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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Strategic Plan 2006–2010


The Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College is one of the oldest and largest college museums in the country. The award-winning building designed by Charles Moore and Chad Floyd of Centerbrook Architects was completed in 1985, yet the museum’s collections stretch back to 1772, three years after Dartmouth College was founded.

The permanent collections of the Hood Museum of Art are rich, diverse, and available for the use of both the college and the broader community. Access to works of art is provided through permanent collection displays, the online collections database, special exhibitions, the website, scholarly publications, study storage areas, and programs and activities. Traveling exhibitions, organized by both the Hood and other institutions, bring a broad range of art experiences to visitors.

The strategic plan for 2006–2010 builds on the museum’s achievements and gives direction for the management and development of our collections, our audiences, and our resources. The museum seeks to provide access to works of art at Dartmouth College and to information about them.


The purpose of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College is to inspire, educate, and collaborate with our academic and broader community about creativity and imagination, through direct engagement with works of art of historic and cultural significance, by making effective use of our collections and staff.


This strategic plan maps the objectives, key strategies, and direction of the Hood Museum of Art for 2006–2010 within the context of planning for reaccreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM) in 2007 and the 25th Anniversary of the Hood Museum of Art in 2010, both being opportunities for measuring the museum’s success. The plan is framed to be consistent with the purpose, intellectual character, and core values of Dartmouth College, including its academic life, the Student Life Initiative, and its commitment to diversity.


The Hood Museum of Art is funded by Dartmouth College and by endowments, gifts, grants, and other funds for exhibitions, educational programs, and acquisitions.


Over the next five years, the Hood Museum of Art will deliver on its purpose through the achievement of three broad strategic objectives: management and development of our collections, our audiences, and our resources.

Objective 1: Manage and Develop Our Collections

To acquire works of art by purchase and gift to enhance the reputation of the Hood Museum of Art’s collections, build on their strengths, and to manage and protect all works in the museum’s care.

Key Strategies:

  • Maintain and develop the collections catalogue through research, imaging, and documentation, using appropriate technologies
  • Research, document, and review the collections, identifying strengths and gaps and evaluating future acquisitions needs
  • Build on our role as a museum in an academic environment by promoting our dual provision of public galleries and study storage areas
  • Conserve, protect, and secure the collections by reorganizing, improving, and expanding storage facilities
  • Identify and acquire works of art by purchase, gift, and loan to build on strengths and fill gaps in the collections
  • Identify potential donors and acquire works of art and acquisitions funds from them in collaboration with the College’s development office

Objective 2: Manage and Develop Our Audiences

To provide access to works of art through displays, exhibitions, programs and activities, publications, the internet, and promotion.

Key Strategies:

  • Engage our audiences by promoting our collections and works of art on loan through lively and diverse exhibitions, displays, and publications
  • Identify and evaluate our academic and community audiences to develop their knowledge of and access to our collections, exhibitions, and programs
  • Make the most effective use of facilities, including the public galleries, study storage, classroom spaces, and information technology for our diverse audiences
  •  Inspire, educate, and collaborate with College and broader audiences through direct engagement with exciting and provocative works of art
  • Attract new audiences by developing and promoting the relationships between academic programming and other educational programming at the College and in the community through collaboration and partnerships
  • Increase our capacity to engage College and broader audiences through enhanced facilities, promotion, and information technology services

Objective 3: Manage and Develop Our Resources

To strengthen our funding, facilities, staff, technology, and intellectual capital.

Key Strategies:

  • Organize and manage our staff, facility, and information technology resources to make effective use of our collections in support of our objectives
  • Manage and evaluate our resources to provide the most effective access for our diverse audiences
  • Realize the potential of our many sources of support to fund our objectives 
  • Secure funds for the development of our collections, staffing, facilities, and information technologies resources
  • Develop our resources to attract, inspire, and engage our audiences with curricular and non-curricular programming
  • Expand and develop new sources of support to fund our objectives