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A Biography of Stanford Sandstone: From Greystone Quarry to Stone River

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Wednesday, January 24, 2024 *New date
4:30 - 6:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Stanford Law School
Room 290, Crown Quadrangle
559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford

In 2001, when British artist Andy Goldsworthy was invited to Stanford to build a sculpture, he was immediately drawn to the warm yellow sandstone of the campus’s oldest buildings. He designed "Stone River" as an expression of what he saw in the stone – that it was mobile and alive, on a trajectory through time, flowing like a river.

In this talk – accompanied by more than 300 photographs – Charles Junkerman will follow the fluid biography of Stanford's sandstone: scoured out of the Sierras by great rivers, sedimented along the ancient ocean shore, upthrust by colliding tectonic plates, blasted out of Greystone Quarry, and brought by railroad to Palo Alto where it was dressed and carved by stone-workers into some of the most distinguished academic architecture in the county. But the story continues. The great earthquake of 1906 brought down many of the buildings, and the rubble was scattered: into garden walls on campus and in Palo Alto, dumped into creeks, and gathered in the "boneyard" on Old Page Mill Road, where Andy Goldsworthy resurrected it and built something beautiful again.

Charles Junkerman

Presenter: Charles Junkerman, Associate Provost and Dean of Continuing Studies, Emeritus

Charlie Junkerman has had a 40-year career at Stanford, and stepped down as Associate Provost and Dean of Continuing Studies in April, 2020.  He served as Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Director of the Humanities Center, Resident Fellow in Madera House, and President of the Stanford Historical Society.  Charlie continues to teach courses on European and American literature, with special interests in 19th century English and American Romanticism (Wordsworth, Emerson, Thoreau), and lectures regularly on Travel/Study walking trips in the U.K.