5 Exhibitions Worth Touring at Cantor Arts Center

With more than 38,000 works of art, curated over the course of 5,000 years, the Cantor Arts Center is a staple in the Bay Area community. But with 24 galleries and over 15 rotating exhibitions, a day at the Center can be a bit overwhelming for first-timers. So, here’s a quick glance at just five exhibitions worth touring when you visit!


The Melancholy Museum: Love, Death and Mourning at Stanford

Using over 700 artifacts from the Stanford Family Collections, The Melancholy Museum exhibition explores how Leland Stanford’s death at age 15 led to the creation of (1) a museum, (2) university and arguably (3) the entire Silicon Valley. The items are featured in two rooms, grouped together to tell the family’s unique story.


Outside Looking In: John Gutmann, Helen Levitt and Wright Morris

Outside Looking In combines the work of three American photographers who captured the public lives, and sometimes private spaces, of others. The photos were taken in the Bay Area, rural Nebraska and Manhattan’s Lower East Side, so expect a very diverse collection of images.


The Medium Is the Message: Art since 1950

In The Medium Is the Message: Art since 1950, works created since 1950 are used to explore the relationship between subject, content and the materials that make up the work. The exhibition is divided into three categories, based on the different definitions of “medium” – (1) a means of communication, (2) the materials that create objects and (3) a mediating apparatus between objects and subjects. This exhibit is great for those of you that like deeper thinking.


Rodin: The Shock of the Modern Body

In this exhibition, the Cantor Arts Center features 100 of its Auguste Rodin sculptures, on display across three galleries. The selected sculptures are essential to telling Rodin’s story and represent his revolutionary engagement with the human body. Fun fact: the Cantor Arts Center has the largest collection of sculptures by Rodin (in an American museum).


Surf Sequence by Ansel Adams

The Surf Sequence by Ansel Adams features a series of spontaneously captured surf images, studies of nature, time and organic line. Beach and surf lovers will definitely have an appreciation for this exhibition!


Exhibitions to Look Forward To

At the Cantor Arts Center, there are always new exhibitions rotating into the museum. In April, visit the museum to see Paper Chase: Ten Years of Collecting. This exhibit will feature over 100 acquisitions that investigate issues of identity, social justice and humanity’s changing relationship with nature. Starting May 13, the exhibition A Loaded Camera: Gordon Parks will be on display, featuring photographs that confront racism. To read more about all upcoming exhibits at the Cantor Arts Center, visit their official website.


Cantor Arts Center Hours & Admission

The best part about the Cantor Arts Center? Admission is always free! And its flexible hours make it pretty easy to visit at a time that fits your schedule. Here’s the Center’s open hours:

  • Monday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday-Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Stay at the Nearby Park James Hotel

Complement your visit to the Cantor Arts Center with a night or two at the nearby Park James Hotel. Known for its California style and eclectic atmosphere, at Park James, expect unique design and comfortable amenities at every turn. (Bonus: This hotel is also pet-friendly!)


The Cantor Arts Center is a Menlo Park attraction that you really do not want to pass up. While in the area, make sure to check out some of its interesting exhibitions! And, don’t forget to book your stay at the nearby Park James Hotel.



Park James Hotel
Park James brings California craft style and hands-on service to Silicon Valley. Expect a flexible and inspiring hub for working and an on-site California-style restaurant for cuisine and cocktails. 1400 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025. 650.304.3880