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Past Exhibitions

A Feast for the Eyes and a Sacred Trek for the Feet

Journeys along the Tokaido Highway

September 05, 2015, through October 18, 2015

This exhibition, at its essence, is about the power of place. A single locale can carry myriad meanings and experiences for different people, as can be seen through depictions of the Tokaido highway. As the main arterial road in Japan during the Edo period (1603–1868), the Tokaido held great significance for citizens and artists alike. Examining different artists’ representations of the Tokaido illustrates the diverse range of experiences people had along the road, as well as the distinctive meanings each artist attached to the highway.

Dartmouth Looks at The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari)

June 16, 2014, through September 28, 2014

Often called “the world’s first novel,” The Tale of Genji was written in the early eleventh century by Murasaki Shikibu, the nom de plume of a woman born into the middle ranks of the aristocracy. Its complex development of character and sophisticated representation of moral and aesthetic values have made The Tale of Genji the central canonical text of one of the world’s most important literary traditions.


This exhibition of works from the Japanese collection of the Hood Museum of Art showcases representations of the eleventh-century Tale of Genji and three sequels written in the mid-nineteenth century. A handscroll and folding screen painted during the early to mid-1700s offer a sense of high-culture approaches to the novel. A selection of woodblock prints demonstrates how the novel and its sequels were reworked for popular audiences.


This exhibition is curated by Dartmouth faculty members Dennis Washburn, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature, and Allen Hockley, Associate... read more

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

Between Tradition and Modernity

The Art of Fan Tchunpi

September 07, 2013, through December 08, 2013
Fan Tchunpi, Pine Branches

This exhibition explores the extraordinary life and work of Fan Tchunpi (1898–1986), one of the most important and prolific Chinese artists of the modern era. As the first solo exhibition of the artist's work since her 1984 retrospective at the Musée Cernuschi (Asian Art Museum) in Paris, Between Tradition and Modernity examines Fan Tchunpi's search for an artistic language that would speak for the self and the nation in an age of crisis, war, and revolution. The oil paintings, works on paper, and ceramics on display in this exhibition demonstrate her efforts to create a dynamic synthesis of Chinese and Western artistic traditions and techniques, while also reflecting the turbulent age in which she lived.

The Women of Shin Hanga

The Judith and Joseph Barker Collection of Japanese Prints

April 06, 2013, through July 28, 2013
Kobayakawa Kiyoshi, Modern Fashions: No. 1 Tipsy

In an attempt to revive traditional Japanese woodblock prints, artists of the shin hanga (new print) movement were forced to reconcile approaches to female subjects developed over the previous two centuries with the impact of modernity on both women and the arts in early-twentieth-century Japan. To ensure the contemporary relevancy of their work, the subjects they depicted ranged between deeply conservative and highly provocative conceptions of femininity, with demure, self-effacing geisha representing the former and so-called modern girls, known for their Westernized appearance and morally suspect lifestyles, representing the latter. By retaining production methods honed by their predecessors, they cultivated audiences in Japan and America who appreciated the unique legacies of the Japanese woodblock print tradition. These strategies successfully ensured a place for shin hanga depictions of women in an environment where new print media and styles imported from the West competed with Japan's most treasured visual traditions. The results of their efforts are amply apparent in this exhibition. With ninety woodblock prints from the Judith and Joseph Barker... read more

Japanese Prints in the Hood Museum of Art

Recent Acquisitions

April 06, 2013, through July 28, 2013

The fifteen prints in this gallery represent the Hood Museum of Art’s ongoing efforts to develop its collection of Japanese woodblock prints as a teaching resource. With publication dates ranging from the 1750s through the 1930s, these prints document several aspects of Japan’s woodblock print culture. This selection features prints in a wide variety of formats representing major print genres including kabuki actor prints (yakusha-e), pictures of fashionable women (bijinga), perspective prints (uki-e), landscape prints (fūkeiga), warrior prints (musha-e), pictures of foreigners residing in Yokohama (Yokohama-e), prints depicting Japan’s late-nineteenth-century modernization (kaika-e), and early-twentieth-century prints (shin hanga).


In keeping with the museum’s pedagogical mission, this exhibition was curated by students enrolled in the winter 2012 course Art History 65: Japanese Prints, taught by Associate Professor Allen Hockley. Over the course of the term students wrote labels for each of these fifteen prints. Labels appearing in the exhibition are edited compilations featuring the contributions of all... read more

The Wise Collection

July 07, 2012, through September 02, 2012

This summer the museum will showcase the gift to the museum of thirty Japanese and Japanese-inspired contemporary prints, drawings, and ceramics by Joanne and Doug Wise, Class of 1959. This exhibition will be organized by students in Professor Joy Kenseth's History of Museums and Collecting (Art History 82), who will choose the themes and arrange the installation. The course, which was taught during the spring term 2012, looked at the history and evolution of art collecting by both museums curators and private individuals. In keeping with this theme, Joanne Wise presented a talk on the shaping of the present collection to the students in the course.

The installation features work by artists such as Keiko Hara, Hachiro Iizuka, Makato Fujimura, and Yutaka Yoshinaga. Joanne and Doug lived in Japan between 1978 and 1982 and began to collect at that time. Upon moving to Houston, Texas, Joanne began to represent Japanese graphic artists and ceramicists and actively promote their work through a quarterly newsletter and her efforts with the Texas Print Alliance. She states: "The Wise Collection exists to bring people of the world together through greater knowledge and... read more

Looking Back at Earth

Environmental Photography from the Hood Museum of Art

July 07, 2012, through August 26, 2012
J Henry Fair, Arsenic and Water

This exhibition showcases photography that goes beyond landscape to engage with issues of the earth and its environment. It features the work of Subhankar Banerjee, Virginia Beahan, Daniel Beltrá, Diane Burko, J. Henry Fair, Emmet Gowin, Patricia MacDonald, David Maisel, and Ian Teh, among others. Its themes include consumption and waste, industrial pollution, urban sprawl, unsustainable farming, and climate change and its effects on the Arctic.

Okeanos, International + Contemporary Relflections on the Sea

March 12, 2011, through May 08, 2011

For anyone who has witnessed its sublimity, above the surface or at its depths, the ocean (from Greek “okeanos”) leaves a powerful, sensuous impression. Contemporary artists Yves Klein, Jennifer Moller, and Hiroshi Sugimoto each reflect upon the experience of ocean via distinct media: Klein with his hyper-saturated, textured canvas; Moller with her darkened, black and white video footage; and Sugimoto with his abstracted photographs of water and air.  Whether captured in paint or film, or concentrating on water’s depth or surface, substance or void, stillness or motion, the monochromatic representations of sea depicted by each of the international contemporary artists in this exhibition demonstrate that the experience of ocean is universal.

Tradition Transformed

Tibetan Artists Respond

January 15, 2011, through March 13, 2011
Dedron, We Are the Nearest to the Sun

Contemporary Tibetan artists are in a precarious position. While their work is informed by Tibetan artistic traditions, the majority of these artists do not live in Tibet, and some never have. Their challenge is twofold: as they forge a name for themselves in the competitive art world, they must also try to find their own place within Tibet’s rich and formalized artistic legacy. This exhibition features artists who grapple with issues of cultural and artistic negotiation and who work with traditional forms in innovative ways. The artists submitted new and recent works to the exhibition that highlight their styles and range.


Hood Museum