Mary Margaret “Moo” Anderson, one of the creators of the Anderson Collection, has died at age 92. Her legacy lives on at Stanford in the Anderson Collection as well as in a variety of books and other printed materials donated by her and her late husband, Harry “Hunk” Anderson, which are currently housed at the Denning Family Resource Center.
Anderson was a lifelong lover both of art itself and of sharing it. Born in Boston in 1926, she graduated from D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York, and met her soon-to-be husband in Geneva, New York, in 1948. Two years later, the newlyweds moved around the country working on bringing Harry’s food service company, Saga Corporation, to university cafeterias. According to ARTNews, the couple moved to California from Ohio in the mid-1960s to establish Saga’s headquarters in Menlo Park.
The Andersons initially caught the art-collection bug during a trip to Europe. They were first drawn to the work of French Impressionists and gradually grew their collection to include blue-chip artists like Pablo Picasso and Georgia O’Keefe. Their involvement in art at Stanford also spread into academics when they created a graduate internship program for art history doctoral students in 1975, which continues today.
The Andersons were always adamant that students have access to the art they provided the university.
“[Margaret Anderson] opened her home so that students could have that same experience of looking and learning about art,” President Marc Tessier-Lavigne told Stanford news “We are so deeply grateful that Moo and Hunk trusted Stanford to be stewards of their remarkable collection and enable people of all ages to experience it on a daily basis.”
In addition to donating works of art to the University, the Andersons also gave much of their collection of art-related literature to Stanford. These materials – some of which include notes hand-written by the Andersons themselves – have become an invaluable resource for research.
“Moo’s gifts of passion, of warmth and of believing that great art belongs to the world will forever energize the collection and the students and guests who visit and learn from it,” said Jason Linetzky, the director of the Anderson Collection.
Donations in Moo’s memory may be made to the St. Francis Center, an organization focused on providing education, affordable housing and services including a food pantry and clothing closet to families living in North Fair Oaks.
Contact Zora Ilunga-Reed at zora814 ‘at’ stanford.edu.