A visitor examines the Hood's Assyrian reliefs.
"Much of the art on display at the Hood focuses on issues you would hardly expect from a museum in the middle of a very white and rural New Hampshire . . . The Hood also owns an impressive collection of works by such famous artists as Picasso, Rothko, Perugino, and Calder."--Leanne Mirandilla, Class of 2010, Dartmouth Free Press, "Under the Hood," February 8, 2008
The Hood Museum of Art's collections are rich, diverse, and available for use by both the College and the broader community. Numbering some 65,000 objects, the collections present art from ancient cultures, the Americas, Europe, Africa, Papua New Guinea, the Arctic, and many other regions of the world. This year, the Hood's collections grew by 679 objects through gifts and purchases.
During the past eighteen months, the Hood Museum of Art has highlighted important acquisitions through a series of collections-based exhibitions, beginning with American Art at Dartmouth, on view in the fall and winter of 2007-8, and continuing in fall 2008 with European Art at Dartmouth. These large exhibitions with impressive catalogues--as well as smaller installations, such as the spring 2008 exhibition on Panamanian molas and the winter 2008 show of the work of Native American contemporary artist Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie--illuminate the museum's successful efforts to build its collections and the important role that donors play in this area. One of the characteristics of last year's acquisitions was that several purchases and gifts involved large collections of works of art. An especially significant acquisition was the partial gift and purchase of more than one hundred nineteenth-century Native American ledger drawings from the Mark Lansburgh Collection. Lansburgh--a generous donor both to Rauner Library and the museum--amassed one of the most important collections of these drawings in existence. Dartmouth is very fortunate to have acquired a portion of these holdings with the help of Mr. Lansburgh (Class of 1949), the offices of the President and Provost of the College, and the Mrs. Harvey P. Hood W'18 Fund. This group of drawings, which includes works by important artists like Howling Wolf, Chief Killer, and Frank Henderson, provides a vital new resource for scholars retracing Native experiences in the Plains during the tumultuous late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Another major acquisition with multiple objects was a gift to the museum of over 150 photographic works by Andy Warhol, made through the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. This donation includes 153 photographs (both Polaroid and black-and-white prints) taken between 1973 and 1985 of various subjects including Olympic skater Dorothy Hamill, art collector and nightclub impresario Steve Rubel, and musician John Denver. Conny Landmann, a Hanover resident, generously gave over fifty objects, mostly from the ancient cultures of Peru, collected with her late husband Frederick, while Eugene P. Stichman, Class of 1957, gave a large collection of the graphic work of twentieth-century American artist Grace Arnold Albee. Other acquisitions of this nature include the generous gift of works from Luristan, Africa, and Papua New Guinea from the Harry A. Franklin Family Collection, many of which had been on long-term loan to the museum; a large gift of photographs by the superb photographer Barbara Morgan who was known for her work on modern dance; and the purchase of a number of Native American baskets, both twentieth-century and contemporary. A gift by Janet Petersen Mayers, Class of 1947, includes four photographs by Walker Evans taken in Enfield, New Hampshire, during the summer of his artist-in-residency in 1972 and images of him by Matt Wysocki taken during the same period. The complete list of donations and purchases that follows includes important additions to the collection too numerous to address here.
Individual purchases of note include a commanding 1758 portrait of Boston merchant Jonathan Simpson by Joseph Blackburn, now the earliest American painting in the museum's collection, and an 1851 landscape by Robert Scott Duncanson, the museum's first nineteenth-century painting by an African American artist. Additional purchases include a drawing by the great Italian Mannerist artist Parmigianino, a baroque bronze sculpture of Saint Francis Borgia, and a print by Degas. Other significant acquisitions include a suite of 15 prints with text by Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie; a sculpture by contemporary artist Joyce Scott made specifically for the Hood's exhibition Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body; contemporary photographic works by the American performance artist Nikki Lee; and works by Australian, Japanese and Brazilian photographers Fiona Foley, Hiroh Kikai, and Mario Cravo Neto, respectively. To enhance its sculpture collection, the museum also purchased three colorful and dynamic ceramic pieces by artist-in-residence Sana Musasama. One of them, Outer Beauty, Inner Anguish, is a response to the practice of female genital mutilation in Africa, which Musasama encountered during her travels there and in her home city of New York. The museum also purchased a large multi-part work by Esmé Thompson, as part of new initiative to acquire major works by Dartmouth College studio art faculty.
Lastly, the museum and the college continue to work to place art on campus. In the fall of 2007, an important bronze and steel sculpture by the late Native American artist Allan C. Houser was unveiled outside Sherman House, the Native American Studies' home on campus. This semi-abstract sculpture, Peaceful Serenity, captures the calm beauty and intimacy of a mother and child standing close together. This significant work by a major artist was made possible by the generous gift of Mary Alice Kean Raynolds and David R.W. Raynolds, Class of 1949.
This year, the Hood lent twenty-eight objects to exhibitions throughout the United States and in Europe and conserved fourteen art objects.
Last Updated: 10/21/08