Snite Museum of Art

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Snite Museum of Art
LocationUniversity of Notre Dame
100 Moose Krause Circle
Notre Dame, Indiana
Coordinates41°41′58″N 86°14′06″W / 41.699490°N 86.235008°W / 41.699490; -86.235008

The Snite Museum of Art is the fine art museum on the University of Notre Dame campus, near South Bend, Indiana. With over 29,000 works of art that span cultures, eras, and media, the Snite Museum's permanent collection serves as a rich resource for audiences on campus and beyond. Through programs, lectures, workshops, and exhibitions, the museum supports faculty teaching and research and provides valuable cultural opportunities for students and visitors. Students play an active role in programming in their capacities as gallery guides and as student advisory members.

Museum Building and Future Expansion[edit]

Portrait of Beatrice II d'Esteby Bartolomeo Veneto, part of the Renaissance collection

The museum opened in the fall of 1980, consolidating the adjacent O'Shaughnessy Hall Galleries and the studio of sculptor Ivan Meštrović with the new structure. The 70,000 square-foot building, designed by Ambrose Richardson, A.I.A., was a gift of the Snite Family in memory of Frederick Jr. '33. With the donation in 2018 of funds from lead benefactors Ernestine Raclin and her daughter and son-in-law Carment and Chris Murphy, plans are underway for construction of a 132,000 square foot complex to be built in two phases on the south edge of campus. The first phase of the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art is anticipated to be approximately 70,000 square feet and will house the museum galleries and other functions. In 2019, the University hired the leading classical design firm Robert A. M. Stern Architects (RAMSA), as the architects of the new museum. As a prominent element of a growing arts district, the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art will be situated in a location easily accessible for both on- and off-campus patrons. Construction is scheduled to commence in June 2020 with completion anticipated in 2022.

Collection and Strengths[edit]

This Olmec baby-face figurine is part of the Museum's large collection of Olmec artifacts.

The Snite's holdings are particularly strong in prints, photography, French 18th- and 19th painting, Baroque period paintings, decorative arts, African art, Olmec and Mesoamerican art, Native American art, and 20th-century art. The museum has been the fortunate recipient of exceptional holdings from donors, gifts responsible for many of the museum's strongest collections. These collections include the Jack and Alfrieda Feddersen Collection of Rembrandt Etchings; the Noah L. and Muriel S. Butkin Collection of 19th-Century French Art; the John D. Reilly Collection of Old Master and 19th-Century Drawings, the Janos Scholz Collection of 19th-Century European Photographs; the Mr. and Mrs. Russell G. Ashbaugh Jr. Collection of Meštrović Sculpture and Drawings; the George Rickey Sculpture Archive; and the Virginia A. Martin Collection of 18th-Century Decorative Arts.

A generous gift by Charles S. Hayes made possible the creation of a unique public space for reflection, contemplation, and enjoyment of nature and art. Reopened in 2017, the Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park was designed by noted American landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh on an eight-acre site at the south edge of the Notre Dame campus. A part of the Snite's permanent collection, the twelve sculptures in the park are by important national and international artists.

Outreach programs[edit]

Throughout the year, the Museum provides curriculum-related tours for 7,000 area-school children; after-school and summer programs at the Robinson Community Learning Center; summer art camps for at-risk children; art instruction for student teachers; and workshops for local K-12 instructors.


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