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The planned Museum Learning Center would be the centerpiece of a major expansion and renovation of the Hood Museum of Art. (COURTESY)

Dartmouth's Hood Museum gets $10m expansion gift


HANOVER — The Hood Museum of Art has received a $10 million gift to expand the museum to include a Museum Learning Center.

The project would radically increase the museum’s gallery and teaching spaces and create a prominent new entrance on Wheelock Street.

“This gift gets to the heart of what Dartmouth does best: provide undergraduates with unparalleled opportunities for authentic, challenging, active learning experiences,” Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon said in the announcement last week. “The Hood Museum of Art is a model teaching museum, and the Museum Learning Center will expand its capacity to transform student lives. We’re deeply grateful for this donor’s inspired commitment to Dartmouth students and the arts.”The gift pushes the donations from the Hood’s Board of Overseers and other museum patrons for the project up to the $28 million dollar mark toward the $50 million goal to complete the renovation.

If funding is fully secured, plans include increasing the existing 39,000-square-foot building by 15,000 square feet.

The expansion would significantly enlarge and update the museum so that the Hood could display more of its collection, provide a better visitor experience and meet the increasing demand for teaching with original works of art.

Dating back to 1772, Dartmouth’s museum collection is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the United States.Construction of the center is set to start the spring of 2016 with plans for the expanded museum to open to the public in the fall of 2018.

mpierce@newstote.com

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