Hood Exhibition Inspires Fresh Insights and Highlights Teaching


The Hood Museum of Art will present the first major exhibition featuring the collection of Trevor Fairbrother, an independent curator, and John T. Kirk, a scholar of early American decorative arts, who have donated important works in their collection to the museum.

Organized under seven themes—histories, wonders, goods, marks, males, geometries, and surfaces—the exhibition, open now through Dec. 6, showcases close to 140 paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures as well as early American furniture from the Fairbrother-Kirk collection alongside examples from the museum’s holdings.

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McDermott & McGough, “Keyhole,” 1988, oil on linen. (Lent by Trevor Fairbrother and John T. Kirk)

“Collecting and Sharing” features works by Andy Warhol, Marsden Hartley, Glenn Ligon, Carl Andre, Mike Kelley, Robert Wilson, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Richard Artschwager, Tom Wesselmann, Joseph Beuys, Catherine Opie, Elizabeth Peyton, Sol LeWitt, John O’Reilly, John Singer Sargent, and many others.

During their professional careers, Fairbrother and Kirk have been curators, scholars, and writers on art: Fairbrother on 19th- and 20th-century American and contemporary art, and Kirk on American decorative arts and furniture.

Describing, analyzing, and interpreting objects have been central to not only what they do but also to who they are. Since the mid-1970s, Fairbrother and Kirk have combined their collecting practice, selecting works based on mutual interest and a commitment to the work of contemporary artists.

Over the past 30 years, the Hood has provided audiences, and particularly Dartmouth students, with the opportunity to examine closely and interpret works of art and material culture—pulling thousands of objects each year from storage for classes to work with in the museum’s behind-the-scenes Bernstein Study-Storage Center. It is, in part, the Hood’s commitment to teaching with objects that inspired Fairbrother and Kirk to give and lend works from their collection to the museum.

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Andy Warhol, “Jacqueline Kennedy II,” 1966, silkscreen on mauve paper, signed, edition 63/200. (Lent by Trevor Fairbrother and John T. Kirk. © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

After collaborating with the Hood on a number of projects beginning in the 1980s, Fairbrother and Kirk began giving and lending art to the museum in 2010, and this 2015 exhibition features 52 of these gifts and another 88 works they have lent.

To celebrate the exhibition, Kirk will join with a former student, Karen Keane, chief executive officer at Skinner, Inc., Boston and a frequent specialist on Antiques Roadshow, to present “Early American Furniture: Understanding Designs and Appreciating Surfaces,” a conversation about American furniture and decorative arts, at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, in the Hood auditorium. A reception will follow in the Kim Gallery.

Katherine Hart, Hood Senior Curator of Collections and Barbara C. and Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming, will conduct a special tour of the exhibition at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Fairbrother will present a lecture titled “Andy Warhol = Nobody’s Fool,” on Warhol and his legacy, at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28. In addition, Robert Gober, one of the most inventive and acclaimed sculptors working today, will discuss his work and career in a conversation with Fairbrother at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov.10, in the auditorium. Finally, the collectors will offer some thoughts on the installation and themes of the exhibition in a lunchtime gallery talk at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

The exhibition was organized by the Hood and generously supported by the Hansen Family Fund and the Bernard R. Siskind Fund.

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