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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Current Exhibitions

Victor Ekpuk, Composition No. 13 (Sante Fe Suite), 2013, graphic and pastel on paper. Courtesy of the artist. © Victor Ekpuk

Victor Ekpuk, Composition No. 13 (Sante Fe Suite), 2013, graphic and pastel on paper. Courtesy of the artist. © Victor Ekpuk

Mazi Okereke Agbam of Arochukwu's personalized ukara cloth (detail). Collection of Eli Bentor.

Mazi Okereke Agbam of Arochukwu's personalized ukara cloth (detail). Collection of Eli Bentor.

Peter Eve, River Wandjina, 2004, gelatin silver print. Gift of Will Owen and Harvey Wagner; 2011.43.77. © Peter Eve

Peter Eve, River Wandjina, 2004, gelatin silver print. Gift of Will Owen and Harvey Wagner; 2011.43.77. © Peter Eve

The exhibitions presented by the museum are intended to contribute to scholarship in art history and related disciplines and to offer insight into the artistic production of many different historical periods and cultures. In addition to ongoing displays from its permanent collection, the museum also presents a number of special exhibitions each year, covering a broad range of topics, as well as teaching exhibitions. Organized in conjunction with Dartmouth College courses, these exhibitions are intended to facilitate the curricular use of the museum's collections.


Auto-Graphics: Works by Victor Ekpuk

April 18 through August 2, 2015

Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk is best known for his improvisational use of nsibidi, a form of writing with symbols associated with the powerful Ekpe men’s association of southeastern Nigeria. Ekpuk’s aesthetic engagement with nsibidi emerged during his fine art studies at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife, Nigeria, where students were encouraged to explore the logics of pattern and design in indigenous African art forms. His fascination with nsibidi during these years—its economy of line and encoded meanings—led to his broader explorations of drawing as writing, and to the invention of his own fluid letterforms. As a mature artist, Ekpuk has so internalized the rhythm and contours of his “script” that it flows from his hand like the outpouring of a personal archive.

This exhibition was organized by Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and curated by Allyson Purpura. It was partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. The exhibition’s presentation at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, was generously supported by the Leon C. 1927, Charles L. 1955, and Andrew J. 1984 Greenebaum Fund and the Cissy Patterson Fund.


Ukara: Ritual Cloth of the Ekpe Secret Society

April 18 through August 2, 2015

Ukara cloth symbolizes the power, wealth, and prestige of the Ekpe secret society, an interethnic all-male association, and the sacrality of Ekpe meeting lodges. Although commissioned and used by the Ekpe, located in the Cross River region at the border of southeastern Nigeria and western Cameroon, ukara is designed, sewn, and dyed by the Ezillo people in present-day Ebonyi State. The process of creating ukara cloth is laborious and involves many hands, but ultimately each cloth is highly individualized, clearly produced to be worn by a specific Ekpe person or to mark a particular Ekpe lodge. Nsibidi symbols, an ideographic and gestural system of communication, are dyed onto the cloth. The symbols’ meanings are largely guarded by Ekpe members, with more established members becoming deeply knowledgeable about the polysemantic signs.

This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, and generously supported by the William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Hall Fund. Objects and images in the exhibition are courtesy of Dr. Eli Bentor.


Water Ways: Tension and Flow

April 4 through August 23, 2015

Water is essential to human life, shaping the geography of human settlement, modes of travel, and ease of trade. Too much water (flooding) or too little (drought) has wrought havoc in communities for millennia. This exhibition considers humans’ relationship to water, from the architecture of socialization pictured in Edward Burtynsky’s photograph of a stepwell in India to the dramatic effects of flooding shown in images of people in front of their homes from Gideon Mendel’s series Drowning World. From quiet still lifes (David Goldes) to panoramic landscapes (Ian Teh), these photographs showcase the beauty and power of this miraculous, yet quotidian, substance.

This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, and generously supported by the Harrington Gallery Fund.


The Art of Weapons: Selections from the African Collection


This exhibition explores the Hood Museum of Art's extraordinary collection of African weapons for the first time. It focuses on the aesthetic quality of the objects, and on the ways in which they reflect notions of masculinity, warriorhood, and ideal male beauty in traditional African societies. Because the weapons are in a Western museum's collection, the exhibition also considers Western notions of masculinity, as represented in the collecting practices of those Christian missionaries, colonial administrators, military officers, big game hunters, and explorers who acquired most of these weapons in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. Although the exhibition draws from several cultures in the five sub-regions of Africa, it is not a broad survey of African weapons. Instead, it presents exemplary highlights from the Hood's extensive collection, categorized as "offensive" and "defensive" weapons.

This exhibition is organized by the Hood Museum of Art and generously supported by the William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Hall Fund.


A Space for Dialogue: Fresh Perspectives on the Permanent Collection from Dartmouth's Students

At the entrance to the museum

A Space for Dialogue is a unique opportunity within Dartmouth's senior internship program, which includes museum positions in curatorial, public relations, and educational work. Interns choose objects from the Hood's permanent collection, write descriptions of the objects, design a space, create a brochure, and conduct a public gallery presentation. The program also allows students to develop art projects and displays within the Hood Museum of Art and on the Dartmouth College campus, creating "spaces for dialogue" between works of art and their viewers.

A Space for Dialogue, founded with support from the Class of 1948, is made possible with generous endowments from the Class of 1967, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Jr. '66, and Pamela J. Joyner '79.


José Clemente Orozco: The Epic of American Civilization

Orozco Room, Baker Library, Dartmouth College

The Epic of American Civilization is an extensive mural cycle created by Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco between 1932 and 1934. The mural is composed of twenty-four distinct panels depicting the history of the Americas from the Aztec migration into Mexico to the industrialization of modern society. Located in the reserve corridor of Baker Library, now the Orozco Room, these scenes cover nearly 3,200 square feet of wall space. The Epic of American Civilization is not only one of Orozco's finest creations and one of Dartmouth's most treasured works of art but also rightfully placed among the most exemplary works of mural painting in the nation.

Last Updated: 7/31/15