HANOVER, N.H.– Brian P. Kennedy, formerly the Director of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, has been named the Director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth. Kennedy will succeed Derrick Cartwright, who served as director from 2001 until 2004. Kennedy will begin on July 1.
Kennedy will come to Dartmouth with extensive international experience in the museum world, having spent eight years as the Assistant Director at the National Gallery of Ireland in his native Dublin before moving to Canberra in 1997, where he served until recently as Director of the National Gallery of Australia. The NGA’s collection of more than 110,000 works includes holdings in Western art and significant collections of both art of the Asian region and Australian indigenous art.
“Brian Kennedy impressed all those he met at Dartmouth with his intellectual vigor, the depth and breadth of his knowledge, and his enormous enthusiasm and energy,” said Barry Scherr, the Mandel Family Professor of Russian and Provost of the College. “He will bring both solid experience and outstanding imagination to the Hood. We are all looking forward to seeing the museum flourish under his leadership.”
Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, houses one of the oldest and largest college collections in the country, exhibiting an outstanding range of works of art and artifacts and presenting a lively and diverse schedule of educational programs. As the only institution of its kind in the region, the Hood serves as a vital cultural resource for the students, faculty and staff of Dartmouth as well as the many communities of the Upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont.
Kennedy said, “I am honored and delighted to have been invited to lead the Hood Museum into its third decade. It is a remarkable institution which has had an outstanding record of ambitious efforts to realize its mandate as a great teaching museum. I have been most impressed by the professionalism of the Hood staff, the breadth and quality of its collections, the elegance of its building, and the support that the museum receives from Dartmouth students, faculty, staff and alumni. I look forward to helping to build on past achievements and to promoting the importance of the visual arts in the daily lives of everyone on the Dartmouth campus and throughout the surrounding region.”
At the NGA, Kennedy expanded the traveling exhibitions and loans program throughout Australia, arranged for several major shows of Australian art abroad, oversaw the acquisition of many major new works, and broadened the exhibition program at the museum itself. In recent years the museum has attracted several hundred thousand visitors to its home gallery, while well over a million people annually have viewed the museum’s traveling exhibitions.
Kennedy received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from University College, Dublin, where he studied both art history and history. In addition to his wide experience as a lecturer and public speaker at conferences and seminars, he has an extensive list of publications. He has written several books and edited a number of others, has authored or co-authored a half-dozen exhibition catalogues, and has contributed some three dozen articles to various books and journals.