Stanford alumna Marilyn F. Symmes (BA, ’71) gives prints, drawings, and photographs to the Cantor

Photo of woodcut artwork
Su-Li Hung (U.S.A., b. Taiwan, 1947), World Trade Center, 2001. Woodcut. Gift of Marilyn F. Symmes, 2018.92

The Cantor Arts Center recently acquired 12 prints, drawings, and photographs given by Stanford alumna Marilyn F. Symmes (BA, ’71). The New York–based curator and art historian is honoring her Stanford roots while recognizing the importance of student interactions with objects. The gift features an eclectic selection of works ranging from an Italian Renaissance portrait print to 19th-century travel photographs to a 2001 woodcut by Su-Li Hung (Taiwan, b. 1947) that offers a stark memorial to the World Trade Center in New York. The diverse subjects represented encourage thinking about the works as images as well as objects, which makes them exciting candidates for inclusion in future exhibitions, research, and teaching.

Symmes remembers formative interactions with the Cantor’s collections and curators when she was pursuing an undergraduate degree in art history at Stanford. After completing her studies, she went on to earn a graduate degree from the University of Michigan and to build her curatorial career at such museums as the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, and the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University. As a long-standing supporter of the Cantor and its educational mission, Symmes also has promised the museum a gift of nearly 90 works on paper.