We are expanding! Check out our programming while the museum is closed.

Letter from the Director: Spring/Summer 2009

Hood Quarterly, spring/summer 2009
Brian Kennedy, Director

In recent years, the Hood Museum of Art has sought to commission major projects on campus that respond to College President James Wright’s invitation to display works of art in public places, and to Provost Barry Scherr’s encouragement to provide transformative experiences through engagement with works of art. This has been achieved by the permanent placement of sculptures near the Admissions Office and the Native American House, and by Wenda Gu’s extraordinary united nations project, made from human hair donated by our community, which temporarily transformed the Baker-Berry Library and the Hood Museum of Art in 2007.

Another exhibition of this kind takes place this spring/summer, also in Baker-Berry Library and at the museum. We invited the Spanish artist Félix de la Concha to paint portraits of fifty-one people, each session lasting two hours, during which time he also audio- and video-recorded conversations with his sitters. The portraits in canvas, audio, and video will be exhibited from April through September. The project is a response to the campus-wide programming theme for 2008–10, “Conflict and Reconciliation,” established by the Dartmouth Centers Forum, an amalgam of student and community-focused institutes and centers on campus. Each of the sitters was selected because they had encountered conflict of one kind or another in their personal lives and have made—or are making—the journey toward reconciliation. This powerful project has been a revelation, a remarkable sample of the wonderful people in our community, and we thank Félix de la Concha for his dedication and imagination in realizing it.

Wearing Wealth and Styling Identity: Tapis from Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia presents a magnificent array of handwoven and embellished textiles of great complexity. The works in this beautiful exhibition are from the Lister Family Collection, and most of them have been gifted to the Hood by board member Stephen Lister, Dartmouth Class of 1963. We are deeply grateful for both his collecting passion and his generosity of spirit. As with the warmly received 2006 exhibition Dreaming Their Way: Australian Aboriginal Women Painters, all the works in this show of Indonesian textiles were made by women. They were also worn by women while participating in the ceremonial life of Lampung. We are grateful to Dr. Mary-Louise Totton for her professional commitment in the presentation of these wonderful garments and the preparation of the scholarly book that accompanies the show.

The current economic environment has been challenging for the Hood Museum of Art, as it has for everyone. This has been a time of reorganization and increased commitment to delivering our key intentions: to create learning encounters and to cultivate teaching with objects. Our excellent staff does this well but wishes to do it even better. We need and value the participation, advocacy, and support of all our visitors—students, faculty, alumni, and members of our broader community. Félix de la Concha’s project celebrates our stories, our shared humanity, and our commitment to each other. In times of challenge, museums can indeed be places of consolation and inspiration. Please do visit us, participate as a member, and enjoy, at no charge, the fabulous collections of Dartmouth College.

In This Issue:

Hood Museum