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VIRTUALLY VERDANT: A Personal Tour of Stanford's Anderson Art Collection

A Personal Tour of Stanford's Anderson Art Collection

Sunday, January 23, 2022

We had a great turnout for Kim Lester Sommer's virtual tour of the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, a gem of a museum featuring American artists of the mid-20th century to present day, from icons like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko to contemporary greats like Martin Puryear and Deborah Butterfield. In a very interactive format we looked closely at a small selection of collection highlights to get a sense of the diversity and caliber of the museum’s holdings, and shared our own observations and ideas. 

Kim was a self-described art history nerd at Wellesley, even petitioning the department to take more than the maximum allowed credits for the major. During summers and after graduation, she did stints at the Guggenheim and several private galleries before pursuing an MBA with the intention of going into museum administration. That never happened. Instead, she found herself in consumer products marketing, working at General Foods as a product manager on Kool-Aid(!). It was lots of fun, but took her way off the art track. It wasn’t until 2010, when her youngest daughter was finishing high school, that Kim found a way back into the art world as a docent at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, and more recently, its sister museum, The Anderson Collection.

Anderson Collection painting by Joan Mitchell, image courtesy Kim L. Sommer

Anderson Collection painting by Mark Rothko, image courtesy Kim L. Sommer