• 29
Robert Motherwell (front) with college roommates (left to right) Carlos Odriozola, John H. Steelquist and Manoel Cardozo, Palo Alto, California, 1934.
October 1932-Spring 1937

Motherwell studies at Stanford University, where his initial focus is on literature. In the middle of his junior year he declares philosophy as his major, and takes a broad range of courses, the most notable being Contemporary Philosophy where he encounters the writings of John Dewey, whose Art as Experience (1934), with its emphasis on direct experience as an essential element of artistic creation, exerts a profound influence on his thought.