Stanford picks architect for art collection’s $30.5-million home


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Having been given a prized collection of contemporary American art earlier this year, Stanford University on Wednesday announced plans for a new $30.5-million museum to house it.

New York-based Ennead Architects will design a 30,000-square-foot building devoted to the Anderson Collection –- 121 works by 86 artists collected by a Bay Area family (pictured), including Jackson Pollock’s 1947 “Lucifer,” Willem de Kooning’s mid-1950s “Woman Standing – Pink,” and pieces by Ellsworth Kelly, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline, among others. Plans call for a late 2014 opening.


Harry and Mary Margaret Anderson began collecting art in the mid-1960s, fueled by earnings from Saga Foods, which ran university cafeteria operations across North America until Marriott bought the company for $700 million in 1986.

Ennead (which changed its name from Polshek Partnership in 2010) also is the architect for Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall, an 844-seat, $112-million venue with acoustics by Yasuhisa Toyota (Walt Disney Concert Hall, Soka Performing Arts Center), that’s under construction and scheduled to open in 2013; the firm’s past projects include the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and Bill Clinton’s presidential library in Little Rock, Ark.

Stanford’s arts-building boom also includes the $85-million Burton and Deedee McMurtry Building, being designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro as the new home of the university’s art and art history department. Plans call for a late-2015 completion. The namesakes donated $30 million toward construction.

Designs for the museum and the art department building are expected to be reviewed in April by university trustees.

The Anderson Collection will augment the existing university art museum, the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, whose checkered history dates back to 1894, and includes massive damage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. It was closed 10 years for rebuilding, reopening in 1999.



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-- Mike Boehm