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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Marks of Distinction

Press Release

Hood Museum of Art Debuts Two Hundred Years of American Drawings and Watercolors

Hanover, NH--In honor of the Hood Museum of Art's twentieth anniversary, the museum is proud to present a major new exhibition, Marks of Distinction: Two Hundred Years of American Drawings and Watercolors from the Hood Museum of Art. On view from March 29 to May 29, 2005, this traveling exhibition highlights a stunning diversity of works dating from 1769 to 1969, many of which have never before been on view. Nearly 120 works feature the talents of such distinguished artists as John Singleton Copley, John James Audubon, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Joseph Stella, Jackson Pollock, Eva Hesse, and Romare Bearden. Taken as a whole, these drawings and watercolors reveal the rich variety of approaches, media, and subjects that have attracted American artists over the course of two centuries. Highlights range from Copley's magnificent 1769 pastel portrait of New Hampshire's last royal governor, John Wentworth, to early-nineteenth-century folk portraits and landscapes, lyrical nineteenth-century watercolor marines and interiors, dynamic images of New York City in the jazz age, and purely abstract compositions by pioneering artists associated with abstract expressionism and minimalism.

The Hood will host the opening festivities for this signature exhibition on Friday, April 1. Barbara J. MacAdam, Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art, will present "The Paper Chase: Investigating Dartmouth's American Watercolors and Drawings" in the Arthur M. Loew Auditorium at 4:30 PM. A reception hosted by the Friends of Hopkins Center and Hood Museum of Art will follow in Kim Gallery.

Marks of Distinction is the result of a multiyear research project and a concerted effort to strengthen the museum's impressive holdings of American drawings and watercolors through gifts and purchases. The exhibition will be accompanied by a 282-page illustrated catalogue copublished with Hudson Hills Press. The publication provides an overview of the American collection by renowned art historian and former Dartmouth professor John Wilmerding; a history of the collection's development by Barbara MacAdam; in-depth scholarly entries on eighty of the museum's most noteworthy American drawings and watercolors by MacAdam, Mark Mitchell, Derrick Cartwright, Katherine Hart, and Barbara Thompson; as well as illustrations of about 170 additional collection highlights.

According to curator Barbara MacAdam, "This exhibition and its accompanying catalogue bring to light some of the Hood's finest works of American art. Thanks to the generous assistance of the Henry Luce Foundation and many other supporters of the museum, we have been able to give intensive attention to the development, research, and publication of the museum's greatest asset, its permanent collection."

Special educational resources will accompany the Hood's exhibition including a reading area in the galleries. Selected works in the show will be paired with audio components that make connections with the visual art through music, prose, and poetry. A family guide designed for children ages 6 to 12 will be available for the duration of the exhibition as a fun and informative way for families to explore the show together. In addition, a special book bag, filled with hand-picked reading resources for children that focus on particular artists in the show such as Calder, Cassatt, Whistler, Lawrence, and Bearden, will be available free of charge for check out at the Visitor Services Desk.

Organized by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, this exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, Inc. Its presentation at the Hood Museum of Art is generously supported by the Bernard R. Siskind 1955 Fund and the Hansen Family Fund. Following the exhibition's debut at the Hood Museum of Art, approximately eighty of the works in Marks of Distinction will travel to the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan, from June 24 to September 11, and the National Academy Museum in New York City, from October 20 to December 31.

Twentieth Anniversary of the Hood Museum of Art

The Hood Museum of Art marks its twentieth anniversary in 2005 with a yearlong series of exciting exhibitions and programs that probe the museum's collections from their inception to the museum's vision for their future. The year includes a critical look at how the permanent collections are interpreted and used by Dartmouth faculty; the museum's recent acquisitions in new media; Marks of Distinction: Two Hundred Years of American Drawings and Watercolors from the Hood Museum of Art; and a major installation by internationally renowned American artist and curator Fred Wilson.

Hood Museum of Art

The Hood Museum is a nonprofit organization recognized by the American Association of Museums as "a national model" for college and university museums. It is one of the oldest and largest college museums in the country, housing a diverse collection of more than 65,000 works of art and art objects with particular strengths in American painting and silver, European master paintings and prints, and African, Oceanic, Native American, and contemporary art. Hours of operation are Tuesday-Saturday, 10-5 with evening hours on Wednesday until 9; Sunday, 12-5. Admission is free. The museum galleries and the Arthur M. Loew Auditorium are wheelchair accessible.