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Past Exhibitions


Figuring the Abstract in Social Commentary

February 14, 2015, through April 05, 2015

Emblem, type, symbol, token, trope, image, sign—all of these words describe specific visual forms that represent abstract ideas through recognized shapes, colors, and figures. Many emblems contain culturally specific messages, often taken from sacred or ancient texts, the meanings of which evolve over time. Since these images are quickly legible to members of a shared culture, artists mobilize emblems to provoke certain reactions in an audience. This exhibition draws together various types of emblematic prints—primarily woodcuts—that address social problems and issues.

Visions of the Virgin

Manifestations of Mary and Personal Devotion

January 25, 2014, through March 09, 2014

This installation investigates the Virgin as a trope and looks at some of the ways in which artists manipulate her to evoke personal piety in both religious and secular contexts that transcend particular cultures. It includes four works--a painting on steel, a photograph, a terracotta jar, and a color lithograph--all created in the twentieth century by artists from the Americas. Produced in different cultures and at different times, these objects present distinctive iterations and interpretations of the Virgin Mary as an object of art and devotion.

Men of Fire

José Clemente Orozco and Jackson Pollock

April 07, 2012, through June 17, 2012
Jackson Pollock, Untitled (Circle)

In 1936, Jackson Pollock traveled to Dartmouth College to view José Clemente Orozco's monumental fresco The Epic of American Civilization (1932-34). The deep impact that Orozco's imagery had on the young Pollock is demonstrated in this revelatory exhibition, which brings together for the first time the drawings and paintings of two of the most famous artists of the twentieth century.

Dressing Up Culture

Molas from Kuna Yala

May 17, 2008, through December 07, 2008

Colorful, playful, and visually enticing, the appliquéd molas that Kuna women sew onto their blouses yield an astounding array of traditional and contemporary themes. These stitched cloth panels feature abstract and figurative motifs derived from Kuna legends and culture, political posters, labels, books, the natural world, mass media and popular culture, cartoons, and everyday life. Having initially developed from pre-Hispanic body arts, mola making in Kuna Yala, an archipelago that runs along the Caribbean coast of Panama, has become an important women’s economic enterprise that also preserves Kuna cultural and ethnic identity.

Globalization in Ancient Costa Rican Arts

February 25, 2006, through October 01, 2006

Explore the rich artistic legacy of the ancient Costa Ricans in this exhibition of vessels and figures that helps us trace relationships between the peoples of Costa Rica and their neighbors north and south. In ancient Costa Rican cultures, these objects were used to teach about mythology, religion, and the environment. Today, they help archaeologists reconstruct ancient paths of trade and distribution, revealing that thousands of years ago Costa Rica was, in effect, already regionally "globalized." The exhibition is guest curated by Fred Lange, and archaeologist of Central American cultures.

Alfredo Jaar

The Eyes of Gutete Emerita

July 08, 2006, through September 03, 2006

The Eyes of Gutete Emerita by filmmaker and photographer Alfredo Jaar grew out of his visit to Rwanda a few months after the 1994 genocide. This photo-based work, which combines images and text, focuses on the suffering of one individual, Gutete Emerita, who lost her husband and two sons in the mass killing of Tutsis at a church forty miles south of the capital of Kigali. Jaar chose not to photograph the remains of bodies still lying on the ground at the massacre site and instead directs our attention to the survivors who must live with the memory of what they saw. An illustrated brochure accompanies this exhibition.


The Museum as Hunter and Gatherer

May 21, 2005, through February 12, 2006

To collect up to a final limit is not simply to own or to control the items one finds; it is to exercise control over existence itself through possessing every sample, every specimen, every instance of an unrepeatable and nowhere duplicated series.

—Roger Cardinal and John Elsner, The Cultures of Collecting

col·lec·ta·ne·a 1.) Passages, remarks, etc., collected from various sources; (as collect. sing.) a collection of passages, a miscellany. 2.) A selection of passages from one or more authors; an anthology.

This exhibition illuminates the broader social history of the Hood by exploring the diverse "authors" of its collection history and will look at how the museum's collection has been developed and (re)defined over time. Uniting traditional with contemporary and Western with non-Western art via pottery, sculpture, utilitarian objects, textiles, photographs, and prints, col·lec·ta·ne·a explores different collecting practices and ideologies that reflect the museum's unique identity as a hunter and gatherer of material culture. Topics addressed in the exhibition include the role of private collectors in developing museum collections; the... read more

Critical Faculties

Teaching with the Hood's Collections

January 15, 2005, through March 13, 2005

The Hood begins the year with Critical Faculties: Teaching with the Hood's Collections. This unique exhibition has been organized by faculty members of four of the museum's main academic constituents at the college. Art History, Studio Art, Classics, and Anthropology have installed objects from the Hood's collections that represent each discipline's approach to teaching with art, offering visitors the opportunity to experience works of art that represent a wide range of media and periods through various perspectives.

Lateral Thinking

Art of the 1990s

January 17, 2004, through March 14, 2004

This extraordinary exhibition features forty contemporary artists from North, South, and Central America, Cuba, Africa, China, and Europe, including Matthew Barney, Vanessa Beecroft, Roman de Salvo, Zhang Huan, William Kentridge, Byron Kim, Jean Lowe, Vik Muniz, and Cindy Sherman, many of whose works have not appeared in the Upper Valley before. The exhibition defies categorization by style, school, or medium, but a number of key ideas recur throughout, such as the body; the construction of identity (gender, personal, social, or ethnic); the role of the artist; and one's relationship to everyday occurrences and objects.

José Clemente Orozco in the United States, 1927–1934

June 01, 2002, through December 15, 2002

This exhibition of more than 120 paintings, prints, drawings, watercolors, and preparatory studies for murals explores the extensive body of work produced by José Clemente Orozco, one of the leading Mexican artists of the twentieth century, during an extended stay in the United States. Scheduled for presentation at the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, New Hampshire, and the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, the exhibition showcases Orozco's revolutionary artistic vision. During this time, the artist created important murals at Pomona College, Claremont, California, the New School for Social Research, New York, and Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. Viewed as a whole, his work from this period sheds light on the artist's complex creative and political development and provides an illuminating case study on the influence of Mexican visual artists in the United States.

Hood Museum