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Letter from the Director: Spring/Summer 2011

Hood Quarterly, spring/summer 2011
Katherine Hart, Interim Director and Barbara C. and Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming

The Hood Museum of Art has seen a remarkable roster of former directors during the past twenty-five years who are still active and prominent members of the museum and art world: Jacquelynn Baas, independent scholar and curator and emeritus director of the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; James Cuno, director of the Art Institute of Chicago; Timothy Rub, director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Derrick Cartwright, director of the Seattle Art Museum; and Brian Kennedy, president and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art. Dartmouth College has now embarked on a search for the next leader of the Hood, which an American Association of Museums (AAM) accreditation report described as a “model” college art museum. By the time our fall/winter Quarterly is published later this year, there will be a new director to lead this impressive arts institution into its next phase of development.

An important aspect of the museum’s recent exhibition program has been a desire to promote greater knowledge of its remarkable collections. The spring exhibition Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life is drawn from the Hood’s important holdings of this flamboyant 1960s art movement, which privileged the ephemeral, performative, and exuberant. Also this spring, the museum will showcase the recent work of Dartmouth Studio Art Professor Esmé Thompson, whose colorful paintings and collages evoke the rich global history of pattern and design and respond to a diverse array of influences, from Renaissance painting to Moroccan textiles. Also, a wonderful scholarly exhibition of images of Jerusalem, drawing on works from the Hood and Rauner Special Collections, will be on view in the Harrington Gallery. This summer, we are delighted to present a selection of superb paintings, drawings, and pastels from the collection of Russell and Jack Huber, Class of 1963, that will then travel to the High Museum of Art in the Hubers’ hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

The museum is grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which has made possible the one- to two-year loan of nearly fifty classical objects from Yale University Art Gallery. These ancient Greek and Roman works of art arrived this past December, and already in winter term 2011, professors such as Sherman Fairchild Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Classics Jerry Rutter (above) have begun to use them in their classes. In addition, the Hood’s own endowment from the Mellon Foundation made it possible to bring guest curator and visiting fellow Christine Lilyquist to research and mount an exhibition of highlights from the museum’s ancient Egyptian collection.

I conclude by saying that it has been my pleasure and great privilege to serve as interim director of the Hood, and I would like to thank Provost Carol Folt for her support and encouragement during the transition. I would also like to thank my fellow staff members, who constitute one of the greatest teams of museum professionals working in the field today.

Lastly, we would like to pay tribute to our late colleague and friend, Angela Rosenthal, Associate Professor of Art History, with whom the Hood collaborated on many projects. She was a remarkable scholar and teacher and a vibrant presence on this campus.

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