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Collecting in Life and Death: The Curatorial Legacy of Leland Stanford Jr.
September 19, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Location: Stanford Law School, F.I.R. Hall, Room 180, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA 94305
Speaker: Sabrina Papazian, PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology
Leland Stanford Jr., only son of Governor and railroad tycoon Leland Stanford Sr. and heiress Jane Lathrop Stanford, died suddenly in 1884, just shy of his 16th birthday. It is no secret that the Leland Stanford Junior University and Museum were created in memoriam for Leland Jr., but much less is said about how these institutions, and in particular the museum, emerged. The museum’s early collections reflect Leland Jr.’s curatorial interests, nurtured by his doting parents’ great wealth, class tastes, and social connections. Renowned curators even reckoned Leland Jr.’s early death a great loss to “the art-training” of the American people. This lecture will analyze the objects collected by Leland and provide insight into his role as a budding intellectual. Could his collecting be as remarkable as his contemporaries’ claimed? Or was it a boyhood hobby amplified by his parents’ loss and remembrance? The lecture will draw upon the research surrounding the corresponding exhibition featured at the Stanford Archaeology Center.