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Past Exhibitions

Poseidon and the Sea

Myth, Cult, and Daily Life

January 17, 2015, through March 15, 2015
Roman, statue of Poseidon / Neptune alongside dolphin

The realm of Poseidon encompassed virtually every aspect of life in the ancient Mediterranean world, from mythology and cult to daily activities. This exhibition explores each of his dominions through more than one hundred works of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman art produced between 800 BCE and 400 CE. Visitors will see striking black-figure and red-figure pottery, alongside sculptures in terracotta, marble, and precious metals, and extraordinary examples of ancient glass, mosaics, carved gems, and coins, all providing a rich picture of life in the ancient world. Poseidon and the Sea offers an intimate look not only at the mysteries of the ancient world, but also at the timeless beauty and wonder of the sea that continues to resonate with us in the present day.

The Beauty of Bronze

Selections from the Hood Museum of Art

October 13, 2012, through March 18, 2014

Bronze—a combination of copper, tin, and small amounts of other metals—has long been prized for its preciousness, endurance, and ability to register fine details and reflect light.   It is strong and durable, making it ideal for modeling expressive gestures, yet—in molten form—it is malleable enough to be suitable for creating intricate shapes. The term “bronze” is often used for other metals as well, including brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc.

There are two basic methods of casting a bronze in order to make multiple versions of the same design. Sand casting—developed in the early nineteenth century in Europe—is a relatively simple and less expensive technique that relies upon disparate molds made of compacted fine-grained sand that allow for easy production and assembly. Traditional lost-wax casting uses wax models in two manners, or methods, both of which date from antiquity. In the “direct” method, the original wax model itself is used (and thereby destroyed); in the “indirect” method, reusable plaster molds are taken from the original wax model.

The medium’s intrinsic tensile strength and ability to render precise features and various surfaces have... read more

Objects and Power

Manifestations of Inequality

April 10, 2013, through August 25, 2013

The world today is an unequal place where individuals face stark differences in their access to resources, information, and power. The archaeological record suggests that such inequities have existed in various cultures throughout human history. This student-curated installation considers some of the challenges of interpreting and presenting material objects as they relate to inequality. Just as professional archaeologists have built their theories using both ancient artifacts and cultural materials from contemporary populations, the student curators have assembled a diverse collection to consider four domains in which archaeologists can see inequality created, reproduced, and challenged in ancient societies. The central themes—craft goods, daily life, public performance, and mortuary practice—offer interwoven views on the intersecting lives of people and the material objects that they use to communicate status among their families and to other members of society. The objects on display serve as metaphors for understanding the dynamics underlying how different cultures have invented and shaped inequality in its many forms.

While... read more

Beyond Aphrodite

Interpreting Portrayals of "Real" Women in Ancient Greece

January 12, 2013, through May 28, 2013

Many aspects of the lives of ancient Greek women remain a mystery to us today. While surviving literary sources and artifacts often feature powerful female goddesses, images and texts describing the lives of everyday, or "real," Greek women are more difficult to identify and understand. This exhibition presents three objects that depict those women.

Egyptian Antiquities at Dartmouth

Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art

February 12, 2011, through August 12, 2012
Colossal head of a god

Christine Lilyquist, The Metropolitan Museum of Art's former head of the Department of Egyptian Art and Lila Acheson Wallace Research Curator in Egyptology, has served as advisor and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Visiting Scholar at the Hood over the past few years as she has researched and catalogued the museum's collection of ancient Egyptian objects. During her career at the Met, Dr. Lilyquist directed the reinstallation of the museum's Egyptian collections, supervised the installation of one of the museum's stellar attractions, the monumental Temple of Dendur, and curated the overwhelmingly popular special exhibition Treasures of Tutankhamun in the 1970s.

Dr. Lilyquist has guest-curated the exhibition Egyptian Antiquities at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art to present aspects of her extensive research on these objects and their insights into life in ancient Egypt. The antiquities on view, arranged thematically, range from temple sculpture to funerary items, including a painted textile shroud with spells from the Book of the Dead dating to the New Kingdom (1600-1250 BCE) and a painted sandstone face assigned to the pharaoh Mentuhotep... read more

The Allure of Ruins

Views of the Temple of Sibyl at Tivoli across Time

May 19, through July 8, 2012

This installation explores views of ancient Roman ruins and the Italian countryside that have inspired artists for centuries, particularly the Temple of Sibyl at Tivoli. For both American and European artists, ruins such as those at Tivoli have always possessed a seemingly universal and timeless quality.

Investigations into the Ancient Mediterranean

May 05, 2012, through June 24, 2012

This exhibition explores how the close observation of works of art can reveal connections to wider cultural, religious, political, and social themes. It is part of an innovative collection-sharing initiative created to highlight the importance of teaching with original works of art as part of the college curriculum. Funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this program enabled Yale University Art Gallery to lend forty-seven ancient Mediterranean objects to the Hood for a two-year period. Over the course of this past year and a half, Dartmouth faculty and students from a range of disciplines including art history, classical archaeology, and history have used both the Yale loans and works from the Hood's collection to explore current discourses on such topics as gender systems, representation and identity, and center and periphery in the Roman Empire.

By working closely with faculty and students to document these projects, the Hood wishes to highlight this major part of its daily activities as a teaching museum and make visible its work with undergraduate students, most of which happens "behind the scenes" in the Bernstein Study-Storage Center.

Center and Periphery

Cultural Hybridity in the Funerary Arts of the Roman Provinces

February 11, through March 11, 2012

This installation presents examples of the kind of hybrid visual culture materialized in funeral art from certain key provinces—Syria, Africa Proconsularis (modern Tunisia), and Egypt—created during the era when the Roman Empire was at its greatest extent.

Faces of Antiquity

Portraiture of the Roman Empire

May 14, 2011, through August 28, 2011

This installation presents some of the most widespread varieties of ancient portraiture, including funerary painting, sculptural busts, and coinage from ancient Rome.

The Art of Drinking

Four Thousand Years of Celebration and Condemnation of Alcohol Use in the Western World

December 17, 2007, through February 17, 2008


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