Alex Bortolot has been selected as the second deputy director in the museum's history.
The Hood Museum of Art is happy to announce Alex Bortolot as just the second deputy director in the museum's history. This position has renewed resonance for the museum in the wake of its 2022–26 strategic plan, which calls for, among other things, enabling greater access to its resources and championing museum practices that positively impact staff, audience, and environmental wellbeing. As a senior staff member at the nexus of the exhibitions, collections, digital platforms/media/archives, and external relations/operations areas, the deputy director will guide and support work with the museum's resources to purposefully expand their impact. Bortolot brings over a decade of experience in museum content strategy and internal organizational leadership to this task from the Minneapolis Institute of Art. He also enjoys a professional homecoming of sorts, having previously worked at the Hood Museum as an assistant curator of special projects earlier in his career.
John Stomberg, the Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director, says, "We are delighted to have Alex join us at the Hood Museum. He is a creative thinker and an eager collaborator. He will make a demonstrable contribution to the ongoing work at the museum and will no doubt offer ideas for new and interesting projects in keeping with the Hood's goals. His career trajectory at the Minneapolis Institute of Art testifies to the power of his vision for the good work of art museums. We look forward to welcoming him to our growing team of museum professionals."
Alex Bortolot says, "I am thrilled to be returning to the Hood Museum, Dartmouth, and the Upper Valley. Museums can change the world by modeling collaboration, curiosity, and critical dialogue, and the Hood Museum embodies all of these qualities through its dynamic relationship with the greater Dartmouth campus. As a product of university museum systems myself, I know firsthand the powerful role they play as spaces for intellectual and creative growth for learners at all stages of life and from all places within the community. The chance to serve alongside Director John Stomberg and the dedicated and inspiring staff at the Hood Museum is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I'm excited to get started."
An impassioned champion of museums and the communities they serve, Bortolot invests deeply in understanding audiences and establishing cultures of transparency, collaboration, and experimentation. Prior to his appointment at the Hood Museum of Art, he served for the past ten years as content strategist at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. There, he worked laterally across the museum's divisions and departments, leading strategic thinking regarding the presentation of its collection of nearly 100,000 artworks within its 140 galleries through special exhibitions, digital platforms and databases, and communications and publications. He is no stranger to the Dartmouth community, having worked as a visiting lecturer on African art in the Art History Department and as an assistant curator of special projects at the Hood Museum.
Bortolot graduated from Harvard University with a BA in the history of art and architecture and holds a PhD in art history from Columbia University. He is a leading expert on the arts of the Makonde people of Mozambique and Tanzania, and his dissertation on that subject was recognized as an exceptional contribution to the field by the Arts Council of the African Studies Association. Bortolot has authored or edited articles, books, and exhibition catalogues on topics ranging from socialist praxis in post-colonial Mozambique to breathing new life into museum period rooms, and he has presented nationally on topics including storytelling, digital publishing, community collaboration, and experiential design in museum displays.