American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art was the first of four planned exhibitions focusing on the museum's permanent collection.
"I applaud the Hood Museum of Art and the College for their bold initiative. These large sheets of hair successfully startled the bucolic yet static Hanover landscape, and I look forward to the Museum's next commission of public art on campus."--Joseph Ackley '03, guest columnist, The Dartmouth, November 7, 2007
"[Sean Scully] is the 'can't miss' show of the year. Scully is an unusually lucid abstract painter, and the Hood has gone out of its way to introduce people to Scully's work."--Alex Hanson, Valley News, February 28, 2008
In autumn 2007, the Hood Museum of Art featured the first of a yearly series of permanent collections exhibitions. American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, along with its 244-page exhibition catalogue, set the standard for the next exhibition, European Art at Dartmouth, in fall 2008. When complete, this series of four exhibitions and accompanying catalogues--to include modern and contemporary highlights in 2009, and Native American highlights in 2010--will present a record of the collection's history and growth, and a vision for its future.
American Art at Dartmouth highlighted one hundred works from the collection from 1705 to 1950. In addition to object information, the exhibition included special sectional labels that told the story of American art at Dartmouth, bringing to life the story of purposeful acquisition and collections stewardship.
The very successful American exhibition was followed by the winter 2008 feature, Sean Scully: The Art of the Stripe, which occupied the entire upstairs galleries. A four-hour long taped conversation between Brian Kennedy and Sean Scully about the artist's life and work--specifically the paintings chosen by Brian and Sean for inclusion in the exhibition--provided rich material never before available to a museum. An exhibition guide, designed to replace wall labels, led visitors chronologically through Scully's career from 1973 to 2006, with excerpts taken from the interviews. The Valley News arts reporter hailed the exhibition as the "must-see show of the year."
Spring 2008 saw the opening of another major exhibition, Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body. Focusing on issues of identity and race, this groundbreaking show juxtaposes historical and contemporary perspectives in an examination of the historical roots of a charged icon--the black female body--bringing to light contemporary artists' challenges of historic and often stereotypical images that present black women as the alluringly beautiful Other, the erotic fantasy, or the super-maternal mammy. Displayed in three separate but intersecting sections, the more than one hundred sculptures, photographs, prints, paintings, and installations by African, European, American and Caribbean artists present traditional African, Western colonial, and contemporary global perspectives on the subject. Linked through common themes of beauty, sexuality and fertility, maternity and motherhood, and identity and social roles, this tripartite organization allows each moment in time and each cultural milieu to tell its own story. This approach promotes a deeper understanding of the ideologies of race, gender, and sexuality that inform contemporary responses--both the viewer's and the artists'--to images of the black female body. The exhibition is traveling to the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College; the San Diego Museum of Art; and the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.
The Hood presented fourteen exhibitions in its galleries and continued the exhibition of its site-specific installation by Wenda Gu in the Dartmouth College Library through October 2007.
Last Updated: 10/15/08