Water, Water Everywhere–And Not A Drop To Drink

Though for once we can’t really blame the drought: The reason you can’t drink the liquid you see at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center is that it’s hanging on the walls. In the show California: The Art of Water, the state’s most valuable element appears as a shape shifter, changing from curiosity to tool to savior to victim to object of beauty.

Robert Dawson (U.S.A., b. 1950), San Luis Drain, Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge, California, 1985, from the 1987 portfolio Pangaea. Gelatin silver print. Cantor Arts Center collection, Gift of the artist, 2000.259.5

Robert Dawson (U.S.A., b. 1950), San Luis Drain, Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge, California, 1985, from the 1987 portfolio Pangaea. Gelatin silver print. Cantor Arts Center collection, Gift of the artist, 2000.259.5

Joseph Holmes (U.S.A., b. 1952), Clouds over Mono Lake, 1975. Gelatin silver print, printed 1981. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, The Shirley Burden Fund for Photography

Joseph Holmes (U.S.A., b. 1952), Clouds over Mono Lake, 1975. Gelatin silver print, printed 1981. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, The Shirley Burden Fund for Photography

Dorothea Lange (U.S.A., 1895–1965), Field Worker Irrigating Alfalfa and Barley Fields, 1937. Photograph. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Dorothea Lange (U.S.A., 1895–1965), Field Worker Irrigating Alfalfa and Barley Fields, 1937. Photograph. Courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Thomas Hill (U.S.A., b. England, 1829–1908), Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite Valley, 1892. Oil on canvas. Oakland Museum of California, Gift of Mrs. Leon Bocqueraz

Thomas Hill (U.S.A., b. England, 1829–1908), Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite Valley, 1892. Oil on canvas. Oakland Museum of California, Gift of Mrs. Leon Bocqueraz

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