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An installation of postwar collection highlights in the Hood’s new Northeast Gallery. Photo: Michael Moran.
An installation of postwar collection highlights in the Hood’s new Northeast Gallery. Photo: Michael Moran.

Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art Reopens Following Expansion

The Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College opened the doors to its newly renovated facility on Saturday, January 26. Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the $50 million expansion doubles the museum’s overall square footage, increases its exhibition space by 42 percent, and adds three state-of-the-art classrooms as well as six new galleries.

“The new Hood is a place for active engagement,” director John Stomberg said. “The art installations and programs are deeply connected to our ever-changing societies and cultures. The Hood will continue preserving the past and embracing the present but will aspire also to shape the future by choreographing vital encounters with important works of art. In short, the new Hood is a responsive museum, committed to the exchange of beliefs and ideas that characterize life today.”

The institution is living up to this legacy with one of its inaugural exhibitions, “Consent: Complicating Agency in Photography.” The student-run show, which features work from the museum’s 65,000-work collection, was organized after seven women sued the school for $70 million in November 2018, claiming it did nothing after they came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against three professors. The show, which addresses a range of issues, including the artist-model relationship, features works by Nikki S. Lee, Vivian Maier, and Tim Hetherington, among others.

The new Hood Museum of Art comprises two floors of public exhibition spaces and study galleries, a third floor for administrative offices, and a lower level for object storage and exhibition preparation. The building—a hybrid of newly constructed facilities and restored and updated spaces from the original 1985 Charles Moore structure—redirects traffic with its new entrance on the Dartmouth Green, which provides a walkway through the museum to the campus arts district.

Commenting on the design, Tod Williams said: “We have worked closely with the team at the Hood Museum and Dartmouth College to design a progressive teaching museum while preserving many of the distinctive features of the Charles Moore building. The conversation throughout has been both pedagogical and architectural. The renovation of and addition to the existing Hood creates a complementary dialogue between old and new, extending the identity and functions of the institution well into the future.”

The Hood closed for the expansion project in March 2016, and the ground breaking took place in July 2017. Throughout the construction process, the museum ran programming out of a temporary exhibition space on Hanover’s Main Street, where it hosted exhibitions of work by Kader Attia, Julie Blackmon, and Toyin Ojih Odutola.