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When was the Hood Museum of Art founded, and why?

Last udpated 11/04/07

The building that currently houses Dartmouth's Hood Museum of Art was built in 1985, but the College's collection of art dates back to 1772 making it one of the nation's oldest and largest college museums. The study of art has long been an integral component of the curriculum at Dartmouth. Over the years the College received a variety of objects as gifts from its alumni. Paintings, works on paper, and antiquities were stored and displayed in various buildings located throughout the campus, including Carpenter Hall (site of the Sherman Art Library, and part of the Baker-Berry Library complex) and the Jaffe-Friede Gallery in the Hopkins Center for the Arts. By 1976, Peter Smith, then director of the Hopkins Center, outlined the need for a new facility "devoted to the exhibition and contemplation of works of art . . . to teach students the kind of connoisseurship and visual discrimination which can make the crucial difference for artist and art historian alike, as well as for the future patron, collector, critic, trustee or curator." In 1978 Dartmouth alumnus and long-time trustee Harvey P. Hood, Class of 1918, donated funds for the museum that would bear his name. The donation was supplemented by additional gifts from members of the Hood family and other generous benefactors. On September 28, 1985, the Hood Museum of Art opened its doors to the public. For the first time, students, faculty, and other visitors could view objects from the college's permanent collection and temporary loan exhibitions in a single, state-of-the-art structure. Today, more than 40,000 people visit the Hood each year.

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Last updated: 11/04/07