Hood Museum of Art Expands Its Curatorial Team

The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, welcomes four new curators as it seeks to activate new possibilities in its collection, spaces, and staff by expanding the art and audiences with, about, and from whom we learn. In particular, these four individuals will reimagine the collection's influence and potential to forge meaningful connections across disciplines, peoples, and local and global communities. They will pursue critical scholarship, exhibitions, publications, and enhanced access while developing ethical and sustainable practices for owning, cataloging, and utilizing the Hood Museum's holdings.

John Stomberg, the Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director of the museum, says, "These new curators bring a wide range of experiences and expertise to the Hood Museum. Their ideas will propel the institution into the next chapter of its history—one that will be marked by expanding the canon, questioning the practice, and engaging ever broader audiences."


Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art

MICHAEL HARTMAN, the new Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art, is completing his PhD in art history at the University of Delaware. He holds a BA in art history and German from the University of Arkansas and an MA in the history of art from Williams College, and he has previously worked at the Biggs Museum of American Art; the Clark Art Institute; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; and the Winterthur Museum, Library, and Gardens. Hartman will collaborate with the museum's staff, as well as Dartmouth students and faculty, to develop exhibitions and programs that bring to light the multiple, intersecting, and often contradicting histories long marginalized within museums.


Alisa Swindell, Associate Curator of Photography

New Associate Curator of Photography ALISA SWINDELL is an art historian specializing in the history of photography with a focus on race and sexuality. Most recently she was a curatorial research associate at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. She has been an independent curator, a Romare Bearden Minority Graduate Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and a Dangler Intern and curatorial researcher in the Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Photography. She is completing her Ph.D. in art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a concentration in gender and women's studies; she holds MAs from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of New Orleans as well as a BA from Bryn Mawr College.


Ashley Offill, Associate Curator of Collections

New Associate Curator of Collections ASHLEY OFFILL is an art historian who specializes in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, with a focus on sculpture and architecture associated with the cult of saints and relics. Ashley comes to the Hood Museum from the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, where she most recently was the coordinator for administrative and academic projects. Ashley completed her PhD in art history at the University of Kansas, where she also earned her MA. She holds a BA in English and art history from Texas Christian University. In both her museum practice and her higher-education teaching experience, she centers works of art as sites of inquiry, interpretation, and connection in order to foster engagement with a variety of audiences.


Alexandra M. Thomas, Curatorial Research Associate in African Art

ALEXANDRA M. THOMAS is the 2021–23 curatorial research associate in African art at the Hood Museum. She is completing her PhD in African American Studies and the history of art with a certificate in women's, gender, and sexuality studies at Yale University and has worked at the Yale University Art Gallery since 2018. Currently, Thomas teaches the fall 2021 African American Art course at Fairfield University. Thomas will utilize her dissertation research on Black feminism, queer theory, and global African art to explore the rich cultural heritage of the African continent and its diaspora that is housed in Dartmouth's permanent collection.


These individuals join Curator of Indigenous Art Jami Powell, Barbara C. and Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming Amelia Kahl, and Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Curator of Academic Programming Elizabeth Mattison on the museum's curatorial team.

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Written October 21, 2021