The opening of the Hood Museum of Art in 1985 marked the first time that all of Dartmouth's collections could be found and accessed from a single facility by the College community and the greater public. Thirty-four years later, after three years of renovations, an expanded Hood will reopen on January 26, 2019. But what of the College's collection before 1985? The Hood Quarterly's Fall 2018 edition includes a feature detailing the whereabouts of the College's growing collection in the years before museum's opening. The following overview of the Hood's history is excerpted from the museum's website.
It was not until the Charles Moore–designed Hood Museum of Art opened its doors in 1985 that Dartmouth's collections were all housed under one roof and made available to faculty, students, and the public. When first accredited in 1990, the Hood was already described by the American Association of Museums (now the American Alliance of Museums) as a “national model” for college and university museums. The museum has been consistently accredited since then and subsequently labeled “as fine a museum as one can find in this country.”
The Hood’s collections are drawn from a broad range of cultures and historical periods and represent a remarkable educational asset for both Dartmouth and the communities of the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont. Among the museum’s most important holdings are six Assyrian stone reliefs from the palace of Ashurnasirpal II (about 900 BCE) and the remarkable fresco by José Clemente Orozco titled The Epic of American Civilization (1932–34), which is now a National Historic Landmark. The 65,000 objects in the museum’s care represent the diverse artistic traditions of six continents, including, broadly, Native American, European and American, Asian, Aboriginal Australian, African, and Melanesian art. The museum collects, preserves, and makes available for interpretation these works in the public trust and for the benefit of all.
Read more from The Hood Museum of Art
''It's my strong belief that buildings these days should fit into where they are...I think that after a half century of making macho constructions that show off their own muscles, the world is ripe for buildings that slide in between and make things nicer for themselves and everyone else.''
— Charles Moore, The New York Times, 09/28/1985