Dartmouth's collections are among the oldest and largest of any college or university in the country, but it was not until the Charles Moore–designed Hood Museum of Art opened its doors in 1985 that they were all housed under one roof and made available to faculty, students, and the public. The Hood Museum's collections are drawn from a broad range of cultures and historical periods and represent a remarkable educational asset for both Dartmouth and the communities of the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont. Among the museum's most important holdings are six Assyrian stone reliefs from the palace of Ashurnasirpal II (about 900 BCE) and the remarkable fresco by José Clemente Orozco titled The Epic of American Civilization (1932–34), which is now a National Historic Landmark. The 65,000 objects in the museum's care represent the diverse artistic traditions of six continents, including, broadly, Native American, European and American, Asian, Indigenous Australian, African, and Melanesian art. The museum collects, preserves, and makes available for interpretation these works in the public trust and for the benefit of all.
In early 2019, the Hood Museum concluded a physical expansion and renovation project, as well as a reinvigoration of what it does and how it does it. With architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien and their team, as well as colleagues in the Dartmouth President's, Provost's, and Campus Planning Offices, the Hood Museum of Art staff immersed itself in this purpose-driven building project, which renewed this thirty-five-year-old institution on a campus that turned 250 in 2019.
Harvey P. Hood: Our Founding Benefactor
A longtime trustee of Dartmouth College and a friend and advisor to three Dartmouth presidents, Harvey P. Hood, Class of 1918, endorsed the view that an education must include exposure to the full breadth of human knowledge and experience for the fullness of human potential to be realized. As a distinguished businessman, a loyal and active alumnus, and a supporter of the arts, Harvey Hood exemplified this ideal in his own life. The generous gifts of Harvey P. Hood and his wife, Barbara C. Hood, along with gifts from the Hood family and from other friends of the arts at Dartmouth, have made this museum possible.