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The Dartmouth
February 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

After Wenda Gu, Hood looks forward

Public reaction to Wenda Gu's installation at Baker-Berry has not affected choices for future exhibitions, Hood Museum of Art director Brian Kennedy said.
Public reaction to Wenda Gu's installation at Baker-Berry has not affected choices for future exhibitions, Hood Museum of Art director Brian Kennedy said.

"We fully intend to continue with the strategy we have adopted for the future of the museum," said Kennedy, who refrained from disclosing what this strategy entails. "We are not currently in a position to speak about further large-scale installations on the level of Wenda Gu."

Kennedy did discuss smaller exhibitions that the museum is planning, such as a showcase of post-1970 paintings by famed abstract artist Sean Scully. The exhibit, which will be showing at the Hood Museum from January to March of 2008, is titled "Sean Scully: The Art of the Stripe."

"We want to explore the language of abstraction through one of the world's greatest contemporary artists."

Another addition will include a collection of over 100 sculptures, paintings, photographs, video installations and other media called "Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body." The exhibit, which will run March through August 2008, will examine how the image of the black female body has been used to portray ideas of beauty and woman's societal role from the 19th century to the present, according to the museum's websit.

Other series planned for next year include exhibitions of ancient Southeast Asian art from countries such as Thailand and Burma, 1960s pop art by Warhol, Lichtenstein and Ruscha, and a series of California watercolors from the early 20th century.

Kennedy, however, expressed some concern about possible harm to art installations on campus grounds, implicitly referencing student interference with Gu's hair art in the library and the traditional Inuit inuksuk in front of McNutt Hall.

"It makes us wonder whether we can still put new art on campus," Kennedy said.

Students should debate about the public exhibitions on campus rather than damage them, Kennedy said, adding that he hopes that the art chosen by the Hood promotes discussion amongst the student body, even if people who visit the exhibits disagree about their value.

"There has obviously been some negative discussion about Wenda Gu, but we hope that students engage in a constructive dialogue about the nature of contemporary art," he said.

Kennedy said he also wants Dartmouth students to learn from exhibits on campus directly and expressed a desire for them to use exhibits at the College to their advantage in their studies, thereby improving their visual literacy.