A student explores the winter 2009 exhibition Focus on Photography: Works from 1950 to Today.
“Photography isn’t the first thing you associate with Dartmouth College. But two of America’s finest living photographers are alumni (Joel Sternfeld and James Nachtwey), and shortly before he died Walker Evans was an artist in residence there. So it makes perfect sense that Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, N.H., should have an impressive photography collection.”
—Boston Globe, “10 Reasons to Get Out,” February 1, 2009, in response to the exhibition Focus on Photography: Works from 1950 to Today
“The end product is a public revelation of self.”
—Artscope, May 2009, in response to Félix de la Concha: Private Portraits/Public Conversations
“The exhibition invokes the visitor to see the items neither entirely as art, nor merely costume; an imaginative and provocative approach to the display of textiles.”
—Hali Magazine, Summer 2009, in response to Wearing Wealth and Styling Identity: Tapis From Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia
The 2008-9 exhibitions at the Hood Museum of Art featured the second in a series of four planned permanent collections exhibitions during autumn 2008 and winter 2009. European Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art and its accompanying catalogue featured over 150 objects from the Italian and German Renaissance, the Dutch Golden Age, the Enlightenment and Romantic periods, and the early modern era. Also held during autumn 2008, Immanence and Revelation: The Art of Ben Frank Moss featured work from this esteemed studio art professor’s twenty years at Dartmouth. Ranging from landscapes to still lifes, these works and the exhibition catalogue provide the most comprehensive examination of Moss’s career to date. A third highly acclaimed autumn 2008 exhibition, Coastline to Skyline: The Phillip H. Greene Gift of California Watercolors, 1930-1960, comprised thirteen works by mostly southern California artists known for their focus on their West Coast environs.
Winter 2009 at the Hood saw the opening of two new exhibitions, Spirit of the Basket Tree: Wabanaki Ash Splint Baskets from Maine and Focus on Photography: Works from 1950 to Today. The baskets show was guest-curated by Jennifer Sapiel Neptune, a basket maker herself and member of the Maine Indian Basket Makers Alliance. A survey of the Hood’s post-1950 photography collection, Focus on Photography took as its main focus both portraiture and landscape, exploring a number of thematic intersections across subject areas.
The latest in a series of major public art projects launched by the museum (in 2007 the museum presented the work of Chinese artist Wenda Gu) opened in April 2009. In collaboration with the Dartmouth Centers Forum theme for 2008-10 of “Conflict and Reconciliation,” fifty-one people sat as portrait subjects for Spanish painter Félix de la Concha for the exhibition Félix de la Concha: Private Portraits/Public Conversations. During an intense two-hour painting session, the artist interviewed the sitter—sitters were drawn from Dartmouth faculty, students, staff, and alumni as well as from the greater community—about the impact of conflict and reconciliation in their own lives. Video recordings of these conversations were integrated into the exhibition.
Wearing Wealth and Styling Identity: Tapis from Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia featured the handwoven and dyed, and then sumptuously decorated, cloths worn by elite women of this region from the Lister Family Collection. Also in spring 2009, France in Transformation: The Caricature of Honoré Daumier, 1833-1870 featured a number of pieces from the Hood’s collection of social and political cartoons by Daumier, one of the most witty and adept caricaturists of all time.
In all the Hood presented eleven exhibitions in 2008-9 and collaborated with the Dartmouth College Libraries to install a portion of Félix de la Concha: Private Portraits/Public Conversations in the Baker Library main hall.
April 1-August 10, 2009
Friends-Cheatham, Lathrop, Jaffe, and Hall Galleries
Organized by the Hood Museum of Art, this major traveling exhibition examined the historical roots of a charged icon in contemporary art: the black female body. The exhibition featured over one hundred sculptures, prints, postcards, photographs, paintings, textiles, and video installations presenting three separate but intersecting perspectives: the traditional African, the colonial, and the contemporary global. This approach offered a deeper understanding of the ideologies of race, gender, and sexuality that inform contemporary responses to images of the black female body. A fully illustrated catalogue published by the Hood Museum of Art and the University of Washington Press was produced. This exhibition traveled to the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, and then to the San Diego Museum of Art.
The exhibition and publication were generously funded by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Hugh J. Freund ‘67, P’08, and the William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Hall Fund, and the Leon C. 1927, Charles L 1955, and Andrew J. 1984 Greenbaum Fund, the Hanson Family Fund, and the William Chase Grant 1919 Memorial Fund.
May 17-December 7, 2008
Colorful, playful, and visually enticing, the appliquéd molas that Kuna women sew onto their blouses yield an astounding array of traditional and contemporary themes. These stitched cloth panels feature abstract and figurative motifs derived from Kuna legends as well as popular culture. Initially developed from pre-Hispanic body arts, mola making in Kuna Yala, an archipelago that runs along the Caribbean coast of Panama, has become an important women’s economic enterprise that also preserves Kuna cultural and ethnic identity.
This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art and generously funded by the William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Hall Fund.
June 28-September 28, 2008
In conjunction with exhibitions in Naples, Italy, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, the Hood Museum of Art developed a focused display centered on its most important nineteenth-century European painting—Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s (1836-1912) The Sculpture Gallery of 1874. This “dossier exhibition” highlighted the originality of the subject and its complex construction.
This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art and generously funded by a grant from the Kress Foundation and by the George O. Southwick 1957 Memorial Fund.
August 30, 2008-March 8, 2009
Albright, Lathrop, Jaffe, and Hall Galleries
Second in a series of exhibitions presenting the Hood’s extensive and varied collections.
The earliest known European objects to arrive at Dartmouth were “a few coins and curiosities” obtained by President John Wheelock during his 1783 tour of England, France, Holland, and Scotland. The collection grew gradually throughout the nineteenth century, but the introduction of European art history courses in 1905 led to a significant expansion of the College’s holdings. A dramatic increase in gifts and acquisitions occurred after the 1985 opening of the Hood Museum of Art, which now houses several thousand European objects dating from the renaissance to the early twentieth century. The core of the collection, an exceptional array of works on paper, has been enhanced in recent decades by a large number of remarkable paintings and sculptures. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue highlight over 150 objects from the Italian and German Renaissance, the Dutch Golden Age, the Enlightenment and Romantic periods, and the early modern era.
This exhibition and publication were organized by the Hood Museum of Art and funded by the Bernard R. Siskind 1955 Fund, the Hansen Family Fund, and the Leon C. 1927, Charles L. 1955, and Andrew J. 1984 Greenebaum Fund, and a generous gift from Barbara Dau Southwell, Class of 1978, and David Southwell, Tuck Class of 1988.
September 13, 2009-January 4, 2009
This exhibition of more than seventy paintings, drawings, and prints by Ben Frank Moss honored the artist’s twenty years at Dartmouth College, where he has served as chairman of the Studio Art Department and, since 1993, as the George Frederick Jewett Professor of Studio Art. Ranging from expansive, luminous landscapes inspired by Northwest summers to intimate, nearly abstract still lifes, these works reveal the artist’s fascination with lush color, essential forms, and an ineffable, enveloping presence beyond the subject at hand. The accompanying catalogue, which is the most comprehensive examination of Moss’s career to date, includes an extensive interview with the artist and an essay by former Moss student Joshua Chuang, Class of 1998, now an assistant curator at the Yale University Art Gallery.
This exhibition and publication were organized by the Hood Museum of Art and generously supported by a gift from Katherine D. and John H. Krehbiel III, Class of 1991, Thayer 1992; a grant from the George Frederick Jewett Foundation; a contribution from the Dean of the Faculty Office; and the museum’s Ray Winfield Smith 1918 Fund and Eleanor Smith Fund.
October 11, 2008-January 4, 2009
This exhibition celebrated the recent gift from Hanover resident Philip H. Greene of thirteen works by the so-called California-style watercolorists. The mostly southern California artists who made up this informal but closely knot group were most active from the late 1920s through the 1950s. They achieved national recognition for their generally large-scale watercolors painted with broad, saturated washes in a manner that was bold and expressive, yet representational. These artists celebrated their West Coast environs through images of the state’s dramatic coastline, agricultural and fishing traditions, public amusements, and bustling cities. In keeping with the populist, nationalistic mood of the era, these artists captured unpretentious, “typically American” subjects that transcended their regional content to appeal to audiences coast-to-coast.
This exhibition and publication were organized by the Hood Museum of Art and generously supported by the Bernard R. Siskind 1955 Fund and the Hansen Family Fund.
December 20, 2008-July 6, 2009
Guest-curator Jennifer Sapiel Neptune brought to life the rich visual dialogue between contemporary Wabanaki basket artists of Maine and the legacy of Native American basket making in northern New England and southeastern Canada. Originally created for indigenous use, baskets emerged as valued items of trade with European settlers during the colonial era. They have remained at the center of cultural exchanges between Wabanaki people and Americans of non-Native descent to the present day, serving to solidify cultural identity, perpetuate intergenerational continuity, and symbolize political sovereignty for Wabanaki tribal members through the centuries. Neptune, a basket maker herself, and co-manager of the Maine Indian Basket Makers Alliance (MIBA), also wrote an essay for the gallery brochure that accompanies the exhibition.
This exhibition was generously supported by the Frank L. Harrington 1924 Exhibition Fund.
January 13-March 8, 2009
Two major themes dominated this survey of the Hood Museum of Art’s post-1950 photography collection, portraiture and landscape; it also featured an assortment of documentary and photojournalist works by major figures such as James Nachtwey, Sebastiao Salgado, and Eugene Smith. Other themes explored include adolescence in portraiture, the clash of man versus nature in landscape imagery, the negotiation of identity through self-portraiture, and images of the urban landscape. It also traced recent advances in technology, but underscores the ways in which artists working today continue to draw on traditional subject matters, styles, and processes.
This exhibition was generously supported by the Philip Fowler 1927 Memorial Fund.
April 4-September 27, 2009
Friends-Cheatham Galleries, and Baker Library Main Corridor
With this exhibition the Hood continued its series of major public art projects. In conjunction with the Dartmouth Centers Forum theme for 2008-10, "Conflict and Reconciliation," the museum commissioned fifty-one portraits of Dartmouth and Upper Valley community members by Spanish painter de la Concha. While painting the sitters, the artist conducted conversations with them about conflicts they have experienced, audio- and videotaping each two-hour session. The exhibition installation included display of the painted portraits as well as videotaped excerpts of each portrait session and a number of full-length videos, resulting in a multimedia presentation.
This exhibition was generously supported by gifts from Constance and Walter Burke, Class of 1944, and Yoko Otani Homma and Shunichi Homma M.D., Class of 1977.
April 11-August 31, 2009
Lathrop, Jaffe, and Hall Galleries
Handwoven from cotton and silk threads colored with ancestral dye recipes and then embellished with gold- and silver-wrapped threads, silk embroidery, and appliquéd mirrors and mica, these ornate tube dresses were created by elite women of Lampung, South Sumatra. In a land located between the two maritime routes linking east and west Asia, these sumptuous garments communicate a family’s global contacts, social station, and clan identity. Guest curated by Dr. Mary Louise Totton, Assistant Professor of Art History, Frostic School of Art, Western Michigan University, the exhibition combined selected tapis from the Lister Family Collection with contextual archival photographs.
This exhibition was generously supported by the Evelyn A. Hall Fund and the William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Jaffe Hall Fund.
April 25-August 24, 2009
One of the most witty and adept caricaturists of all time, Honoré Daumier created social and political cartoons that continue to resonate today. The Hood Museums of Art’s collection offered a rich overview of Daumier’s career as a graphic artist, presenting a picture of France in the mid-nineteenth century, a time when cultural and societal changes were ushering in a new era of modernity.
This exhibition was generously supported by the Frank L. Harrington 1924 Exhibition Fund.
Last Updated: 12/10/09