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Past Exhibitions

Poseidon and the Sea

Myth, Cult, and Daily Life

January 17, 2015, through March 15, 2015
Roman, statue of Poseidon / Neptune alongside dolphin

The realm of Poseidon encompassed virtually every aspect of life in the ancient Mediterranean world, from mythology and cult to daily activities. This exhibition explores each of his dominions through more than one hundred works of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman art produced between 800 BCE and 400 CE. Visitors will see striking black-figure and red-figure pottery, alongside sculptures in terracotta, marble, and precious metals, and extraordinary examples of ancient glass, mosaics, carved gems, and coins, all providing a rich picture of life in the ancient world. Poseidon and the Sea offers an intimate look not only at the mysteries of the ancient world, but also at the timeless beauty and wonder of the sea that continues to resonate with us in the present day.

Made in the Middle

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

The Object World

February 06, 2015, through March 15, 2015

The world is comprised of objects. These discrete items acquire meaning through relationships and context, yet are defined by their own autonomy. To give order to the things that surround us, we create categories, which, in turn, rely upon cultural connotations that impart meaning, value, and significance. The common language of things can convey a multiplicity of ideas such as concerns, class, or interests. The audience interprets the subjects by and through the objects that surround them.

Works of art present a special category as they occupy several object worlds simultaneously. Artworks epitomize Graham Harman’s definition of a “real object” as one that has not an outer effect, but an inner one. The tactility of the object is, of course, present, but the value lies not purely in its physical qualities, but in what it evokes.

This exhibition was curated by Katie Hornstein, assistant professor of Art History, and Jane Carroll, senior lecturer of Art History, in conjunction with their class Introduction to Art History II. Students used these works of art for a writing assignment. This exhibition has been made possible by the Harrington Gallery Fund.

Creating the Feminine

Representations of Biblical Women from Sixteenth-Century Germany

November 08, 2014, through February 15, 2015

Many artists in sixteenth-century Germany created images of biblical women and female saints. The ultimate woman, Eve, brought life and, through her sin, death to the entire world. Biblical accounts also describe an alternative female trope, the virgin martyr or saint. These two ends of the spectrum did not constitute the only ways women could be depicted, and images varied depending on what an artist chose to emphasize.


Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties

August 30, 2014, through December 14, 2014
Benny Andrews, Witness

Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties offers a focused look at painting, sculpture, graphics, and photography from a decade defined by social protest and American race relations. In observance of the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this exhibition considers how sixty-six of the decade's artists, including African Americans and some of their white, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and Caribbean contemporaries, used wide-ranging aesthetic approaches to address the struggle for racial justice.

This exhibition is curated by Teresa A. Carbone, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University.

Emmet Gowin Dreams of Stars

October 04, 2014, through November 09, 2014

Emmet Gowin photographs subjects at the core of life, from intimate family relationships to the man-marked landscape. He records the textures, tones, and patterns that surround us, forcing us to look closely at the seemingly familiar. In the fall of 2014 Gowin was a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth, and while on campus he met with students, faculty, and community members. This exhibition displayed work spanning Gowin’s career—pictures of his wife, Edith, and her family from the 1970s, aerial environmental images from the 1980s and 90s, and more recent work exploring the beauty and diversity of insects, especially moths. Each body of work reflects the rich nuances of life and the complexity of humans’ relationship to nature.

Colorful Squares

Vehicles of Artistic Ideas

September 13, 2014, through November 02, 2014

While the use of squares as decorative elements can be traced back to the geometric patterns on Greek pottery in 700 B.C.E., the square did not become a dominant compositional element in paintings until the twentieth century. The simplicity and regularity of the square, as both surface and compositional element, might be seen to restrict freedom of representation; however, some artists found that through nuanced coloring, shading, and positioning of squares they were able to convey ideas without distracting the viewer with complicated forms. This installation explores the use of the square in paintings during the 1960s and 1970s to illustrate the range of effects produced through this simple geometric form.

Dartmouth Looks at The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari)

June 16, 2014, through September 28, 2014

Often called “the world’s first novel,” The Tale of Genji was written in the early eleventh century by Murasaki Shikibu, the nom de plume of a woman born into the middle ranks of the aristocracy. Its complex development of character and sophisticated representation of moral and aesthetic values have made The Tale of Genji the central canonical text of one of the world’s most important literary traditions.


This exhibition of works from the Japanese collection of the Hood Museum of Art showcases representations of the eleventh-century Tale of Genji and three sequels written in the mid-nineteenth century. A handscroll and folding screen painted during the early to mid-1700s offer a sense of high-culture approaches to the novel. A selection of woodblock prints demonstrates how the novel and its sequels were reworked for popular audiences.


This exhibition is curated by Dartmouth faculty members Dennis Washburn, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature, and Allen Hockley, Associate... read more

The Art of Public Placemaking

July 26, 2014, through September 07, 2014

Placemaking is the process of making spaces meaningful to those who experience them. This can be done in small or large ways, by groups or by individuals. Take a moment to think of your favorite place. Maybe it is your childhood backyard, the coffee shop down the street, or a neighbor's front porch. What makes this place meaningful to you? Perhaps it is the social interactions, fond memories, or simply that feel-good sensation you associate with this place. When people attach meaningful ideas and emotions to places, these places take on unique identities. They become a part of our lives and of us.

Enrique Martínez Celaya

Burning as It Were a Lamp

July 12, 2014, through August 10, 2014
Enrique Martínez Celaya working on Burning as It Were a Lamp

On view for just five weeks this summer, the Hood's installation of Burning as It Were a Lamp (2013) introduces Miami-based artist Enrique Martínez Celaya to the community. This immersive installation consists of two paintings, a weeping bronze boy, and mirrors. The work only fully reveals itself when the viewer enters—and is reflected in—the mirrored space. Martínez Celaya is in residence at Dartmouth for the month of July and will present both a public lecture and a gallery talk in conjunction with his visit.


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