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Past Exhibitions

Envisioning Jerusalem

Prints from Dürer to Rembrandt

April 09, 2011, through June 19, 2011

Medieval maps typically located Jerusalem at the center of the world, reflecting its fundamental importance as the biblical universal city in both Old and New Testaments. According to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic beliefs, prophets and patriarchs from Abraham to Muhammad are said to have trodden its grounds, and all three monotheistic faiths consider it to be a holy city. Jerusalem has also been the site of religious and political conflicts from the Babylonian era onward, imbuing it with additional sacred and secular significance.

As early as the fourth century, Christian pilgrims traveled to Jerusalem to visit the places associated with the final days of the life of Jesus as they were portrayed in the Gospels—beginning with his triumphal entry and culminating in the Crucifixion. After the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century, a vast market emerged for descriptions and representations recording such devout journeys. These materials contributed to the dissemination of common impressions of the pilgrimage experience.

Because only a few actual European artists traveled to the Holy Land during the Ottoman occupation in the sixteenth and... read more

Esmé Thompson

April 09, 2011, through May 29, 2011
Esmé Thompson, Blue Divide

Esmé Thompson envelops her creative enterprise in the colors and complexities to be found in the visual “surfaces” of textiles, illuminated manuscripts, and the botanical world. Her art also embraces the work of other painters whom she admires, particularly Renaissance masters and the remarkably unique paintings French artist Edouard Vuillard (1868–1940). This exhibition of twenty-eight paintings and collages, plus a recent work in glazed ceramic, focuses on the last five to six years of her creative practice and demonstrates the full flowering of her interest in design and pattern. It is also a tribute to the artist’s career as a professor in Dartmouth College’s Studio Art Department, where she has worked for the last three decades.

Okeanos, International + Contemporary Relflections on the Sea

March 12, 2011, through May 08, 2011

For anyone who has witnessed its sublimity, above the surface or at its depths, the ocean (from Greek “okeanos”) leaves a powerful, sensuous impression. Contemporary artists Yves Klein, Jennifer Moller, and Hiroshi Sugimoto each reflect upon the experience of ocean via distinct media: Klein with his hyper-saturated, textured canvas; Moller with her darkened, black and white video footage; and Sugimoto with his abstracted photographs of water and air.  Whether captured in paint or film, or concentrating on water’s depth or surface, substance or void, stillness or motion, the monochromatic representations of sea depicted by each of the international contemporary artists in this exhibition demonstrate that the experience of ocean is universal.

Frank Stella

Irregular Polygons

October 09, 2010, through March 13, 2011
Frank Stella, Chocorua IV

Although based on simple geometries, the Irregular Polygons (1965-66) comprise one of the most complex artistic statements of Frank Stella’s career. Each of the eleven compositions combines varying numbers of shapes to create daringly irregular outlines. Stella made four versions of each composition, varying the color combinations. They mark a radical shift from Stella’s earlier striped works in their use of large fields of color. The asymmetric canvases play with illusion, confronting Stella’s previous emphasis on flatness while anticipating his career-long exploration of space and volume in both painting and sculpture.

Tradition Transformed

Tibetan Artists Respond

January 15, 2011, through March 13, 2011
Dedron, We Are the Nearest to the Sun

Contemporary Tibetan artists are in a precarious position. While their work is informed by Tibetan artistic traditions, the majority of these artists do not live in Tibet, and some never have. Their challenge is twofold: as they forge a name for themselves in the competitive art world, they must also try to find their own place within Tibet’s rich and formalized artistic legacy. This exhibition features artists who grapple with issues of cultural and artistic negotiation and who work with traditional forms in innovative ways. The artists submitted new and recent works to the exhibition that highlight their styles and range.

Aerial Perspectives

Grounded in an Infinite Landscape

January 29, 2011, through February 27, 2011

The works of art in this exhibition are all abstracted depictions of landscapes from an aerial perspective, a point of view that draws us into the work through an intensified experience of the entire composition. They all share the same basic focus, evoking some geographical construct or another, and a sense of place. While they have a visually abstract quality, this does not mean that we become lost. Rather, the means through which the artists masterfully render their subjects (including line, color, light, shadow, volume, and depth) encourage us to take an active role in these works’ realization. They ground us, ironically, as we examine them from every angle, following the symphony of marks along the surface and subconsciously constructing the imagined landscape both within and beyond the edges of the frame.

A Man-Made Icon

The Gibson Girl

November 04, 2010, through January 23, 2011

Native American Ledger Drawings from the Hood Museum of Art

The Mark Lansburgh Collection

October 02, 2010, through January 16, 2011
Short Bull (Tatanka Ptecela), untitled

This collection, brought together by Mark Lansburgh, Dartmouth Class of 1949, is considered to have been the largest and most diverse of its type in private hands; it was acquired by Dartmouth College in 2007. Curated by Joe Horse Capture, this exhibition features drawings depicting both the struggle for cultural survival and the Native adaptation to an imposed non-Native lifestyle during a period of profound upheaval among the Plains peoples during the second half of the nineteenth century. It is presented in conjunction with a Leslie Center for the Humanities Institute entitled Multiple Narratives in Plains Ledger Art: The Mark Lansburgh Collection.

Contemporary Native American Ledger Art

Drawing on Tradition

August 14, 2010, through December 19, 2010

Despite being stylistically diverse, the works in this exhibition are all linked both conceptually and formally to the tradition of Plains Indian ledger art of the nineteenth century. Created by artists who employ visual narrative as a means of exploring their cultural heritage and issues of present-day Native experience, these works may be read as expressions of solidarity and survival in the twenty-first century.


Representations of the Glove as Fetish Object

September 14, 2010, through October 31, 2010


Hood Museum