We are expanding! Check out our programming while the museum is closed.

Learn at the Hood

Third graders from the Ray School in Hanover, New Hampshire, on a tour of the exhibition Crossing Cultures: The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art at the Hood Museum of Art. Photo by Rob Strong.

Amelia Kahl, associate curator of academic programming, teaching Dartmouth students in the Art History II–curated exhibition Constructing Gender: Works from the Hood Museum of Art, 1500 to the Present in Harrington Gallery.

Students from Marion Cross School in Norwich, Vermont, on a tour of the exhibition Cubism and Its Legacy led by docent Margie Cook.

Students from Marion Cross School in Norwich, Vermont, on a tour of European art led by docent Kate Hewitt.

UPDATE: Read about our ongoing educational programming as the expansion project gets underway.

Creating Learning Encounters with Original Works of Art

As a teaching museum, the Hood Museum of Art is committed to helping all visitors develop visual literacy skills—the ability to construct meaning from what we see. The museum offers research support and instruction for Dartmouth students and faculty, as well as visiting researchers. We also provide a wide range of tours and teaching resources for K–12 educators and their students.

Learning to Look

The Hood’s education program is renowned for its innovative Learning to Look method. This five-step approach to exploring works of art—careful observation, analysis, research, interpretation, and finally critical assessment and response—is designed to empower visitors to observe carefully and think critically about works of art they encounter. The museum uses versions of this teaching method with a wide range of audiences, from Dartmouth College undergraduates and K–12 school groups to adults in discussion-based workshops. Dartmouth Medical School students learn the technique in “The Art of Clinical Observation” workshops to enhance their diagnostic skills when working with patients. Dartmouth students in some sections of Writing 5 practice this technique to enable them to “read” a work of art in the same way that they learn to decipher literary texts.

A Closer Look

For the benefit of all gallery visitors, the Hood offers a series of free brochures called A Closer Look. Each brochure focuses on a single work of art and invites visitors to engage with the object through the museum’s Learning to Look technique. Brochures are available in the galleries next to the works of art they feature. We invite you to enjoy them at the museum and, if you wish, take copies home with you.

Studying and Teaching with Original Works of Art

The Hood Museum of Art is noted among college museums for the degree to which its collections and exhibitions are integrated into the curriculum by Dartmouth College faculty. Before the museum closed in March 2016 for expansion and renovation there were over 2,000 visits annually by Dartmouth faculty and students. These included courses from over 30 departments and programs across the Dartmouth curriculum from English to Engineering. Museum staff members pulled approximately 2,500 objects annually from storage for these class visits. This direct engagement with objects will continue on a smaller scale throughout the museum’s closure, and will be expanded with the opening of the new Center for Object-Based Inquiry.

Academic Programming Staff

Katherine Hart, senior curator of collections and Barbara C. and Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming, and Amelia Kahl, associate curator of academic programming, act as the principal liaisons between Dartmouth College’s faculty and the Hood Museum of Art. They facilitate the use of the museum as a teaching resource and promote the study of art and artifacts in the museum’s collection.

Education Staff

Neely McNulty coordinates the museum's multi-visit school programs, Images and ArtStart. Kate George coordinates the Hood's Public and K-12 tours.

The Education Department of the Hood Museum of Art would like to thank the individuals and foundations whose support helps to make our programs possible: the Charles H. Hood Foundation; Charles H. Hood, Dartmouth College Class of 1951; the Brown Foundation, Inc.; the John F. 1933 and Jean A. Meck Fund; the Edward and Bertha C. Rose Fund; and anonymous donors.

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