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A Space for Dialogue: Fresh Perspectives on the Permanent Collection from Dartmouth’s Students

Hood Quarterly, spring 2007
Susan E. Knapp, excerpt courtesy of Dartmouth Life (February 2007)

Visitors to the Hood Museum of Art know immediately that Dartmouth students are involved. One of the first things they encounter at the Hood is A Space for Dialogue. This area is reserved to showcase items from the permanent collection that are chosen by the museum’s student interns. The exhibitions are generally small—two to five objects with a provocative or innovative unifying theme.

“My topic evolved out of my interest in architecture,” says Jessica Hodin ’07, whose Space for Dialogue exhibition ran last winter. “I feel that architecture and the built environment are so much a part of our behavior and that the spaces we inhabit have a larger impact on our lives than we notice. Through my installation, I sought to highlight how we experience spaces.”

The first Space for Dialogue was installed in the fall of 2001, and yearly funding since 2002 from the Class of 1948 has enabled the program to thrive. Hood interns are supported by a variety of named sponsored programs, including the Class of 1954 Intern, the Kathryn and Caroline Conroy Intern, the Homma Family Intern, the Levinson Student Intern, and the Mellon Intern.

Through this program, numerous students have learned what it is like to curate an exhibition, a valuable experience for an undergraduate. Hodin professed that it’s also hard work. She had to secure reproduction rights, make decisions about matting and framing, and conduct research to support her theories. “I had not anticipated putting this much energy into it, but it was worth it because I’m proud of the result.”

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