The official opening is scheduled for January 26, 2019. The building, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA), is a hybrid of newly constructed facilities and restored and updated spaces from the original 1985 Charles Moore building. Spaces are available for teaching, exhibition, exploration, and dialogue. It also redirects traffic on campus, creating a central artery facing the Dartmouth Green with a walkway through the museum to the campus arts district.
“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,” says Tod Williams from TWBTA. “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 sits on the historic Green at Dartmouth’s campus. Its art collection is one of the largest of its kind in the United States, comprising more than 65,000 works spanning a variety of media and historical periods. The renovation and expansion of the museum ensures that these works of art will be preserved, seen, and utilized by students, faculty, and visitors from around the globe. The redesigned and expanded museum demonstrates the College’s full embrace of its liberal arts tradition and its commitment to the arts.
Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon says, “The renovated Hood is an inviting front door for the arts at Dartmouth that puts our educational mission front and center. Fresh, state-of-the-art spaces will enable our students and faculty to engage directly with the 65,000 objects in the Hood’s collection, presenting an ideal environment for experiential learning and one that makes the Hood a national model teaching museum for the 21st century.”
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 off-white brick façade of the new building was carefully selected by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien to be in complementary conversation with the existing structures along the Green and with the adjacent buildings on either side of the Hood: the traditional red-brick Wilson Hall and the modernist Hopkins Center.
The motivation for the expansion was an increased demand from students and faculty to gain more access to the Hood’s collections through added and improved galleries and classrooms. The expansion increases the Hood’s exhibition space by 42 percent, to 16,350 square feet, adds three classrooms with the latest object-study technology, and increases the total number of galleries from 10 to 16. The expansion also increases the Hood’s overall square footage by more than 50 percent, to 62,400 square feet. The project budget for the renovation and expansion is $50 million, 95 percent of which has been raised to date through private donations.
The new Hood features a prominent entrance that opens directly onto the Dartmouth Green. Visitors will cross the Hood Plaza and enter the sweeping museum atrium, which serves as a crossroads where students, faculty, and campus visitors can congregate. It will be a flexible venue for events such as student meetings, dinners, and performances, and will feature commissioned works of contemporary art. The atrium will provide a new public concourse from the center of campus to Dartmouth’s arts district, which includes the Hood, the Hopkins Center for the Arts, and the Black Family Visual Arts Center.
John Stromberg, director of the Hood, says, “The new Hood will be a place for active engagement. The art installations and programs will be 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 will be a responsive museum, committed to the exchange of beliefs and ideas that characterize life today.”