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Letter from the Director: Autumn/Winter 2011-12

Hood Quarterly, autumn/winter 2011-12
Michael Taylor, Director

In my inaugural letter from the director for the Hood Museum of Art Quarterly, I would like to express how excited I am to be taking over the helm of this remarkable institution, which is widely recognized as one of the great teaching museums in the world. The opportunity to work with the students and faculty at Dartmouth College is something that particularly drew me to the position of director at the Hood, and I believe that the museum can play a vital role in the lives of everyone on campus. I am also delighted to be leading a museum that is so deeply immersed in the rich cultural life of New Hampshire and Vermont. The diverse array of educational programs that the Hood provides for children, teens, and adults in the region is a strong component of its teaching mission, and this outreach will continue to flourish in the future. One of my goals as director is to significantly grow the museum’s membership and expand the institution’s visibility to potential audiences in the region, while also reaching out to the college’s alumni around the world.

This is an exciting time for the arts at Dartmouth, due in no small part to the thoughtful planning of Katherine Hart, who worked with extraordinary dedication during her term as interim director, following the departure of my predecessor, Brian Kennedy. This fall we are presenting the Hood’s collection of Native American art in an inspiring and thought-provoking exhibition, curated by George Horse Capture, Joe Horse Capture, and Joseph Sanchez, that will explore the ties between older and living traditions and the vibrant artistic life of the diverse indigenous cultures across the United States and Canada. A related special exhibition devoted to a series of paintings of participants in Dartmouth’s May 2009 Pow-Wow by Mateo Romero, Class of 1989, which was commissioned by the Hood, will be on view in the Harrington Gallery. Given that the college’s original mission was to provide an education to Native Americans, it is deeply meaningful to me that these will be the first exhibitions to open during my tenure as director at the Hood, and I hope you will be able to join us for the opening events on Sunday, October 9, to celebrate this tribute to Native American art at Dartmouth College.

In the next year we will be planning the much-needed expansion of the museum into the adjacent Wilson Hall building, as well as a year of celebrating the arts on campus in 2012–13. I would like to thank Provost Carol Folt for her enthusiastic support of the museum’s next phase of growth. Finally, my wife, Sarah, and our two daughters, Emma and Abigail, join me in expressing our heartfelt thanks to everyone in the Upper Valley who has made us feel so welcome since our arrival here in August. I look forward to meeting you when you next come to the museum and hope that your visit is an enjoyable one.

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