The Hood Museum of Art.
Brian Kennedy, Director of the Hood Museum of Art, in front of an untitled painting by Emily Kame Kngwarreye in the exhibition Dreaming Their Way: Australian Aboriginal Women Painters.
My second year as Director of the Hood Museum of Art has been a most rewarding one. The staff of the museum is a most talented and dedicated group of people and it is an honor and a privilege to lead the splendid Hood team. The strategic plan, developed with all Hood staff during the first year of directorship, is now being implemented. The museum staff has been working optimally and has succeeded in heightening the museum's visibility, increasing academic and community programming, presenting a vigorous, diverse, and well-received exhibition schedule, and boosting attendance by nearly 30 percent to 45,000 people, the highest total in many years.
This year also saw changes in the museum's Board and support organizations, both shared between the Hopkins Center and Hood Museum of Art for twenty years. The constant growth of both the Hop and the Hood in these two decades led to an examination of how to continue moving forward effectively, and the changes were made after careful deliberation, planning, and involvement of and approval by Dartmouth College administration and Board of Trustees. The Board of Overseers of Hopkins Center and Hood Museum of Art separated as planned on July 1, 2006, and two successful meetings of the new Hood Board were held in October 2006 and April 2007. A separate membership organization for the Hood is currently being developed following the dissolution of the Friends of Hopkins Center and Hood Museum of Art. Their many years of excellent support of the arts at Dartmouth is deeply appreciated, and we look forward to the vital support and involvement of our new Hood members.
Acquisitions, exhibitions, and programs continued to grow and strengthen. Numerous acquisitions of significance have been made by the Hood during the year, including a Jackson Pollock painting inspired by Orozco's murals in Baker Library and Pompeo Batoni's Portrait of William Legge the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, after whom the College is named. An intensive exhibition schedule in the past year has focused especially on the excellent permanent collections of the Hood Museum of Art, and on displays of Indigenous art in particular (from Papua New Guinea, Indigenous Australia, and the Arctic). A series of symposia, colloquia, public lectures, and other academic programs was presented throughout the year in association with the exhibition program. The Papuan Gulf show Coaxing the Spirits to Dance is on exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, through November. The year 2006-7 closed with the extensive American Art at Dartmouth exhibition ushering in a new series of comprehensive displays and publications about major areas of the permanent collection.
A range of new educational programming has helped to develop relationships with parts of the campus which had hitherto not been frequently or, in some cases, ever involved with the Hood. Programs have been developed with, to name a few, Studio Art; Tuck School of Business; the Medical School (where medical students are now learning to improve skills of observation and diagnosis through a Learning to Look program at the Hood); the Rockefeller Leadership Program; Kendal retirement community, and many others. In addition, the Hood enjoys strong working relationships with the Provost's Office, the Dean's Office, the Director of the Hopkins Center, the Dean of Libraries, and the Chairs and members of the Hood's constituent departments. The activities held during the residency of the dance company Pilobolus provided a fine example of collaborative activity in the arts at Dartmouth. The Hood building was improved by the completion of a number of projects including the repaving of the entrance walkway and the reupholstering of the Arthur M. Loew Auditorium seating.
Finally, the Hood staff has taken significant steps to make the museum more visible on campus and in the community. This has been achieved by, for example: hanging promotional banners for Hood exhibitions on Hanover Main Street; increasing the museum’s marketing efforts through publication and distribution of brochures and an Annual Report for 2005-6; attendance by Hood staff at many activities on campus; and hosting numerous evening and weekend events within the Hood premises. The most visible demonstrations of the Hood’s outreach on campus have been the building of an Inuit Inuksuk in front of the Admissions Office off Dartmouth Green and the exhibition of a huge contemporary art installation by Wenda Gu in Baker-Berry Library, comprised of the hair from 42,500 haircuts collected local Upper Valley salons and at community "Hair Drives" organized by Dartmouth students. This project was conceived in response to President Wright’s desire to "to see art in unexpected places" and that of Provost Scherr to see "art presented as a transformative experience." Jeffrey Horrell, Dean of Libraries, and his excellent staff provided ideal partners in this joint endeavor. Wenda Gu's project is the first truly large-scale public contemporary art installation presented to the Dartmouth and greater community audience since Orozco's Epic of American Civilization in 1934.
I would like to express appreciation to President James Wright, Provost Barry Scherr, Associate Provost Mary Gorman, Chairman of the Board of the Hood Museum of Art Jonathan L. Cohen, and each member of the Board of Overseers for their participation with, advocacy for, and support of the Hood Museum of Art. To have this level of support from the Chairman and each Board member makes possible the levels of activity by and progress of the Hood Museum of Art.
Many of the Hood's exhibitions, programs, and publications are greatly enhanced by collaborations with and contributions by Dartmouth faculty, staff, and students, and by community businesses, organizations, and individuals. Dartmouth collaborations included Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Hopkins Center for the Arts, the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Endowment, Fannie and Alan Leslie Center for the Humanities, Humanities Resource Center, Public Affairs, Office of Pluralism and Leadership (OPAL), Institutional Diversity and Equity, Office of Planning, Design, and Construction, Conferences and Special Events, Dickey Center for International Understanding, the Institute of Arctic Studies, Office of Residential Life/Greek Life, Facilities Operations Management (FO&M), University Press of New England, the Dartmouth College Library, Rauner Special Collections Library, Jones Media Center, Office of Admissions, Human Resources, Dartmouth Medical School, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD), Dartmouth Sustainability Initiative, Office of Public Affairs, Tuck School of Business, Human Resources After Hours Program, Alumni Continuing Education, Fusion dance group, the Rockapellas a capella group, ECO student group, Center for Cartoon Studies and the departments of: Art History, Religion, Anthropology, Studio Art, African and African American Studies, Geography, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Education, French, Spanish, Native American Studies, English, Philosophy, Theater, Women’s and Gender Studies and Classics.
Community partners included Howe Library, Two Rivers Printmaking Studio, The Haven, the Town of Hanover and Hanover board of selectmen, Kendal, Strafford Creamery, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Valley Food and Farm, CATV, Hanover Downtown Marketing Alliance, Revels North, Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, Upper Valley Music Center, Hanover High School students, and all the salons in the Upper Valley that collected hair for Wenda Gu's monumental sculpture united nations: the green house: Great Lengths, Andrea's Salon, Elements at River Valley Club, Diane's Casual Cuts, Big Green Cuts, The Perfect Cut, Tanglez 'n' Tanz, Hair Design by Sandy, Split Ends, Kris's Kuts, JANZ, La Mirage, Belleza, Kosmetikos, New England School of Hair Design, J.C. Penny, Country Cuts and Style, Orford Hair Care, Hilde's Beauty Salon, Hair Exclusive, Hanover Haircutters, Shearz Etc, We're Makin' Waves, Bob’s Barber Shop, and Hair Affair.
Last Updated: 10/17/07