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 collections of the Hood 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 Web site, scholarly publications, and programs and events. Numbering some 60,000 objects, the Hood's collections present art from ancient cultures, the Americas, Europe, Africa, Papua New Guinea, and many other regions of the world. Highlights include the magnificent ninth-century BCE reliefs from the Assyrian palace of Ashurnasirpal II and a Panathenaic amphora by the Berlin Painter.
African art at the Hood, particularly strong in West African masks and wooden figural sculptures, has been complemented in recent years by acquisitions of important works of contemporary art. The major 2008 exhibition Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body explored historical and contemporary attitudes toward the black female body through many works by African and Diaspora artists.
The collections are especially rich in American art, with excellent portraits, landscapes, genre paintings, and sculptures by noted American artists including William Merritt Chase, Maria Oakey Dewing, Harriet Hosmer, Willard Metcalf, Eastman Johnson, Frederic Remington, John Sloan, Lilly Martin Spencer, and Abbott Thayer. The extensive Native American collections were complemented by the arrival of Allen Houser’s sculpture Peaceful Serenity on the Dartmouth campus.
European art at the Hood was the focus of two exhibitions in 2008-9, in summer and fall/winter (see the image above). The collection includes works by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Pompeo Batoni, Jan Davidz.De Heem, Perugino, and Carle van Loo, as well as more than three thousand Old Master and nineteenth-century prints. Modern and contemporary art at the Hood includes the work of such recognized artists as Jean Dubuffet, Wassilly Kandinsky, Yves Klein, Sol LeWitt, Robert Motherwell, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Edward Ruscha, and Sean Scully.
One of the Hood’s greatest treasures, The Epic of American Civilization by Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco, is free and open to the public to visit in Baker Library’s reserve reading room.
Last Updated: 6/3/14