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Letter from the Director: Spring 2012

Hood Quarterly, spring 2012
Michael Taylor, Director

I write this letter with the good news that the Hood Quarterly is reverting to its traditional quarterly format. In recent years the magazine has appeared only twice a year, but this has proved inadequate to convey to you, our visitors, the true range and quality of our exhibitions and programs. I am therefore delighted to again publish it four times a year, starting with this issue, which highlights a lively roster of exhibitions, installations, acquisitions, and public programs for you to enjoy this spring. Opening April 7, the must-see exhibition Men of Fire: José Clemente Orozco and Jackson Pollock celebrates the one hundredth anniversary of Pollock’s birth and the eightieth anniversary of Orozco’s arrival at Dartmouth College to begin work on his celebrated mural The Epic of American Civilization, which he completed in 1934. Two years later, Pollock traveled from New York to see this monumental fresco, which inspired a number of his subsequent paintings and drawings. These works will be on display at the Hood through June 17, and I hope you will take the opportunity to visit this international loan exhibition, featuring two of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.

Opening April 21, we have Nature Transformed: Edward Burtynsky’ s Vermont Quarry Photographs in Context. I strongly urge you to see these huge and impressive photographs of granite and marble quarries in an exhibition that also explores the history and geology of our region. Two other exhibitions opening in April, The Expanding Grid and Marcel Duchamp: The Box in a Valise, showcase the Hood’s important collection of modern and contemporary art. Together, these exhibitions, and the related public programming, make the Hood a wonderful place for you to visit this spring.

Beyond its exhibitions and programs, the Hood Museum of Art has been heralded as a model teaching museum since it opened in 1985. The focus of our teaching mission is the direct engagement with original works of art, and we provide this opportunity to thousands of Dartmouth students and local school children each year. It therefore gives me immense pleasure to announce that the Charles H. Hood Foundation has endowed the curator of education position at the museum. Lesley Wellman, who has served in this role with great dedication and accomplishment for more than twenty years, has assumed the new title of Hood Foundation Curator of Education, effective immediately. We are deeply grateful to the Hood Foundation and to Charles and Judy Hood for their leadership and vision in endowing this position and ensuring that excellence in teaching will always remain a core value at this museum.

It is above all the museum’s teaching mission that guides our plans for the Hood’s upcoming expansion into the adjacent Wilson Hall building on campus, which will provide us with new galleries and classrooms. An important goal of this expansion is to create an ideal learning environment for all of our visitors, with state-of-the-art galleries containing dedicated display spaces for important areas of the collection not currently on view, as well as new classrooms equipped with smart technology.

The next few years are set to be an exciting time at the Hood Museum of Art, and I look forward to sharing our progress on this important project with you in future issues of the Hood Quarterly. I also look forward to meeting you when you next come to the museum and trust that your visit will be an enjoyable one.

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