Hood Quarterly, summer 2007
Brian Kennedy, Director
For the last six years, the Hood Museum of Art has given the walls in its entrance lobby to its senior student interns for mini-exhibitions drawn from the museum's collections. There have been thirty-eight of these exhibitions since they were first inaugurated by then-director Derrick Cartwright in 2001. Gathered under the title A Space for Dialogue: Fresh Perspectives on the Permanent Collection from Dartmouth Students, each show has been accompanied by a brochure written by the intern. The subjects of these Space for Dialogue exhibitions have ranged as far and wide as the interns' imaginations and the scope of the Hood's very rich and extensive collections. From Consuming Life: On Ideals of Beauty and Assuming Identity in a Culture of Fear by Paula Bigboy '03 to Picturing Family in the "South": Legacies of the American Civil War by Sophia Hutson '06, these exhibitions have reflected brilliantly the intellectual curiosity and critical thinking of an amazing group of Dartmouth students.
Ever since A Space for Dialogue began, the Class of 1948 has been the enthusiastic sponsor of Dartmouth's talented student curators. In 2006, the Hood Museum of Art was recognized for this innovative program by museum studies scholar Janet Marstine, who delivered a paper at an ICOM (International Committee on Museums) college and university conference in Mexico City about the Hood's special role in foregrounding student curatorial and intellectual work in such a prominent place within the museum.
As part of a strategic plan developed under the leadership of current director Brian Kennedy, the museum has sought to strengthen this program for future interns. The director has worked with the Class of 1948 to identify new patrons for this well-received exhibition series. With the support of Hood Board of Overseers member Hugh Freund, museum benefactor David Lowenstein, and class president Sam Ostrow, the Class of 1967 has signed on to be A Space for Dialogue's next sponsor, along with Bonnie and Rick Reiss, Class of 1966, through their new Educational Access Endowment. Bonnie Reiss is also a member of the Hood board. Individual members of the Class of 1948, who have been very committed to this project, will also continue to support it. There will be a celebration of the transfer of the baton from the Class of 1948 to the Class of 1967 and Bonnie and Rick Reiss at the time of the Class of 1967's fiftieth reunion on 12 June 2007.