I recently was let in for a sneak peek at the newly renovated and rebuilt Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Joining me on the guided tour of the 62,000 square-foot building was a bunch of big-dawg types from places like The Guggenheim, Architectural Digest, The Boston Globe, and others, all eager to see the three-story building designed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. Working within a tight footprint, the husband-and-wife team nearly doubled the exhibition spaces and greatly expanded the teaching areas. They did it partly by playing a giant game of Tetris, moving some walls walls and reconfiguring galleries, and partly by snitching space from an interior courtyard.
I hadn’t been into The Hood since just before it closed almost three years ago for for the $50 million expansion and renovation project. Back then visitors slipped in through a tucked-away entrance, and toured galleries that cried out for natural light. Now visitors boldly walk through an entrance that opens up onto the Dartmouth Green. Natural light pours into galleries in which the art benefits from brightness, but many galleries remain windowless to protect sensitive works.
Join me on my tour of Dartmouth’s newest building: