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Anniversary Party at the Hood Museum of Art

HANOVER, NH.-The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, has been celebrating its twentieth anniversary throught 2005 with a focus on its richly diverse permanent collections and a number of engaging public programs. On Sunday, September 25, the Hood invites the public to join in its biggest event of the year. From 12 noon to 5 P.M., museum staff members will host an array of free activities for all ages both inside and outside the building including art-making, portrait drawing, live music, gallery talks, and exhibitions of world-class art.

Hands-on art making-projects will provide an opportunity for both children and adults to bring out their creative sides. Visitors can also take home their own portrait drawn by one of several artists on hand at the event. Scavenger hunts will lead visitors through the galleries and provide opportunities to enter free raffles. Outside, Bedford Courtyard will hum with live music by the Upper Valley's SWING MACHINE with David Westphalen, while the galleries will be filled with music by students and graduates of the Upper Valley Music Center's Strings Program.

For those wishing to learn about some of the highlights in the ancient, European, American, and contemporary collections, there will ten-minute gallery talks throughout the day. In addition, special exhibitions paying homage to the museum's anniversary will be on display, including Archive Fever: A Digital Wonder Room by MANUAL (through October 23), Collectanea: The Museum as Hunter and Gatherer (through February 11, 2006); and Celebrating Twenty Years: Gifts in Honor of the Hood Museum of Art (through December 11).

At 1 P.M. in Bedford Courtyard, Dartmouth College Provost Barry Scherr and Hood Director Brian Kennedy will present welcoming remarks, followed by a cake-cutting ceremony. Birthday cake and refreshments will then be served.

Since the official opening of its award-winning building in 1985, the Hood has been honored to serve as one of the region's premier cultural and educational resources. Recognized by the American Association of Museums as "a national model," the Hood is one of the oldest and largest college or university art museums in the United States, having drawn nearly 900,000 visitors from around the world in the past twenty years.

Dartmouth's permanent collection began in 1772, just three years after Dartmouth College was founded, when a few natural science specimens were gifted to the fledgling institution. The completion of the Hood Museum of Art in 1985 allowed for the consolidation of the college's extensive fine art collections, which had grown substantially during the twentieth century, and for greater accessibility for students, faculty, scholars, and the public. Its postmodern building, designed by Charles Moore and Chad Floyd of Centerbrook Architects, was made possible by a major gift from Harvey P. Hood, Class of 1918, and his family, for whom the museum is named.
Today, the Hood preserves approximately 65,000 works of art representing a broad range of cultural areas and historical periods. The breadth of the collection supports the college's teaching mission and encompasses a wide variety of specific art objects, including Native American, Oceanic, and African collections, old master prints, American colonial silver, portraits, paintings of the White Mountains region of New England, and major works of modern and
contemporary art.

Central to the work of the museum is the development of a rich and varied exhibitions program that includes the implementation of shows inspired by the museum's own collections. This dynamic program has resulted in several significant traveling exhibitions that have defined the Hood as a serious and well-respected arts resource on both the national and the international levels. Since its opening, the Hood has mounted almost four hundred exhibitions, including Here and Hereafter: Images of Paradise in Islamic Art (1991), The Age of the Marvelous (1992), Intimate Encounters: Love and Domesticity in Eighteenth-Century France (1998), José Clemente Orozco in the United States, 1927-1932 (2002), and Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past (2003). All of these exhibitions were accompanied by highly regarded scholarly catalogues. The shows traveled to institutions such as the High Museum of Art; the Virginia Museum of Fine Art; the Asia Society; the North Carolina Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; the San Diego Museum of Art; the Cincinnati Museum of Art; and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

The Hood's extensive outreach program engages approximately ten thousand area elementary and high school students and teachers annually through multivisit programs, teen workshops, and teacher institutes. Frequent scholarly lectures and symposia, gallery talks by Hood curators and Dartmouth faculty, public tours, family-oriented programs, and free family guides provide accessible enrichment opportunities to campus and local community members. In this way, the Hood Museum of Art continues to build upon the vision of Dartmouth's administration, its many supporters, especially The Hood family, and Charles W. Moore, the building's architect, who from the beginning imagined the institution playing dual roles as an academic research center and a good neighbor to its regional audience.

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