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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Academic and Student Programs

The Bernstein Study Storage
Students participate in the Hood’s non-curricular course Museum Collecting 101.

The Bernstein Study Storage

The Bernstein Study Storage

The Bernstein Study Storage

The Bernstein Study Storage
Other programs in the museum's Bernstein Study-Storage Center.

The Hood Spring Party
Students discuss art in the galleries during the Hood's Spring Party.

The Hood Spring Party
Students view an exhibition at the Hood's Spring Party.

Learning to Look program
Students participate in a Learning to Look program led by museum educator Vivian Ladd.

Learning to Look program
Vivian Ladd discusses the Hood's Sol LeWitt mural in a Learning to Look program.

Learning to Look program
Teachers examine the Hood's Panathenaic amphora in a Learning to Look program.

The Bernstein Study-Storage Center

“I loved having the opportunity to be behind the scenes in the Hood and learning a lot about what goes into the collections.”
—Dartmouth student, after participating in the Hood’s non-curricular course Museum Collecting 101

The Hood’s Bernstein Study-Storage Center is a valuable resource for faculty and undergraduates at Dartmouth. Like all museums, the Hood can display only a small fraction of its collections in the gallery space available. Therefore, the majority of the collection is not on view but can be easily accessed for teaching purposes by faculty members. Faculty can arrange class visits to the Bernstein Study-Storage Center, where a small number of objects chosen by the professor (in consultation with the museum’s registrars or the Curator of Academic Programming) are displayed. This facility is also available for students to study works of art selected in the same manner. The study-storage area can accommodate a group of up to twenty students at a time. The presentation of objects in study-storage allows greater and more direct access to the works of art and more flexibility in the way they can be used for teaching. The Bernstein Study-Storage Center was used by 89 classes this year, and 4,846 objects were taken out of storage for study by professors and their classes. Student visits to study storage totaled 1,166.

Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of Bernstein Study-Storage Center

In 1989, the fledgling Hood Museum of Art opened a classroom in its storage area that houses three-dimensional art and artifacts as well as large paintings. Although it is a simple enough concept, this type of teaching space is actually quite rare in museums. The Bernstein Study-Storage Center, named after Jane and Raphael Bernstein, Dartmouth parents and generous donors to the college, can accommodate classes of up to twenty students and also serves as a space for study of works of art by individual students. The Hood is distinctive among its peers in that it makes all types of objects available for teaching in its classroom. The space functions much like a print room, except that painting, sculpture, and artifacts are shown in addition to prints, drawings, and photographs. We arrange for requested objects to be available at a particular time for a class or individual faculty or student visit. During the last twenty years, this classroom has seen active use by Dartmouth College faculty and classes, averaging between 300 and 400 student visits (and on occasion as many as 500) per term during the regular academic year. Between 1996 and 2007, the museum served 1,547 class and 14,625 student visits to the center. While in many museums objects are seen only in static display spaces, the Hood’s collections circulate regularly through its storage teaching space. The program’s success is in part due to the significant amount of staff time the museum dedicates to the classroom. The assistant registrar, with the help of a part-time assistant, pulls between 3,500 and 5,000 objects per year for viewing by students and faculty from thirty academic departments. Recently the Hood worked with the firm of Randi Korn and Associates to evaluate the museum’s fulfillment of its purpose, which its director and staff have identified as “cultivate teaching with objects” and “create learning encounters,” many of which take place in the Bernstein Study-Storage Center. In October 2007, the firm conducted intensive interviews with Dartmouth professors who use the museum. One response stated:

“I think particularly in our age where people tend to think that everything they need is on screen, it is essential to show them that there are many other qualities of physical art that are important and exciting. The way I teach is very socio-historical, wherein aesthetics and formal appreciation are important, but they are byproducts of just learning how to really grab all the complexities of the visual document. I am hoping, more importantly, that they will attain a kind of confidence in their ability to see something new, maybe put it in context or feel like they have the skills to analyze it and have an opinion about it.”

Faculty members need to know about objects in order to teach with them. Many professors come to the museum to select objects for their classes, while others use the museum’s online catalogue. It is during these meetings with faculty, or during longer faculty residencies, when most of the creative thinking occurs about how an object can be used for a particular class. Discussions take place about the media, history, meaning, origins and purpose, context, aesthetics, and condition of an object, and about its relationship to other objects in the collection and to the course. To best engage with faculty, the museum pairs professors with staff members who know the collection well and have expertise in the area of interest. When necessary, we have used Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endowment funds to hire an expert to come in. Our goal, whenever possible, is to empower the faculty member to be the person who stands in front of a work of art and teaches. At the end of a residency, faculty members create a written blueprint for objects they will use for class sessions, student paper topics, or exams. As we move into the next decade, the museum will continue to engage faculty and students by making works of art available through the Bernstein Study-Storage Center. We will increasingly engage students by teaching visual literacy and imparting to them tools they can use to not only look at, but really see the object before them. This is a vital skill for students living in a media-saturated world, and it is our goal that by the time they graduate, all Dartmouth students will be able to navigate the visual, as well as the textual world, with skill and dexterity.


Student Programs

“I learned more about not taking a work or art at face value or at least not accepting someone else’s interpretation as fact.”
—Dartmouth student, after participating in a Learning to Look program

The 13 non-curricular programs for undergraduates and Dartmouth Medical School students, including opening events, workshops, discussion groups, and others, drew 524 students this year. These wide ranging events created special learning and socializing opportunities. The Hood Museum of Art offered a broad range of curricular and non-curricular programs, including preview parties and tours, which allowed students to spend leisure time in the museum while learning about the collections and exhibitions.


Student Programs, July 1, 2008-June 30, 2009

Thursday, October 16, 2008: DartHeart Program

Wednesday, November 17, 2008: Panamanian Molas student workshop

Wednesday, November 18, 2008: Writing 5: Learning to Look

Wednesday, January 14, 2009: DMS: The Art of Clinical Observation program

Monday, February 2, 2009: SEAD

Tuesday, February 10, 2009: Geography 11: Learning to Look

Wednesday, February 11, 2009: DMS: The Art of Clinical Observation program

Friday, February 20, 2009: The Grand Tour Student Party

Wednesday, April 1, 2009: DMS: The Art of Clinical Observation program

Wednesday, April 22, 2009: Private Portraits/ Public Conversations student workshop

Saturday, May 23, 2009: The Hood Spring Party

Wednesday, May 27, 2009: DMS: The Art of Clinical Observation program

Monday, June 1, 2009: Hood Interns: Learning to Look


Student Internships and A Space for Dialogue

The Hood has been offering internships to Dartmouth seniors since its opening in 1985. Many former Hood interns now work at museums across the country, including the National Museum for Women in the Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian, while others have gone on to graduate study in curatorial studies, art history, and anthropology that has led to careers in academia.

This year, the Hood had seven interns, several of whom are pictured below in their Space for Dialogue installations:

Sarah Crnkovich ’09, Interpretation and Programming:
Sarah Crnkovich

Marki Grimsley ’09, Curatorial, The Homma Family Intern:
Marki Grimsley

Gilbert Littlewolf ’09, Curatorial, Mellon Special Project Intern

Kathleen Rice ’09, Interpretation and Programming, The Kathryn and Caroline Conroy Intern

Kimia Shahi ’09, Public Relations, Levinson Intern:
Kimia Shahi

Alex Vespoli ’09, Curatorial, Class of 1954 Intern:
Alex Vespoli

Marina Agapakis ’09, Special Project, Public Relations (one term only)

A Space for Dialogue

A Space for Dialogue: Fresh Perspectives on the Permanent Collection from Dartmouth’s Students is a truly innovative project that directly engages the Hood’s interns in curating small installations of objects in the front foyer of the museum. The interns are mentored by the museum’s professional staff and encouraged to perform independent research, develop interpretive strategies for the objects they have chosen, and, finally, express their ideas in their own voices through wall labels, a published brochure, and a public gallery talk. A Space for Dialogue, begun in 2001, continues to be one of the most successful ventures the museum has undertaken in relation to undergraduate education and our internship program. A Space for Dialogue, founded with support from the Class of 1948, is made possible with generous endowments from the Class of 1967 and the Bonnie and Richard Reiss Jr. ’66 Education Access Fund. The Hood is extremely grateful to the program’s supporters and thanks them for their commitment to support the museum’s role in enhancing the intellectual lives of students.

“Overall, the most valuable lesson I learned was how to pair professionalism with a creative environment.”
—Sarah Crnkovich ’09, Interpretation and Programming Intern

“The Space for Dialogue program is incomparable to any other internship I’ve heard of. Where else can an undergraduate student with no art history background be given the freedom to create an exhibition on practically any subject they want?”
—Kathleen Rice ’09, Interpretation and Programming Intern

“I learned how to work in a very, very busy environment and get things done. My Space for Dialogue really pushed me to get comfortable speaking in front of a group of people.” —Marki Grimsley ’09, Curatorial Intern

There were six installations for A Space for Dialogue presented by interns between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2009, and each intern gave a public gallery talk:

Discovering Identity through Art: Joan Miro’s and Dorothea Tanning’s Surrealist Explorations of the Unconscious
Melissa Fan ’08, Levinson Student Intern

Taking a Look Around: The Design Process and Details of the Hood Museum of Art
Craig Lee ’08, Mellon Special Project Intern

Discomfort Zone: Fluxus and Performance Art from the 1960s and 1970s
Kimia Shahi ’09, Levinson Public Relations Intern

Confronting Class: Four Depictions of Women in Mid-Twentieth-Century American Art
Marki Grimsley ’09, The Homma Family Intern

America: In Black and White?
Sarah Crnkovich ’09, Interpretation and Programming Intern

The Quest for Printed Tone: The Origins of Mezzotint in the Seventeenth Century
Alex Vespoli ’09, Class of 1954 Senior Curatorial Intern


Mentoring Student Curators: From Idea to Exhibition

At the end of each academic year, Hood staff members ask the senior interns what project they enjoyed most at the museum. They invariably say that curating their own exhibition for the ongoing series Space for Dialogue: Fresh Perspectives on the Permanent Collection from Dartmouth’s Students (SFD) was not only the best experience but also transformed the way in which they think about art and museums. During the SFD process, each intern completes a crash course on exhibitions, from choosing a concept and selecting objects to writing object labels and a brochure.

Craig Lee ’08, Mellon Special Project Intern, an avid student of architectural history who chose to work with architect Charles Moore’s drawings for the current Hood building, said, “Selecting items for my SFD really opened my eyes as to how accessible and open the collection of the Hood Museum is for students.” The most exhilarating, and sometimes most daunting, part of the process is that each intern has to choose the works for their display (usually four to six objects) from tens of thousands of works in the museum’s collection. The museum staff has always been impressed with students’ creativity in their exhibition themes as well as their ingenuity in grouping diverse objects, some of which have never before been on view. For example, in the first three SFD exhibitions this academic year alone, twelve previously unexhibited objects were displayed, including an ancient Egyptian jar from around 2250 BCE, a seventeenth- century Russian tankard, and prints by the Italian artist Castiglione, American artist Winslow Homer, and African American artist Romare Bearden. Some students also take advantage of the sheer variety of the museum’s holdings. Ben O’Donnell ‘08, Class of 1954 Intern, said, “In selecting the theme of my exhibit, I considered the general student, the potential art enthusiast who has perhaps not had the time or inclination yet to become acquainted with the museum. After searching the museum catalogue and considering such themes as sex or weaponry, I settled on ‘The Art of Drinking.’ The Hood has a robust collection of cups, glasses, and tankards, as well as prints and drawings by Hogarth, Grosz, and other heavyweights. The feedback I got from other students, many of them not students of art, was very positive.”

We have found that students’ coursework at Dartmouth has often inspired the conceptual framework for their installation. Melissa Fan ’08, Levinson Student Intern, cites her senior art history major seminar on theory and method as an influence on the way she approached her SFD topic, in particular Hans-Georg Gadamer’s theory of each individual’s “historical horizon,” or culturally defined paradigm for viewing the world. She decided to work on the surrealist artists Joan Miró and Dorothea Tanning, finding that “how they define themselves in their work not only reflects personal desires, but reveals important events and the process of forming a self-identity that one presents to the world. I chose my objects because they involve self-portraiture and artistic collaboration, which simultaneously reveals how Miró and Tanning both define their own identities and how they want to be perceived by others.” Homma Family Intern Virginia Deaton ‘08 took American art with art history professor Mary Coffey her sophomore winter, which led to her choice of works related to the U.S. Civil War: “When I saw the [George] Barnard photograph of the burned out Atlanta, I knew that I wanted to use that.” Inspired by this detailed photograph of the scarred city, she chose the topic of the aftermath of the war and consumer-driven art.

Indeed, for some interns the SFD becomes one of the defining moments of their college career. Ben O’Donnell said, “The Space for Dialogue experience has been one of the highlights of my time here as an undergraduate. The opportunity to organize, from the ground up, an entire exhibition engaged me in the world of museum curating tremendously.” As the SFD program continues, thanks in large part during its first six years to support from the Class of 1948 and now to generous endowments from the Class of 1967 and the Bonnie and Richard Reiss Jr. ’66 Education Access Fund, Dartmouth students will continue to use their creativity and learning to transform how the museum’s collections are seen.


All past Space for Dialogue installations, 2001-8:

Untitled (Elihu Vedder and Fumio Yoshimura)
Amelia Kahl ’01, Curatorial/Programming Assistant

Untitled (relationships between art and war)
Amanda Potter ’02, Education Intern

Untitled (Jean Dubuffet and Cornelia Parker)
Allison Evans ’02, Curatorial Intern

Untitled (Johann Ender and Louus LeRoux)
Maggie Lind ’02, Curatorial Intern

Creating Under Pressure: Artistic Brilliance as a Symbol of Cultural Resilience
Kimberly Soderstrom ’02, Class of 1954 Public Relations Intern

Untitled (Stanley William Haytor’s engraving series The Death of Hector, 1979)
Carolyn Swan ’02, Classical Coin Intern

Untitled (Bill Viola and Carrie Mae Weems)
Laura Tepper ’02 and Kathy Grayson ‘02

An Economy in Transition: Art of the Plains at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
James Parker ’02, Curatorial Intern

Consuming Life: On the Ideals of Beauty and Assuming Identity in a Culture of Fear
Paula Bigboy ’03, Curatorial Intern

The Power of (Re)Construction: Changing Perceptions of Black American Identity
Mercedes Duff ’03, Class of 1954 Curatorial Intern

Spinning a Story: Manipulations of Motherhood by Women Artists
Jourdan Abel ’03, Education Intern

Emmett and Cadmus: Looking At/For the Homoerotic Power Struggle
Joseph Ackley ’03, Curatorial Intern

Seeing the Unseen: The “Decisive Moment” in Twentieth-Century Photography
Katherine Reibel ’03, Public Relations Intern

The Art of Acting from Stage to Screen: Connecting with Audiences through the Centuries
Christopher Chan ’03, Classical Coin Intern

Art and Craft: Ceramics and the Question of Form vs. Function
Alison Schmauch ’04

Shape and Shadow: How Geometry Shapes Composition and Perception
Kevin Perry ’04, Public Relations Intern

Sexes in the City: Exploring Urban Men and Women through Five Centuries of Popular Prints
Megan Fontanella ’04, Class of 1954 Curatorial Intern

Timepieces: Perceptions of Natural and Manmade Time
Lisa Volpe ’04, Curatorial Intern

Playing Around with Art
Dianne Choie ’04, Education Intern

Broken Bodies: Icons of Sexual Violence
Risa Needleman ’04, Curatorial Intern

Orientalism: The Art of the French Colonial Encounter
Kathryn Conroy ’05, Special Project Intern

Léger, Tanning, and Daura: Sexuality and Surrealism
Rose McClendon ’06, Special Project Intern

White Eyes, Black Faces: The Depiction of African Americans by White Artists
Evan Jones ’05, Public Relations Intern

Say Word.
Callie Helen Thompson ’05, Student Programming Intern

Body (A)part: Fragmentation of the Female Form
Alexis Ettinger ’05, Curatorial Intern

Feminine Genius: Sensibility, Sensuality, and Sense in Eighteenth-Century Portraiture
Kori Lisa Yee Litt ’05, Curatorial/Education Intern

Relooking at Photographs, Deciphering the Details
Lisa Casey ’05

Insatiable Appetites: Curiosity, Consumption, and the Traveler in Historic Japan
Catharine Roberts ’05

Reflections on the Mirror
Katherine Harrison ’06

Beauty Marks: African Metal Body Adornments
Jennifer Peterson ’06

Myth of the Noble Savage
Meghan Rice ’06

Sacrilege and Idolatry: Religious Images in 16th-Century Europe
Brittany Beth ’06

Picturing Family in “the South”: Legacies of the American Civil War
Sophia Hutson ’06

Images of War
Cristina Duncan Evans ’06

Frames of Influence: Behavior and Anonymity in Urban Life
Jessica Hodin ’07

The Eye of the Beheld
Caitlin Roberts ’08

Lines of Text
Jonathan Beilin ’07

Open to Interpretation: The Experience of Gestural Abstraction
Alexandra Franco ’07

Decoration and Function: The Evolving Relationship of Colors and Lines in the Japanese Print Tradition
Su-Ling Lee ’07, The Kathryn and Caroline Conroy Intern

Revealing Identity in Portraiture: Relationships among the Artist, Sitter, Patron, and Viewer
Jessica Hodin ’07, Levinson Student Senior Curatorial Intern

ARTeacherIST: The Role of the Artist as a Teacher
Deana Wojcik ’07, Class of 1954 Intern

The Art of Drinking: Four Thousand Years of Celebration and Condemnation of Alcohol Use in the Western World
Ben O’Donnell ’08, Class of 1954 Intern

“Bringing the Thing Home”: The Aftermath of the War Between the States in Consumer-Driven Art
Virginia F. Deaton ’09, Homma Family Intern

Femmes Fatales: Changing Conceptions of the Dangerous Female in the Male Imagination
Marissa Slany ’08, The Kathryn and Caroline Conroy Intern

Discovering Identity through Art: Joan Miró and Dorothea Tanning’s Surrealist Explorations of the Unconscious
Melissa Fan ’08, Levinson Student Intern

Last Updated: 12/22/09