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Past Exhibitions

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.

Rejecting the Diminutive

Small-Scale Art, the Viewer, and the Art World

May 24, 2014, through July 20, 2014

Small-scale contemporary art has often been ignored or trivialized by scholars and critics. This exhibition looks at seven works that reveal different strategies for rejecting conventional artistic standards. Some of these artists appropriate "insignificant" materials—either everyday or ephemeral in nature—while others employ a hybridized practice to break down traditional institutional boundaries between "high" and "low" art.

In Residence

Contemporary Artists at Dartmouth

January 18, 2014, through July 06, 2014
Laylah Ali, Untitled, from the Typology series

Organized in collaboration with the Studio Art Department, this exhibition celebrates the important history and legacy of the Artist-in-Residence Program at Dartmouth College, which began in 1931 when the Guatemalan painter Carlos Sánchez, Class of 1923, was invited back to campus on a year-long fellowship. The exhibition showcases the work of more than eighty artists who have participated in this acclaimed international program since that time, including Charles Burwell, Walker Evans, Louise Fishman, Allan Houser, Donald Judd, Magdalene Odundo, José Clemente Orozco, Robert Rauschenberg, Alison Saar, Paul Sample, and Frank Stella, whose presence on campus has undoubtedly enhanced the vitality of the arts at Dartmouth.


Native American Art from the Hood Museum of Art’s Collection

March 26, 2014, through June 15, 2014

This gallery presents a selection of contemporary and traditional Native American art in conjunction with Vera Palmer’s course Perspectives in Native American Studies. Vera Palmer frequently discusses many of these objects with her students to underscore the multiple forms of expression employed by Native American artists. Many of these works provide an opportunity to explore issues of identity, education, assimilation, and violence.

Hand Alone

Articulating the Hand in Art

March 29, 2014, through May 18, 2014

In Chauvet, France, red ochre handprints and stencils are found in chambers throughout the Pont-d'Arc Cave. These are the oldest known representations of the human impulse to make marks, to bring pigment to surface. A common hypothesis: these hands are a form of early signature. And so on through history, with the hand being created into a distinct visual trope again and again. Think of Egyptian hieroglyphs and how they look so distinctly Egyptian. Look at the Assyrian hands on their carved reliefs, and notice how clearly Assyrian. Or even Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael—all are of the same style, yet each produces a distinguishable hand. The hand, for all of its biological constancy of form, is vulnerable to flourishes of expression like few other body parts.

Evolving Perspectives

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.

The Beauty of Bronze

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


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