Sunday, July 1, 2012

Central Nigeria Unmasked:
Arts of the Benue River Valley
Cantor Art Center at Stanford

Even if it is just for the free parking on weekends close to the front door, the sunshine, or the Arizona cactus garden nearby, it is worth a trip to Cantor Arts Center at Stanford.

The Nigeria Unmasked exhibit includes 150 items showcasing various art forms and styles of two dozen not so well known ethnic groups living along the Benue River Valley.

Included are wooden figures, masks, clothing, shields, spears, plus recent paintings, photographs and sculptures.

Some of my favorites were a photo of boys in a hut that was wallpapered with American magazine covers; a metal and wood sculpture of two modern warriors with machine guns and ammo belts; and the above photo of BOTSWANA'S COWBOY METALHEADS by Frank Marshall.

Another reason to go to the Cantor is spending time in the Rodin Sculpture garden right before entering the museum, along with two rooms of Rodin sculptures inside.

After going through the musuem, head out the back door to the enclosed large courtyard holding Richard Serra’s heavy metal labyrinth sculpture, “Sequence.”

The Cantor also has several other exhibits including modern art and items from the Fisher collection. One wing holding the Native American basket collection is currently closed due to construction.

To round out the day, go to Bucks in Woodside for breakfast or lunch. The interior is a museum, the alligator carpet is a bit much, and the food is outstanding.

posted by Phil Gravitt