture. I don’t know what’s better, the images or the event title. Either way, I seem to be obsessed with sharp event posters lately. Bravo, Mark Janse, research professor in ancient and Asia Minor Greek at Ghent University.
A stunning image that gets smothered in newsprint, so here we are online. In this 1832 lithograph, the noted printmaker Honore Daumier mocks French King Louis-Philippe I as a bulging pear who is much too weighty for his countrymen to hold up. (“Heave-ho! … Heave-ho!”) And this is one of Daumier’s gentler pieces of satire.
Brilliantly meta exhibition on now at the Cantor Arts Center. Through San Francisco photographer Andy Freeberg’s lens, we see the women of a certain age who serve as guards in Russia’s state art museums. These stolid ladies sit in their designated chairs with their sensible shoes, never a smile, always watching you. They’re like the teachers who had eyes in the back of their heads.
Now here we stand in a museum watching them watching us, and seeing how over the years they have built invisible bonds with the sculptures and paintings they defend. One woman’s beatific expression matches the holy faces on the wall behind her; another guard makes her coarsely knitted shawl and hair bun seem as regal as the portrait she protects.
Freeberg took these portraits in museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg; then he came to California and photographed several veteran guards at the Cantor, too. These portraits get their own small gallery in the exhibition, along with interviews with the local guards in a short documentary made by Stanford student Josie Johnson.
Pictured: Andy Freeberg’s 2009 archival pigment ink print “Mikhail Nesterov’s ‘Blessed St Sergius of Radonezh,’ Russian State Museum.”
Wiley Hausam is the new managing director for Stanford’s swanky Bing Concert Hall, which will be much swankier when it’s actually built all the way. Read the latest on the construction (and the changes at Stanford Lively Arts, which is now called Stanford Live), here. Photo by Veronica Weber.