Hood Quarterly, winter 2008
Juliette Bianco, Assistant Director
In October 2007 the Hood Museum of Art published its Annual Report 2006–7, this time entirely on the Hood's website. The second annual report published by the Hood highlighted the sixteen exhibitions, twenty-four publications, and 139 programs presented to its audiences last year. Visitation to the museum increased 30 percent over 2005–6, fueled by the museum staff's efforts to create moments of excitement around visual art on campus and in the community, to make more effective use of the collections, and to raise the visibility of the museum through lively exhibitions and programs and enhanced public relations. Most visible were the building of an Inuit Inuksuk in front of Dartmouth's Admissions Office and the site-specific art installation by Wenda Gu in BakerBerry Library.
The year also saw changes in the museum's board and support organizations, both shared for twenty years between the Hood Museum of Art and the Hopkins Center. The newly formed Hood board met for the first time in October 2006, and our new membership organization continues to grow. Significant 2006–7 acquisitions include a Jackson Pollock painting inspired by Orozco's murals in Baker Library, and Pompeo Batoni's Portrait of William Legge, the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, after whom the college is named. For pictures, highlights, and statistics of the 2006–7 year at the Hood, we invite you to browse the annual report now on our website.
The 2008 year at the Hood opens with a large exhibition of paintings since 1970 by contemporary artist Sean Scully and the Hood's first exhibition of works from ancient Southeast Asia. Another highlight of the year is a groundbreaking exhibition many years in the making entitled Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body. Opening on April 1, the exhibition explores its subject via three separate but intersecting perspectives—the traditional African, the colonial, and the contemporary global—shedding new light on contemporary artists' powerful reconsideration of stereotypes of black womanhood in their current work. The exhibition will travel to the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College and the San Diego Museum of Art through mid-2009.
Dossier exhibitions, which focus on the context around a single subject, will feature at the Hood through Alma-Tadema and Antiquity: Imagining Classical Sculpture in Late-Nineteenth-Century Britain in summer 2008. The Hood will present its magnifi- cent work by Alma-Tadema, A Sculpture Gallery (1874), along with X-rays of the painting, related drawings, prints, and photographs, and at least two of the original ancient Roman objects that Alma-Tadema personally examined and documented in the painting, on international loan to the Hood from Naples. Alma-Tadema's painted representation of the display and sale of classical statues and decorative objects uniquely emphasizes the role of sculpture in original, daily settings rather than their significance as timeless ideals.
American Art at Dartmouth, on view for the latter half of 2007, ushered in a new series of comprehensive exhibitions and publications about major areas of the permanent collection. It will be followed in fall 2008 with European Art at Dartmouth, presenting one hundred paintings, sculptures, and highlights from the Hood's renowned collection of Old Master prints. Also in the fall the Hood presents Coastline to Skyline: The Philip H. Greene Gift of California Watercolors, 1930–1960 and a selection of works highlighting the career of Ben Frank Moss, artist and studio art professor at Dartmouth for twenty years. We invite you to these exhibitions and the many related programs for visitors of all ages in the upcoming year. Look in forthcoming editions of the Hood Quarterly and on the Hood website for more information.