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Letter from the Director: Autumn 2013

Hood Quarterly, autumn 2013
Michael Taylor, Director

We have an exciting roster of exhibitions and programs for you to enjoy at the Hood Museum of Art this autumn. We begin the quartet of exhibitions on view with Picasso: The Vollard Suite, which presents the artist’s highly innovative and influential series of one hundred etchings created between 1930 and 1937 for the famed French art dealer Ambroise Vollard. The Hood Museum of Art is one of the few museums in the world to own this series in its entirety. Now on view in the galleries for the first time in more than a decade, the Vollard Suite is displayed alongside important prints by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) and Francisco Goya (1748–1828) that directly inspired Picasso during the making of these celebrated etchings. Complementing this major exhibition is Cubism and Its Legacy, an installation of cubist paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Picasso and his friends and colleagues, Georges Braque and Juan Gris, as well as artists who extended the legacy of cubism, including Stuart Davis, George L. K. Morris, and Suzy Frelinghuysen.

The summer issue of the Quarterly introduced the third exhibition we have on view this autumn, Shadowplay: Transgressive Photography from the Hood Museum of Art, which explores the multifaceted idea of transgression in photography that many scholars argue has been there since the medium’s invention in the mid-nineteenth century. Our autumn exhibition roster concludes with Between Tradition and Modernity: The Art of Fan Tchunpi, which will introduce our visitors to the work of an important twentieth-century Chinese artist whose paintings, watercolors, and ceramics represent a synthesis of Chinese and Western artistic traditions and techniques. It was co-curated by Hood intern Xinyue Guo, Dartmouth Class of 2014, who conducted much of the research and selection of the works in the exhibition from the collection of the artist’s sons, Meng Chi Tsen, Chunglu Tsen, and Wen-ti Tsen.

I am sure you will enjoy these four exhibitions, all of which speak directly to the teaching mission of the Hood. I also hope that you will take the opportunity to attend the public lectures, gallery talks, and other programs that we have organized in conjunction with these exhibitions, which, like all of the museum’s activities, are free and open to all.

I am also delighted to inform you that the Hood Museum of Art has appointed Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi as the museum’s Curator of African Art. He follows upon the excellent stewardship of Tamara Northern and Barbara Thompson, earlier Hood curators of the African collection. Smooth will discuss the fascinating history and legacy of the Dak’Art Biennial in Senegal, as well as recent developments in contemporary art on the African continent, when he presents the annual Dr. Allen W. Root Contemporary Art Distinguished Lecture on Friday, October 18, at 5:30 P.M. Please join us in welcoming Smooth at a special reception in the Hood’s galleries after his lecture.

Finally, I am happy to announce that we are now accepting online membership subscriptions. Just click “Join Us” on the Hood’s homepage and become part of our dedicated and passionate community of supporters, whose contributions make exhibitions and education opportunities at the museum available to all of our visitors free of charge. I look forward to seeing you at the museum this fall and hope that your visit will be an enjoyable one.

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