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Community of Learners: A Heartfelt Thank You to the Museum’s Docents

Hood Quarterly, autumn/winter 2010-11
25th Anniversary Issue

The term docent, originally from the Latin, means someone who teaches or instructs.The Hood Museum of Art has been extremely fortunate over the past twenty-five years to have a wide range of community members volunteer their time and energy and serve as docents, or gallery teachers at the museum. Docents learn about—and then teach others about—all of the museum’s collections and exhibitions. In a single year this can encompass art as diverse as frescoes by the Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco (located in Baker Library), ancient Assyrian reliefs, African figural sculpture, American, European, and Native American objects, and paintings by contemporary abstract artist Frank Stella. They are lifelong learners who give back to the community by sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for art with others.

These extraordinary individuals contribute hundreds of hours each year to the Hood and increase exponentially the museum’s ability to create learning encounters and cultivate teaching with original works of art. Engaging visitors ranging in age from preschool through seniors, docents lead tours for roughly four thousand school children and adults each year. If you multiply that by the twenty-five years this museum has been open, the number is transformed into a staggering 100,000 visitors for whom the docents have provided personalized tours and programs. Without their dedication and commitment, the impact of the museum and the opportunity for people to make personal connections with visual art would be reduced dramatically. We thank our docents for all that they contribute to the work of the museum and the life of the community.

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