2020–21 Annual Report: External Relations

Nov 19, 2021

In a fraught year—it felt as though there was both more and less to say to our stakeholders—external relations strove to inform but also to encourage. Through the discerning use of print and a robust expansion of digital platforms and capacity, museum staff both shared and engaged, making up for restricted in-person visitation. Online offerings included programming, 3D gallery tours, blogging, and publications. Our curators and educators continued to generate content, and our campus outreach (and student tours) remained steady. In all, it was a year like no other, but the museum staff persevered, learning as they went, positioning themselves for the richest possible return to open doors and active spaces.


This past fiscal year saw a significant pause in the museum's print publication capabilities and demand. In a world that had turned virtual by necessity, the museum shifted its lens to our online audiences. The publications team spent this time reevaluating the ways in which our publications could grow in purpose, scope, and sustainability rather than in quantity. It was not until spring 2021 that the museum reentered the print world with our spring–summer Hood Quarterly magazine. This Quarterly documented the uncertainty and excitement of a community searching for a new normal and pointed our audiences to brand-new ways of engaging with our collections from afar. With the museum still closed to the public, this publication was available by mail and our online print publications archive, and distributed during our intimate Dartmouth student and faculty tours.

In March 2021, an entire year after production came to a halt due to the pandemic, the museum published A Legacy for Learning: The Jane and Raphael Bernstein Collection, a catalogue to coincide with an exhibition series of the same name going on view later that spring through the end of the year. Jane and Raphael Bernstein were early supporters of the innovative teaching practices of the Hood Museum of Art. This richly illustrated catalogue traces the legacy of their gifts of art from seventeenth-century Japanese handscrolls to eighteenth-century English satirical prints, from twentieth-century American landscape and portrait photography to contemporary art from the Canadian Arctic, plus an extraordinary collection of calligraphic prints and paintings by the late Japanese artist Toko Shinoda. Comprising five curatorial essays and 47 full-page plates, this 102-page catalogue celebrates the Bernsteins' past, present, and future support of the Hood Museum of Art.

2020–21 Publications

2019–20 Annual Report (e-publication)

A Legacy for Learning: The Jane and Raphael Bernstein Collection (catalogue)

2021 spring–summer Hood Quarterly

Social Media

With new digital assets such as recorded Zoom webinars, 3D Matterport tours, and Meanwhile at the Museum blog posts, social media became an increasingly important tool through which we could disseminate resources with our worldwide audience this year.

Our audiences grew on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, with Instagram and LinkedIn seeing the largest increases, at 15% and 58% respectively. Over 830 posts were published across four social media channels, totaling over 1.3 million impressions. Impressions refer to the number of times our content is displayed on someone's feed, whether or not they click on it.

Notably, we saw our engagement rate increase by 38.6% and video views increase by 12.5% this year compared to 2019–20. When a user interacts with our content by liking, commenting on, sharing, or saving it, that is tracked as an engagement.

Social Media Followers or "Audience" 2020–21





















Public Relations

Ursula Von Rydingsvard's Wide Babelki Bowl (In Honor of Anne Greengard '08) outdoor sculpture installation was an exciting moment for the Hood Museum of Art. While our galleries remained closed, the museum remained resilient in our desire to affect the lives of community members through accessible works of art. The local press was eager to report on positive changes and opportunities for their readers. The Hood Museum's outdoor public art ventures, including new installations like Wide Babelki Bowl, as well as our new Virtual Escape Room game were well received by local and regional press, including the Valley News and Artful.

In March 2021, Boreas published a Dartmouth study investigating a rib fragment from the Mount Holly mammoth found in the Hood Museum's collection dating back some 12,800 years ago. This story was featured by the Valley News, Concord Monitor, Union Leader, the Boston Globe, and CBS Boston.

During summer 2021, the Hood Museum announced its acquisition of 6,000 Hollywood photographs from the John Kobal Foundation Collection. A fraction of these photographs will be seen in a winter 2022 exhibition. This acquisition was covered by The Dartmouth, Dartmouth News, Hyperallergic, and the Boston Globe, which featured an interview with Hood Museum Director John Stomberg.

For the first time in the museum's history, Vogue and InStyle magazines are on the list of press contributions this year. A Hood Museum–commissioned work by Indigenous artist and designer Jamie Okuma (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock), a pair of beaded boots titled Peep, appeared in Vogue along with an interview with the artist in March 2021. The boots then appeared on US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland's feet during an InStyle photoshoot in June. Secretary Haaland, a member of New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo, is the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary and chose to wear only female Indigenous designers for the interview. Peep will be seen in the 2022 This Land exhibition.

Other topics covered in the press included the Terra Foundation grant of $75,000 to support the curated project This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World, the ongoing work and care of our Indigenous collections with the help of Curator of Indigenous Art Jami Powell, Jessica Hong's departure for the Toledo Museum of Art, and the museum's beginning steps toward reopening to the public in the fall. Press coverage included an Art New England interview with Jami Powell and John Stomberg, as well as stories in the Boston Globe, The Dartmouth, Dartmouth News, Junction Magazine, VTDigger, and Artwire.

Press Coverage, July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021

"Wide Babelki Bowl," Artful, September 1, 2020

"Tuck Launch Adapts to a Changing World," Tuck School, September 4, 2020

"Video: Dartmouth Installs Sculpture by Ursula von Rydingsvard," Dartmouth News, September 10, 2020

"Navigating the Labyrinth of Mental Health During a Pandemic," The Dartmouth, September 11, 2020

"Sculptor Ursula Von Rydingsvard's 'Wide Babelki Bowl' Installed on Campus," The Dartmouth, September 14, 2020

"Out & About: Pup Art—Lebanon Exhibit Memorializes Gallery Dog, Others," Valley News, September 19, 2020

"Hood Museum Launches Virtual Escape Room," The Dartmouth, October 26, 2020 

"A Love Letter to Detroit, on Vellum and Chrome," New York Times, November 26, 2020 

"Toledo Museum of Art Adds Curator," The Blade, February 8, 2021 

"Every One (#MMIWQT Bead Project)," Junction Magazine, February 10, 2021 

"To Put Away or on Display? College Grapples with Native Representations in Art," The Dartmouth, February 12, 2021 

"The Museum of Together Apart," Seven Days, March 3, 2021 

"Dartmouth Study Reveals Potential Overlap between Wooly Mammoths and Humans in New England," Boston Globe, March 4, 2021 

"Dartmouth Researchers find that Mammoths May Have Overlapped with Early Humans in Northeast," Valley News, March 4, 2021 

"Woolly Mammoths and People Might Have Crossed Paths in New England," Concord Monitor, March 4, 2021 

"Mammoths and Humans: The Elephant in the Prehistoric Living Room," New Hampshire Union Leader, March 7, 2021 

"Did Woolly Mammoths and Humans Walk around New England Together? Apparently, Yes," CBS Boston, March 11, 2021 

"Woolly Mammoth Provides New Theories," Eagle Times, March 13, 2021 

"A Bird with Character Inspired These Beautiful, Beaded Boots," Vogue, March 16, 2021 

"Dartmouth Working Group to Assess Iconography on Campus," VTDigger, March 25, 2021 

"Michael Rakowitz Makes a Life out of Fragments," Hyperallergic, April 11, 2021 

"Alum Spotlight: Kensington Cochran '20 Explores Trauma through Art," The Dartmouth, April 12, 2021 

"Annual Orozco Lecture Puts Murals in Conversation with David Alfaro Siqueiros," The Dartmouth, May 3, 2021 

"Terra Foundation Awards $2.5 Million to US Arts and Culture Organizations for Permanent Collection Projects," ArtfixDaily Artwire, May 4, 2021 

"Public Art Program Series Spotlights 'Wide Babelki Bowl' Sculpture," The Dartmouth, May 10, 2021 

"New Committee to Review Processes for Evaluating College Iconography," The Dartmouth, May 14, 2021 

"Hood Awarded Terra Grant for American Art Installation," Dartmouth News, May 21, 2021 

"From Outdoor Art and Music to a Cool Covered Bridge, These Are Don't-Miss Sights in the Upper Valley," New Hampshire Union Leader, May 22, 2021 

"Video: 'Trade Canoe: Forty Days and Forty Nights' at the Hood," Dartmouth News, May 25, 2021 

"Should Museums Verify Claims of Indigenous Ancestry? Fruitlands Show Postponed over This 'Profoundly Divisive' Issue," Boston Globe, May 31, 2021 

"Musings: 10 Museum Voices Speak to the Moment," Art New England, May/June 2021 

"Hood Museum of Art Acquires Hollywood Photo Archive," Dartmouth News, June 3, 2021 

"Art Notes: Hood Museum to Reopen Soon?," Valley News, June 6, 2021 

"Over 6,000 Photographs of Old Hollywood Acquired by the Hood Museum," Hyperallergic, June 10, 2021 

"Hollywood Past, Hanover Present," Boston Globe, June 16, 2021 

"U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland on Being the First—and the Future," InStyle Magazine, June 24, 2021 

Visitor Services

During the last year, the Hood Museum's team of visitor services guides shrank from eight to five members. The museum's extended closure was hard on the team, who were used to being frontline communicators with our visitors. To enhance their institutional knowledge during this time, the visitor services guides met weekly to learn more about the collection and the museum's departments. In-depth group discussions on works in the collection ensured that the team was equipped with the tools and information needed to engage in meaningful conversation as we anxiously anticipated visitors returning to the galleries.

While the museum was closed to the public, the guides assisted different departments in any ways they could—for example, working with the external relations team on sorting and labeling digital files, website updates, advertisements, and publications; with registration on public art checks, file labeling, and data entry; and with curatorial on filming and courier delivery. They did this while maintaining the security and safety of the building and the collection. They also spent time escorting painters and construction workers throughout the building.

In the fall 2020 term, the visitor services guide team began accompanying Dartmouth community members/students on Tiny Tours and Tiny Visits. This was a great opportunity to use the skills and information they had been learning to actively engage with students, faculty, and staff. The team also worked hard to prepare for reopening the museum doors to the public in August 2021.  


The security of the Hood Museum of Art, its collections, and facilities was well maintained during the pandemic closure by the Security/Building Manager Steven Perkins and the visitor services guides, performing scheduled building inspections and maintaining an on-site presence.  Routine maintenance as well as upgrades to museum facilities were not interrupted and continued throughout the closure.

In May of 2020, Steve conducted a Certified Institutional Protection Specialist (CIPS) training for the Visitors Services team. CIPS certification provides a professional credential and a foundation in cultural property protection best practices. Steve also worked with Registrar Lauren Silverson to update and revise the Museum Disaster Plan.

Lastly, Steve coordinated and expanded the museum's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual to provide a comprehensive, standardized reference and training resource specific to Hood Museum of Art security procedures and protocols.