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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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School Programs

school group crossroads
Children from Crossroads Academy in Lyme on a school tour.

hood museum school tour
Teacher explaining an art work during a school tour.

hood museum school tour
Kimball Union Academy students explore the galleries during a school tour.

California Watercolors Teacher Workshop
A teacher workshop.

California Watercolors Teacher Workshop
A teacher workshop.

Teacher Workshop
Evening for Educators, 2009.

Teacher Workshop
Evening for Educators, 2009.

Just as the museum’s collections have grown in scope and quality over the past twenty-one years, so too has its outreach to the community. Today, the Hood is widely regarded as a model teaching institution that offers a range of programs unparalleled by most college and university museums and even by many public museums around the country. Outreach programs for regional schools include professional development workshops for teachers, multiple visit gallery/studio classes for elementary school students, and guided tours for visitors of all ages led by the museum’s volunteer docents.

The museum’s goal in creating these school programs, as well as our wide array of public programming, is to help visitors of all ages develop skills for interpreting the ever-changing and diverse world of art. Our hope is that people will utilize the Hood and other museums as places for lifelong learning where they can reflect on art and its relationship to their lives. When we receive feedback from visitors such as a third grade ArtStart student who said, “I think I will come back soon and show my family all the neat stuff at your museum,” an eighth grader commenting after a tour, “It was an honor to be studying these famous paintings and then be able to see one in real life,” or a teacher evaluating a program by saying, “This has been one of the best professional development opportunities I’ve ever participated in” we know that experiences in the Hood have an impact on people’s lives.


“The Hood trips really made me think about art. Instead of looking at the artwork and then walking on, I take time to think about it. I think about what the person might be thinking or how hard it was to make.”
—Images student

“It’s almost like each work of art is hiding a secret, and once the painting or sculpture is unlocked, you are gifted greatly. Something I learned at the Hood was that art always has a meaning, not that it’s pretty, or ugly, everything has a meaning.”
—Images student

Images is an innovative art education program that provides students with valuable skills for analyzing and interpreting works of art. It increases their understanding of the history, customs, beliefs, and artistic traditions of cultures and peoples from around the world and the role of art as a catalyst for discovery, creativity, and expression. The program is offered for regional elementary school students in grades 4 through 6 and brings groups to the museum eight times during the academic year. Each visit includes time in the museum where students discuss original works of art with a professional museum educator. Afterward, in the Peter D. Smith Studio, students complete a hands-on art project that relates to what they learned in the museum. During 2008-9, 267 children from ten New Hampshire and Vermont schools participated in Images.

Schools participating in the Images program during the 2008-9 school year:

  • Hanover Street School, Lebanon, New Hampshire
  • Haverhill Cooperative Middle School, North Haverhill, New Hampshire
  • Newton Elementary School, South Strafford, Vermont
  • Plainfield Elementary School, Meriden, New Hampshire
  • Samuel Morey Elementary School, Fairlee, Vermont
  • Seminary Hill Elementary, West Lebanon, New Hampshire
  • Sharon Elementary, Sharon, Vermont
  • Towle Elementary School, Newport, New Hampshire
  • White River School, White River Junction, Vermont
  • Whitefield School, Whitefield, New Hampshire


“Going to ArtStart helped me a lot because I wasn’t very good at art. Now I am much better at art. Looking at pictures and doing the activities helped me gather information about how the artist drew the picture then I transferred that knowledge into my works of art.”
—ArtStart student

“Art is something colorful. Something thoughtful. It reminds you of your life. Art is important.”
—ArtStart student

ArtStart is similar to Images in that it is a multiple visit program, but it is designed for students in grades 1 through 3. Participants visit the museum four times during the year. During each visit, students spend time in the galleries exploring art objects from around the world, and in the studio creating their own works of art. As with Images, each ArtStart lesson is a journey of discovery, reflection, and expression. Guided explorations and interactive teaching in the museum enable students to develop critical-thinking skills for interpreting works of art and relating them to their lives. During 2008-9, 126 children from four New Hampshire and Vermont schools participated in ArtStart.

Schools participating in ArtStart during the 2008-9 school year:

  • Grantham School, Grantham, New Hampshire
  • Newton Elementary School, South Strafford, Vermont
  • Mount Lebanon School, West Lebanon, New Hampshire
  • Westshire Elementary School, West Fairlee, Vermont

Teachers have commented that many students’ observation skills have improved through participation in these multiple visit programs. They also notice that students are more confident when creating, and they learn to appreciate each other’s artwork and contribute more in class and at the museum.

School Tours

In addition to Images and ArtStart, the Hood welcomes classes from a number of area schools for special tours and programs. The following schools visited the Hood Museum of Art and Orozco mural in Baker Library in 2008-9:

New Hampshire

Bedford High School, Bedford
Cardigan Mountain School, Canaan
Claremont Christian Academy, Claremont
Colby Sawyer College, New London
Community School, Tamworth
Concord High School, Concord
Crossroads Academy, Lyme
Fall Mountain High School, Langdon
French Pond School, Haverhill/ Woodsville district
Good Shepherd School, Barrington
Green Valley School, Pembroke
Hanover High School, Hanover
High Mowing School, Wilton
John Stark Regional High School, Weare
Kearsarge Regional High School, New London
Keene High School, Keene
Kimball Union Academy, Meriden
Lebanon High School, Lebanon
Lyme School, Lyme
Mascoma Valley Regional High School, Enfield
Mt. Lebanon School, West Lebanon
Plainfield School, Plainfield
Plymouth Regional High School, Plymouth
Plymouth State University, Plymouth
Regional Resource Center at Hartford High school, Hartford
Richmond Middle School, Hanover
Sacred Heart School, Lebanon
Stevens High School, Claremont
Sunapee High School, Sunapee
Warren Village School, Warren
White Mountain School, Bethlehem


Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans
Braintree School, Braintree
Brighton School, Island Pond
Cabot School, Cabot
Compass School, Westminster
Concord School, Concord
Doty Memorial School, Worcester
Hartford Technical School, Hartford
Millers Run School, Sheffield
Oxbow High School, Bradford
Pittsfield High School, Pittsfield
Reading Elementary, Reading
Sharon Academy, Sharon
Springfield High School, Springfield
St. Johnsbury Academy
Thetford Academy, Thetford
U32 Junior/Senior High School, Montpelier
Union Elementary School, Montpelier
Upper Valley Waldorf School, Quechee
Vermont Commons School, Burlington
Waits River Valley School, E. Corinth
Windsor High School, Windsor

Other States

Dracut High School, Dracut, Massachusetts
Overlook Middle School, Ashburnham-Westminster School District, Massachusetts
South Windsor High School, Hartford, Connecticut
Suffield High School, Suffield, Connecticut
Ticonderoga High School, Ticonderoga, New York

Teacher Workshops

Each year the museum offers a series of professional development workshops for regional teachers designed to familiarize them with our exhibitions and collections and help them develop links between the art and the classroom curriculum. These workshops provide an excellent opportunity for teachers to increase their comfort level and skills when looking at works of art and to work with colleagues. Workshops range from two hours to a full day in length and provide teachers with resource materials and contact hours toward professional recertification. In 2008-9, 87 teachers and teachers-in-training participated in the following workshops at the museum:

October 1: Art and Culture Panamanian Molas
October 9: Poetry, Painting, and Landscapes
October 17: Exploring European Art at the Hood
January 22: Focus on Photography
March 4: Learning to Look
April 9: Native American Basket Making: The Art of Tradition
April 28: Wrapped in Wealth: Textiles from Indonesia
May 13: Evening for Educators

School Tours

The Hood offers regional school children the opportunity to learn from great works of art on tours led by volunteer docents. The discussion- and activity-based tours encourage students to make connections between classroom learning and the museum’s collections, exercise their creative and analytical thinking skills, and develop respect for the accomplishments of cultures from around the world. This year regional schoolchildren participated in tours of the museum’s collections, special exhibitions, and the Orozco frescoes located in Baker-Berry Library.


The term docent means to teach, and the museum’s volunteer educators do just that, providing tours of the museum’s collections and special exhibitions and the Orozco frescoes for thousands of visitors each year. They also design and lead ArtVentures and help staff Family Days and other museum events. Creating effective learning experiences for the museum’s visitors involves an enormous commitment of time, energy, and creativity. The Hood is extremely appreciative of the community members who serve as our volunteer gallery instructors, helping to make the museum a welcoming and accessible place of learning and enjoyment for visitors of all ages.

The Peter D. Smith Studio

The museum is fortunate to have the Peter D. Smith Studio, located in nearby Wilson Hall, allocated for our use. This room, outfitted with two sinks, counters, tables, chairs, and many supply cabinets enables us to offer hands-on studio art projects as part of many of our programs. During 2007-8, the studio was used 155 times for Images, ArtStart, ArtVentures and other children’s programs, Teen Workshops, Teacher Workshops, and a range of programs for Dartmouth students. The availability of a studio adds immeasurably to the richness and variety of programming the museum is able to offer its many audiences.

Last Updated: 1/12/10