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Art patrons Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson with their daughter, Mary Patricia Anderson Pence, with works by Franz Kline and Mark Rothko
Art patrons Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson with their daughter, Mary Patricia Anderson Pence, with works by Franz Kline and Mark Rothko

STANFORD U. GETS ANDERSON COLLECTION

June 15, 2011

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Stanford University in Palo Alto, Ca., is getting a big new collection of postwar American art, and building a new art museum to house it. The gift includes more than 120 works by 86 artists from the Anderson Collection, assembled over 40 years by Bay Area residents Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson -- known informally as Hunk and Moo -- and their daughter, Mary Patricia Anderson Pence, who made their fortune in the food-service and restaurant industry.

Stanford plans to build a new gallery near the Cantor Arts Center to house the Anderson collection, which includes Jackson Pollock’s 1947 Lucifer -- the work that first prompted the artist to ask his wife, Lee Krasner, after he’d made it, “Is this a painting?” -- Willem de Kooning’s Woman Standing-Pink, Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park #60, Sam FrancisRed in Red, Philip Guston’s The Coat II, Ellsworth Kelly’s Black Ripe, as well as works from Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline and Frank Stella, among others. The gallery is expected to open in 2014.

The Anderson’s are longtime art patrons in California. At Stanford they set up a curatorial internship program for students at their collection, lent works to the university museum and donated 650 graphic prints to the school in 1991. The family has also supported the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The SF MoMA, in fact, had hoped to receive the collection itself, according to the New York Times.

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