The Craft of Art
April 05, 2016, through May 01, 2016
Location: Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center, Open Tues.-Sat., 12:30-10:00 PM, Sun. 12:30-5:30 PM
In collaboration with the Studio Art Department and Dartmouth’s Artist-in-Residence Program, the Hood Museum of Art presents recent works by visiting Belgian artist Eric van Hove. Born in Guelma, Algeria, van Hove was raised in Yaoundé, Cameroon. In 2011, he moved to Marrakesh, Morocco, where he created his breakout V12 Laraki, an exact replica of the Mercedes-Benz engine of the same name, recently acquired by the museum. Produced in collaboration with about fifty-five local craftsmen, the sculpture showcases van Hove’s ingenuity and the brilliance of Maghreb craftsmanship. In addition to the majestic V12 Laraki, the exhibition includes an exploded V12 engine gearbox, and five smaller parts, all meticulously handcrafted using different techniques and with materials sourced from around Morocco.
Selections from the African Collection
April 26, 2014, through March 13, 2016
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.
New Works and Conversations around African Art
January 16, 2016, through March 13, 2016
Successive African art curators at the Hood Museum of Art have assembled an extraordinary and holistic vision of the arts of Africa that encompasses both important historical milestones and the multiple cultural and social vistas of this continent. Acquired over the past two years and on view together for the first time, these thirty-one exceptional objects map the contour of modern and contemporary African art from the 1960s to the present while also shedding critical light on the diversity of African artistic practices by multiple generations of artists. The installation includes an exciting array of paintings, photographs, sculptures, drawings, ceramic, and mixed media, including works by Ibrahim El Salahi, Lamidi Fakeye, Akin Fakeye, Owusu-Ankomah, Victor Ekpuk, Chike Obeagu, Candice Breitz, Nomusa Makhubu, Julien Sinzogan, Aida Muluneh, Halida Boughriet, Mario Macilau, Eric van Hove, Khulumeleni Magwaza, and Nidhal Chamekh.
Works by Victor Ekpuk
April 18, 2015, through August 02, 2015
Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk is best known for his improvisational use of nsibidi, a form of ideographic writing associated with Ekpe, the powerful, interethnic men’s association active in the southern border regions of Nigeria and Cameroon. Though familiar to him since his childhood, 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. Ekpuk’s fascination with nsibidi during these years—its economy of line and encoded meanings—led to his broader explorations of the visual properties of linguistic signs 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.
Ritual Cloth of the Ekpe Secret Society
April 18, 2015, through August 02, 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 cloths 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 poly-semantic signs.
Constructing Black Identities across the African Diaspora
November 15, 2014, through March 15, 2015
Cultural anthropology began as the study of people—primarily in Africa—whom Europeans had defined as exotic, primitive, and uncivilized, but many later ethnographic studies debunked this colonial mindset. Today’s anthropologists aim to reveal the social, historical, and political construction of racial identities. The works of art in this small exhibition further this effort. They represent a host of colonial binaries—culture and civilization, traditional and modern, savage and civilized, rest and west, black and white—that often serve to perpetuate systems of inequality rather than understanding of our shared humanity. Taken together, the artists here reveal the difficult positions in which people of color find themselves when trying to simultaneously conform to standards upheld by white western society and recuperate a relationship to Africa or blackness. Yet the images expose not only the potential hurt but also the excitement of crafting hybrid identities from various cultures.
Chelsey Kivland, Robert A. and Catherine L. McKennan Postdoctoral Fellow of Anthropology, and Amelia Kahl, Hood Museum of Art Coordinator of Academic Programming, selected these works for... read more
Highlights from the African Art Collection at the Hood Museum of Art
January 26, 2013, through April 13, 2014
Museum collections usually form in one of two ways—either by gifts or through curatorial purchases. At a college or university museum, however, faculty members can also influence purchases of works of art and material culture that reflect their research and teaching interests.
This installation of African art from the Hood Museum of Art presents a selection of objects that marks the trajectory of the collection's development and pays tribute to some of the people who shaped it. From the son of an early Dartmouth president to a professor in Dartmouth's anthropology department; from donors whose love of African art is reflected in the quality of the works they gifted to three curators who acquired memorable and important works during their tenures—all have contributed the Hood's mission to teach Dartmouth undergraduates and visitors of all ages about the diverse and rich art of the many cultures of this continent.
Selections from the Hood Museum of Art
October 13, 2012, through March 18, 2014
Bronze—a combination of copper, tin, and small amounts of other metals—has long been prized for its preciousness, endurance, and ability to register fine details and reflect light. It is strong and durable, making it ideal for modeling expressive gestures, yet—in molten form—it is malleable enough to be suitable for creating intricate shapes. The term “bronze” is often used for other metals as well, including brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc.
There are two basic methods of casting a bronze in order to make multiple versions of the same design. Sand casting—developed in the early nineteenth century in Europe—is a relatively simple and less expensive technique that relies upon disparate molds made of compacted fine-grained sand that allow for easy production and assembly. Traditional lost-wax casting uses wax models in two manners, or methods, both of which date from antiquity. In the “direct” method, the original wax model itself is used (and thereby destroyed); in the “indirect” method, reusable plaster molds are taken from the original wax model.
The medium’s intrinsic tensile strength and ability to render precise features and various surfaces have... read more
Exploring Figural Art from Africa
July 25, 2009, through August 01, 2010
People around the world have at times responded to works of art as more than mere inanimate objects, seeing them instead as living things. This exhibition examines the complex ways that African peoples view images, especially depictions of the human form, as forces that impact personal experience. Sculptures from across the African continent reveal how art has mediated disputes, exerted political authority, and given presence to the dead.
Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art
September 26, 2009, through March 14, 2010
The third in a series of comprehensive exhibitions and catalogues showcasing the permanent collection, this exhibition surveys the breadth and depth of the permanent collection and highlights key works from the holdings, only a tiny fraction of which are on view in the museum's galleries at any one time. Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth focuses on post-1945 painting, sculpture, works on paper, new media, and photography, and includes works by Mark Rothko, Ed Ruscha, Alice Neel, Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, El Anatsui, Juan Munoz, Alison Saar, Amir Nour, Bob Haozous, Richard Serra, and Bill Viola, among others.