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Letter from the Director: Autumn 2014

Soldiers and Students, 1962, opaque watercolor over graphite on wove paper

Jacob Lawrence, Soldiers and Students, 1962, opaque watercolor over graphite on wove paper. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College. Bequest of Jay R.Wolf, Class of 1951;W.976.187. © 2014 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Hood Quarterly, autumn 2014
Michael Taylor, Director

I am pleased to begin this letter by sharing that on June 12, 2014, Dartmouth College announced an anonymous gift of $10 million to create a new Museum Learning Center as a pivotal element of the Hood Museum of Art’s forthcoming $50 million renovation and expansion. The Museum Learning Center will triple the number of Hood object-study classrooms and accommodate the growing curricular demand for object-based teaching and research that we have highlighted in recent issues of the Hood Quarterly. The Museum Learning Center will help the Hood shape what it means to be a teaching museum in the twenty-first century and will ensure that the Hood’s teaching mission will be visible to all. Over the summer, Dartmouth’s Campus Planning Office and the Hood staff have worked closely with our architects, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, to design the Museum Learning Center, as well as the many public galleries and learning spaces that will be part of our expanded museum facility. In forthcoming issues of the Hood Quarterly, we will be able to share more detailed information about our planned new spaces, a projected timeline of completion, and exciting ways for you to stay connected to the museum when our galleries are closed for construction.

This fall’s exhibitions and programs also make this a special issue of the Hood Quarterly, as we explore and celebrate the many ways that people make a difference to themselves, their communities, and the world by taking action through engaging with the language of visual art. Through them, we recognize both the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act into law and the myriad ways that community-minded action and art making are connected. The stories in this issue include the Hood’s presentation of the important exhibition Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, which was organized by the Brooklyn Museum; Dartmouth students adding a photograph to the Hood’s collection depicting the historic march from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965; three moving personal experiences recounted in the Alumni Voices section exploring Dartmouth in the 1960s and the legacy of civil rights at the College; and the impact of the Hood’s programs for people who have Alzheimer’s disease.

There are so many ways for you to engage, from visiting Witness on your own to participating in one or more of our many free programs or taking the free Dartmouth student–produced audio tour of the exhibition on your smartphone. Among the many programs listed in our calendar section, we are partnering with Northern Stage to present a live reading of A Raisin in the Sun by professional and Dartmouth student actors; activist-artists Jae Jarrell and Wadsworth Jarrell, who in 1968 helped to found the Chicago collective AfriCOBRA, will share their art and philosophy; and Witness curators Teresa Carbone and Kellie Jones will present public talks along with Dartmouth faculty members and Dartmouth students. We look forward to your participation in the programming surrounding this landmark exhibition, which I hope you will enjoy and visit often.

In This Issue:

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