The Hood Museum of Art's northern Native American holdings comprise an encyclopedic collection of almost seven thousand objects. It reveals the great depth of cultural complexity and artistic diversity of the Native American cultures of the northern continent while also exposing the European American fascination with collecting objects from the Native American past and present.
Almost half of the museum's northern Native American collection consists of archaeological materials, many of which were presented to the museum as gifts. The most significant of these include the collection of Mrs. Margaret Kimberly of almost 800 stone artifacts, a collection of 500 stone and some ceramic objects from Alexis Chapman Proctor, Class of 1918, and a collection of about 525 mostly southwestern ceramic vessels and shards from Mr. and Mrs. George H. Browne of Cambridge, Massachusetts, presented to Dartmouth College in 1942 by Miss Ellen A. Webster, Mrs. Browne's sister.
The museum's collection of historic Native American materials is especially strong in pottery, baskets, beadwork, clothing, and personal accoutrements dating primarily from the second half of the nineteenth century through the early twentieth century. Here too, a significant number of these objects came to the museum by way of gifts, including the Frank C. and Clara G. Churchill Collection of almost 1,400 objects, the Glover Street Hastings III collection of about 280 objects, the Guido R. Rahr Sr. Collection of almost 250 objects mainly from the Plains and Northern Woodlands regions, and the gift of almost 200 dolls from the Barbara Wellington Wells Collection.
In recent years the Hood has begun to collect works by contemporary Native American artists that reflect the continuation of long-held conventions of cultural expression but also reveal an explicit transformation of or deviation from such traditions. The Hood’s growing collection of almost 380 works made by known or named Native American artists active from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present reveals a wide range of traditional and appropriated media, including ceramics, basketry, beadwork, glass, photography, mixed media, canvas paintings, collages, and found objects.
Click here to read about the Hood Museum of Art’s compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
Last Updated: 8/16/11