Shortly after the college's founding in 1769, Dartmouth began to acquire artifacts of artistic or historical interest. Since then the collection has expanded to include nearly 70,000 items, which are housed at the Hood Museum of Art. The collection is particularly strong in American pieces, including Native American art. One of the highlights is a set of Assyrian reliefs from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal that dates to the 9th century BC. Special exhibitions often feature contemporary artists.
A $50-million renovation and expansion project was completed in February 2019.