Skip to main content

Dartmouth Home | Search | Index Dartmouth home page

Search this Site

 FaceBook Icon Twitter Icon Instagram Icon TouTube Icon
Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

Subscribe: RSS


Welcome to the Hood

Press the "play" button to view a Flickr slideshow from the Hood Museum of Art. To view it full-screen, mouse over the image and click the expansion icon in the lower right-hand corner.

Hood museum director letter
Dartmouth students view photographs in the museum’s collection in the Bernstein Study-Storage Center.


The Hood Museum of Art is a teaching museum. Our mission is to create an ideal learning environment that fosters transformative encounters with works of art.

Dartmouth College has been collecting objects since 1772, just three years after its founding, and there are presently about 65,000 objects in the Hood Museum of Art's care. These collections are among the oldest and largest of any college or university in the country.

Dartmouth’s collections were housed in five previous museum buildings on campus before the Hood Museum of Art was designed by Charles Moore and Chad Floyd of Centerbrook Architects. The award-winning postmodern building was completed in 1985.

The Hood Museum of Art is, above all, a teaching museum that cultivates direct engagement with works of art within an interdisciplinary setting for visitors of all ages. The Hood makes all of its collections available for use by Dartmouth students and faculty in a special classroom setting.

The Hood offers over ten special exhibitions and more than one hundred lectures, gallery talks, tours, workshops, family programs, programs for regional schools, and special programs for Dartmouth students each year.

For more information about the Hood’s exhibitions and programs, explore our website! You can also follow the Hood Museum of Art on Facebook.

The Hood Museum of Art has a growing number of dedicated members whose support helps to keep admission to the museum and nearly all its programs free of charge for all. Please consider joining the museum to enjoy more exclusive benefits.

Creating Learning Encounters with Original Works of Art

As a teaching museum, the Hood Museum of Art is committed to helping visitors develop visual literacy skills—the ability to construct meaning from what we see. One way to do this is through a method called "Learning to Look." This five-step approach to exploring works of art—careful observation, analysis, research, interpretation, and finally critical assessment and response—is designed to empower visitors to observe carefully and think critically about works of art they encounter.

The Hood Museum of Art uses versions of this teaching method with a wide range of audiences, from Dartmouth College undergraduates and K-12 school groups to discussion-based adult workshops. Dartmouth Medical School students learn the technique in "The Art of Clinical Observation" workshops to enhance their diagnostic skills when working with patients. Dartmouth students in some sections of Writing 5 practice this technique to enable them to "read" a work of art in the same way that they learn to decipher literary texts.

For the benefit of all gallery visitors, the museum offers a series of free brochures called A Closer Look. Each brochure focuses on a single work of art and invites visitors to engage with the object through the "Learning to Look" technique. Brochures are available in the galleries next to the works of art they feature; we invite you to enjoy them at the museum and, if you wish, take copies home with you.

Every wall in the museum is installed as a classroom. We encourage you to spend time thinking about each of these presentations as an opportunity for a learning encounter!

Teaching with Original Works of Art

It is the museum's goal that Dartmouth students and all museum visitors are able to navigate the visual, including the textual, realm with skill and dexterity. Examining works of art provides opportunities to learn about diverse cultures and time periods and opens a dialogue on issues and ideas that are central to human experience.

The Hood Museum of Art is noted among college museums for the degree to which its collections and exhibitions are integrated into the curriculum by Dartmouth College faculty. Each year an average of 1,500 visits by Dartmouth faculty and students involve direct engagement with objects in the museum’s galleries and in the Bernstein Study-Storage Center. Located adjacent to one of the museum’s storage areas within the museum building, the Bernstein Study-Storage Center is a classroom that accommodates groups of up to twenty students. Each year, Dartmouth College faculty and students from some thirty or more departments visit the center, and museum staff members pull up to 2,500 objects from storage for these class visits. Students and faculty from departments as wide-ranging as Anthropology, Art History, Biology, Classics, Comparative Literature, Environmental Studies, French, Gender and Women’s Studies, Geography, History, Italian, Latin American Studies, Mathematics, Native American Studies, Philosophy, Physics, Religion, Studio Art, Sociology, Spanish, and Theater, as well as the Dartmouth Medical School, hold class sessions at the museum regularly.

Last Updated: 6/17/14