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Past Exhibitions

Black Womanhood

Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body

April 01, 2008, through August 10, 2008

Organized by the Hood Museum of Art, this major traveling exhibition examines the historical roots of a charged icon in contemporary art: the black female body. Only through an exploration of the origins of black womanhood's prevalent stereotypes can we begin to shed new light on the powerful revisionism occupying contemporary artists working with these themes today. The exhibition features over one hundred sculptures, prints, postcards, photographs, paintings, textiles, and video installations presenting three separate but intersecting perspectives: the traditional African, the colonial, and the contemporary global. Together they reveal a common preoccupation with themes of ideal beauty, fertility and sexuality, maternity and motherhood, and identities and social roles and enable us to peel back the layers of social, cultural, and political realities that have influenced stereotypes of black womanhood from the nineteenth century to the present. This approach promotes a deeper understanding of the ideologies of race, gender, and sexuality that inform contemporary responses—both the viewers' and the artists'—to images of the black female body. A fully illustrated catalogue... read more

Resonance and Inspiration

New Works by Magdalene Odundo

June 30, 2007, through January 20, 2008

This exhibition presents recent vessels and drawings by Magdalene Odundo. Reflecting the technical and conceptual influences of an artist who lives abroad and has studied in England, India, and Nigeria, Odundo’s work is inspired by millennia of vessel-making from all over the world. Her lustrous thin-walled vessels are so difficult to make that she completes only a few each year. An illustrated catalogue accompanies this exhibition.

Magdalene Odundo is an internationally acclaimed ceramic artist whose handbuilt vesselshave become the fulcrum of a world of pottery traditions. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1950, Odundo is presently professor of ceramics at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design University College in Farnham.

Odundo's thin-walled vessels embody a farflung ceramic history that ranges from her native Kenya to Greco-Roman antiquity. Blending an exceptionally large list of "ancient and contemporary 'heroes,'" Odundo's symmetrical and biomorphic pots reflect her own unique relationship with clay, fire, and form. As she explains, "Clay is a simple substance with a complex structure playing havoc without and within our kilns, keeping us guessing and daring to... read more

No Laughing Matter

Visual Humor in Ideas of Race, Nationality, and Ethnicity

October 06, 2007, through January 08, 2008

This fall term, Dartmouth College Humanities Institute participants, including visiting residential fellows and several Dartmouth faculty members, are meeting weekly on campus to investigate the impact of visual humor on history, psychology, culture, and everyday life from multiple perspectives. No Laughing Matter is led by David Bindman (Morton Distinguished Fellow) and Angela Rosenthal (Dartmouth Institute Director), under the auspices of the Leslie Center for the Humanities, Dartmouth College, with the participation of the Yale Center for British Art and the Du Bois Institute of African and African-American Studies at Harvard. The Humanities Institute will host an international conference, November 8-11, 2007. The Hood exhibition has also been organized in conjunction with the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Meeting and conference, October 25-28, 2007, which will host a special panel titled Visual Humor in the Global... read more

El Anatsui


January 06, 2007, through March 04, 2007

This inspiring exhibition of metal "tapestries" and other sculptures by El Anatsui, one of Africa's most powerful contemporary artists, celebrates Africa's rich artistic and cultural heritage. El Anatsui uses found objects such as metal liquor caps and other discarded materials to create spectacular metal cloths, including Hovor, which the Hood Museum of Art recently acquired, and two recently completed works that will be exhibited for the first time. The works in this exhibition references broader concerns about the adverse affects of globalization, consumerism, and waste. Organized by the Oriel Mostyn Gallery in North Wales, United Kingdom, this is El Anatsui's first solo exhibition to travel the United States.


Alfredo Jaar

The Eyes of Gutete Emerita

July 08, 2006, through September 03, 2006

The Eyes of Gutete Emerita by filmmaker and photographer Alfredo Jaar grew out of his visit to Rwanda a few months after the 1994 genocide. This photo-based work, which combines images and text, focuses on the suffering of one individual, Gutete Emerita, who lost her husband and two sons in the mass killing of Tutsis at a church forty miles south of the capital of Kigali. Jaar chose not to photograph the remains of bodies still lying on the ground at the massacre site and instead directs our attention to the survivors who must live with the memory of what they saw. An illustrated brochure accompanies this exhibition.

Beauty Marks

African Metal Body Adornment

February 07, 2006, through April 02, 2006


The Museum as Hunter and Gatherer

May 21, 2005, through February 12, 2006

To collect up to a final limit is not simply to own or to control the items one finds; it is to exercise control over existence itself through possessing every sample, every specimen, every instance of an unrepeatable and nowhere duplicated series.

—Roger Cardinal and John Elsner, The Cultures of Collecting

col·lec·ta·ne·a 1.) Passages, remarks, etc., collected from various sources; (as collect. sing.) a collection of passages, a miscellany. 2.) A selection of passages from one or more authors; an anthology.

This exhibition illuminates the broader social history of the Hood by exploring the diverse "authors" of its collection history and will look at how the museum's collection has been developed and (re)defined over time. Uniting traditional with contemporary and Western with non-Western art via pottery, sculpture, utilitarian objects, textiles, photographs, and prints, col·lec·ta·ne·a explores different collecting practices and ideologies that reflect the museum's unique identity as a hunter and gatherer of material culture. Topics addressed in the exhibition include the role of private collectors in developing museum collections; the... read more

Beyond East and West

Seven Transnational Artists

October 09, 2005, through December 12, 2005

This exhibition presents new work by seven important contemporary artists with an intimate knowledge both of a so-called "East" (the Middle East and North Africa) from whence they come and a "West" (Europe and America) where they primarily live and work. Beyond simply disrupting Western stereotypes and discourses, they address themselves to the issues raised by competing cultural allegiances. The exhibition features the work of Jananne Al-Ani, Ghada Amer, Mona Hatoum, Y. Z. Kami, Walid Raad, Michal Rovner, and Shahzia Sikander. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Body (A)Part

Fragmentation of the Female Form

April 05, 2005, through May 23, 2005

Critical Faculties

Teaching with the Hood's Collections

January 15, 2005, through March 13, 2005

The Hood begins the year with Critical Faculties: Teaching with the Hood's Collections. This unique exhibition has been organized by faculty members of four of the museum's main academic constituents at the college. Art History, Studio Art, Classics, and Anthropology have installed objects from the Hood's collections that represent each discipline's approach to teaching with art, offering visitors the opportunity to experience works of art that represent a wide range of media and periods through various perspectives.


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