Press Room

If you would like press-related high-resolution images or in-depth information, please contact Gina Costa.

Snite Museum Director publishes Book on Sculptures of Jesus Christ

Author: Gina Costa


November 1, 2022

Notre Dame Museum Director publishes Book on Sculptures of Jesus Christ


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Notre Dame, IN: The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame is pleased to announce the publication of Christ among Us: Sculptures of Jesus across the History of Art by Director and Curator of Sculpture Joseph Antenucci Becherer, PhD. The book, coauthored with Henry Martin Luttikhuizen, PhD, Professor Emeritus at Calvin University, surveys sculptural representations of Jesus from the Early Christian period to the present day.


No figure has been featured more frequently in Western art than Jesus Christ. Sculptures, particularly—though they have received less notice than paintings—provide some of the most moving representations in their capacity to show Christ alongside us in three-dimensional space. This richly illustrated volume features an in-depth introduction to the topic followed by fifty-two individual essays on both iconic and surprising works from the third century to the twenty-first century. 


The coauthors—one from the Roman Catholic tradition and one from the Protestant tradition—have selected works by celebrated masters ranging from Donatello to Michelangelo to Canova, Henry Moore to Mark Wallinger to Jaume Plensa, as well as extraordinary works by numerous unrecorded masters. Sculptures from such leading institutions as the Vatican Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Louvre, are balanced with powerful images of sculptures that remain in situ or are held by smaller institutions across the United States and Europe.


“Joseph Becherer and Henry Luttikhuizen have assembled a brilliant selection of sculpted images of Jesus that will inform and enrich art lovers, students, travelers, and anyone interested in the life of Christ. Accompanied by sensitive readings of the sculptures they have chosen, the selections span eleven countries and encompass nineteen different materials,” writes renowned art historian Judith W. Mann of the Saint Louis Art Museum. “There are many icons of the history of art, along with surprising and eye-opening examples that offer rich understandings of both the sculptor’s accomplishment and meaning of the subject . . .”.


Christ among Us: Sculptures of Jesus across the History of Art is published by Wm. B. Eerdmans. Becherer most recently completed Gravitas: Skulpturen in St. Gereon und der Minoritenkirche St. Mariae Empfängnis zu Köln (Katholischen Pfarrgemeinden, und Galerie Boisseree, Köln 2021), and Luttikhuizen contributed numerous chapters in The History of Art: A Global View (Thames & Hudson, 2021).

MEDIA CONTACT: If you would like high-resolution images or in-depth information, please contact Gina Costa, Communications Program Director at (574) 631-4720 or


About The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame

Considered one of the leading university art museums in America, the Snite Museum's permanent collection contains 30,000 works that represent many cultures and periods of world art history. Exceptional holdings 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. Marten Collection of 18th-Century Decorative Arts. Other collection strengths include Olmec and Mesoamerican art, 20th-century art, and Native American art.


Sculpture is displayed in the Mary Loretto and Terrence J. Dillon Courtyard and in The Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park.



Snite Museum of Art                         

The University of Notre Dame

100 Moose Krause Circle

Notre Dame, IN 46556

Phone: (574) 631-5466

Fax: (574) 631-8501





Tuesday-Friday 10-5,

Thursdays-open until 7:30

Saturdays- Noon-5

Admission is free




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Who Do We Say We Are? Irish Art 1922 | 2022

Author: Gina Costa



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The collaboration is part of a multi-faceted, international effort to commemorate the historic events of 1922 and examine their legacy on contemporary Ireland. In spearheading these centenary events, the Irish government’s Department of Foreign Affairs brought its Midwest partners together with their peers from Trinity College Dublin, the Centre Culturel Irlandais and the University of Paris-Sorbonne to offer an unparalleled menu of music, literature, theatrical performances and visual arts.The Snite Museum of Art renews its partnership with the University of Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the O’Brien Collection in Chicago to present Who Do We Say We Are? Irish Art 1922 | 2022. The exhibition exploring Irish national identity will be on display February 5 through May 15, 2022.

The year 1922 marked a turning point for Ireland: the modern Irish state was essentially founded with the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty; James Joyce’s novel Ulysses was published; and the Irish Race Congress, a conference with an accompanying art exhibition that aimed to redefine Irish identity for an international audience, took place in Paris.

One hundred years later, Who Do We Say We Are? Irish Art 1922 | 2022 explores the connection between some Irish artists working today and their counterparts presented in the Exposition d’Art Irlandais, the exhibition of Irish art held in Paris in 1922.

“A focus of the exhibition is to investigate how artists, then and now, pictured Ireland’s history and geography, how their work informs our understanding of Ireland and its people, and what questions their work raises about the use of art as a tool of nation-building,” said Curator Cheryl Snay.

Paintings from the O’Brien Collection by Seán Keating, Jack B. Yeats, and Paul Henry—artists who participated in the 1922 exhibition—are juxtaposed with works by contemporary artists Patrick Graham, Hughie O’Donoghue, and Diana Copperwhite, among others, to explore issues of national identity rooted in the diaspora and landscape. An “In Dialogue” presentation of the Snite Museum’s recent acquisition of Walter Osborne’s painting At the Breakfast Table (1894) rounds out the discussion of home and homecoming. And, expanding into the realm of photography, a selection of Ireland’s rural landscapes by Amelia Stein, RHA, engages epic legends and folkloric memories to reveal history and an evolving culture.

 “On behalf of the entire Museum, we are deeply honored to be working in friendship and partnership with the O’Brien Collection, the Consulate General of Ireland, and the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame,” said Joseph Antenucci Becherer, director of the Snite Museum. “These collaborations bring to life the rich and complex nature of culture in all its variety for our audiences,” he continued.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the O’Brien Collection with contributions by Billy Shorthall of Trinity College Dublin, Roísín Kennedy of University College Dublin, Aileen Dillane of the University of Limerick, and David Acton of the Snite Museum. New recordings of Irish music inspired by the art complement the exhibition. The virtual recreation of the 1922 Exposition d’Art Irlandais that will be available online through Trinity College Dublin is a notable contribution to Irish studies and a welcome resource for scholars and enthusiasts alike.

 This exhibition is made possible through the support of the Kathleen and Richard Champlin Endowment for  Exhibitions, the Milly and Fritz Kaeser Endowment for Photography, and the Irish Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Decade of Centenaries programme. Special gratitude is extended to The O'Brien Collection, lenders to the Exhibition and The Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish studies, Exhibition and Programming Partners.

               Image.Hughie O’Donoghue (British b. 1953), Revolution Cottage, 2014, Oil on canvas. On loan from The O’Brien Collection

For further information on the exhibition and related programming, see:

Irish Art Exhibition 2022




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The Snite Museum of Art Receives Long-Term Loans of Spanish Colonial Art from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation

Author: Gina Costa

The Snite Museum of Art Receives Long-Term Loans of Spanish Colonial Art from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation


Notre Dame, IN: The Snite Museum of Art installed recent loans from the internationally renowned Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation. Three paintings dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, drawn from the Foundation’s extraordinary holdings, complement the Museum’s existing collection of Spanish Colonial works to expand our understanding of the period.


This new loan follows an earlier one from the Thoma Foundation of thirteen works that were shown in the 2020 exhibition Divine Illusions: Statue Paintings from Spanish Colonial Peru, organized by Professor Michael Schreffler of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History & Design. In 2023 When the new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art debuts in 2023, the University will receive five different works from the Foundation to replace the three currently exhibited. Those loans are slated to extend through 2026.


“The Thoma family have become very good, trusted friends of the Museum. It is an honor to host masterpieces from their extensive collection that can be appreciated, studied, and nourish us all,” said Joseph Antenucci Becherer, director of the Snite Museum of Art.


"The paintings on loan from the Thoma Art Foundation are windows into a fascinating world of social interaction and Christian devotion in Spanish Colonial South America. Our students and all visitors to the Snite will benefit from the unique opportunity to study and reflect on these visually compelling works of religious art" notes Michael Schreffler, Professor of Art History at the University of Notre Dame.


Image 1) Gregorio Vásquez de Arce y Ceballos, Allegory of the Eucharist with the Virgin Mary and Saints, c. 1670s, Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation. (photo: Jamie Stukenberg) 

Most paintings from colonial South America are unsigned. However, a few artists did sign their works, enabling experts to attribute unsigned works to their hands. One such known artist is Gregorio Vásquez de Arce y Ceballos (1638–1711), whose oeuvre is considerable. His Allegory of the Eucharist, which was probably based on an engraving, portrays the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation in which the bread and wine of the Eucharist is transformed into the body and blood of Christ.


Image 2) Unidentified artist, Virgin of the Immaculate Conception with Saints, Angels and Indigenous Donor, 18th century, Oil and gold on canvas. Courtesy of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation. (photo: Jamie Stukenberg)

This painting of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception follows the traditional iconography of the central figure by showing the Virgin clothed in a white tunic covered by a blue mantle. Satan, as a serpent with a human face, lies vanquished on the ground. At the top of the canvas are the four Evangelists—Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—shown holding ribbons inscribed with four of the symbols of the Virgin’s immaculacy: the Tower of David, the Temple of Solomon, the City of God, and the Spotless Mirror. She is accompanied by a variety of saintsAt lower right is a portrait of the donor, an indigenous woman who must have been a member of an important clan.


Image 3) Cipriano de Toledo y Gutiérrez, Our Lady of Mercy with Saints, 1764, Oil and gold on canvas. Courtesy of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation. (photo: Jamie Stukenberg) 

In 1997, the Thoma Foundation acquired a version of this subject, Our Lady of Mercy with Saints, that was dated 1771, but bore no signature. More recently, another version of the subject was acquired by the Foundation. That painting, like yet another painting in a French private collection, is signed by Cipriano de Toledo y Gutiérrez. The existence of the three nearly identical paintings—with others possibly extant—tell us a great deal about the workshop practices of Cuzco painters. Although much has been written about works created for the art market, two of these three works were clearly commissioned by devotees of Our Lady of Mercy and the Mercedarian order. This multifigured composition may well have been based on an engraving.


Thoma Images


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Snite Museum of Art welcomes Dr. Jared Katz, new Associate Curator of the Americas and Africa

Author: Gina Costa

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Notre Dame, IN: The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Jared Katz to the position of Associate Curator of the Americas and Africa. Dr. Katz comes to the Snite Museum from the Denver Art Museum, where he served as Consulting Curator for the Art of the Ancient Americas. Additionally, he taught at the University of Denver. Katz has a doctorate in Anthropology from the University of California, Riverside.


At the Museum, Katz will initially focus on the reinstallation of the Mesoamerican and Native American galleries. After the new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art opens, he will work on a myriad of exhibitions on the Ancient Americas, and continue research on the Museum’s renowned collections.


“The Museum is honored to welcome Dr. Katz to the staff. His enthusiasm, innovative spirit, and scholarship are deeply appreciated. This is a dynamic moment of growth  for the Museum as we work towards the transformation of the Snite to the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art. We know Dr. Katz is destined to contribute greatly to that dynamism.” Joseph Antenucci Becherer, director of the Snite Museum.


Dr. Katz shares: “I am delighted to be joining the staff at the Snite Museum of Art. As a specialist in ancient Mesoamerican cultures, I am particularly excited to be working with the robust and high-caliber collection of Formative period artworks at the Museum. As a curator, I am committed to designing galleries and exhibitions that help Museum guests to relate and empathize with people from the past and present. I rely on an inclusive approach that elevates a diversity of voices and perspectives in order to make museums more  accessible and engaging. To accomplish these goals, I look forward to having meaningful collaborations with my colleagues in the Museum, throughout the University of Notre Dame, and more broadly throughout the regional and national communities.”Jared Katz

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Yinka Shonibare and the Notre Dame Forum 2021

Author: Gina Costa

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Yinka Shonibare and the Notre Dame Forum 2021

Through December 11, 2021

 Timed to coincide with the University of Notre Dame Forum 2021–22, “Care for Our Common Home: Just Transition to a Sustainable Future,” the Museum is honored to announce the acquisition and premier presentation of Earth Kid, 2020, a major sculpture by Yinka Shonibare. There is little doubt that the Nigerian-British Shonibare CBE is among the most compelling international figures in Contemporary art. His work is exhibited and eagerly collected around; in his artistic practice, Shonibare engages a myriad of timely issues ranging from cultural identity, colonialism and post-colonial cultures, race, and disabilities. 


In Earth Kid, the artist explores the themes of climate change, fragile global environments, and the role of youth in attempting to save the planet. Shonibare’s repertoire, especially recent examples, is in great sympathy with the 2021 Notre Dame Forum and Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’. In the encyclical, the Holy Father states, “We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.”  


Since the early 2000s, Shonibare has developed an iconic body of work that addresses compelling social and political issues. In all his work, the use of the brightly pattern Dutch batik cloth, known as Ankara fabric, signals the complex relationships of Europe and Nigeria (and Africa at large), colonialism, and post-colonial culture. As a sculptor, most of Shonibare’s figures remain headless in order to emphasize the universal over the individual. In Earth Kid he has chosen to use a globe, manipulated to underscore the international dimensions of global culture. In the work, the Earth is singed to symbolize the crisis of global drought.


Although Shonibare has addressed the pressing theme of climate change and the fragilities of the environment in the past, Earth Kid is a youthful figure rather than an adult. In doing so, the artist emphasizes the role of youth across the world to combat global excess, geographic and cultural inequalities, and climate change. The significance of the focus on youth in a university setting cannot be understated as their work, present and future, is inextricably linked to the health of our planet.

Through Forum 2021–22, the University of Notre Dame seeks to highlight a transition to a cleaner future where the burdens of change are equitably borne and not simply sloughed off to the poor and powerless. “The question is not whether to transition to a cleaner, more sustainable future, but how and how quickly,” Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of Notre Dame, has said. “As a university community whose work is the education of the next generation who will inherit these challenges, and as one with a Catholic mission calling us to seek justice and serve the common good around the globe, we turn to these urgent and complex questions.”  In the context of a Museum display, masters like Shonibare visually distill such questions for visitors of every age and experience to consider.

Image caption:

Yinka Shonibare, CBE, RA (British-Nigerian, b. 1962)

Earth Kid (Boy), 2020
Fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, globe, brass, steel baseplate, netted bag and found objects
Walter R. Beardsley Endowment for Contemporary Art

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Notre Dame launches platform for online access to Hesburgh Library, Snite Museum holdings

Author: Gina Costa

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The Hesburgh Libraries and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame have launched Marble (Museum, Archives, Rare Books and Libraries Exploration) — an online teaching and research platform designed to make distinctive cultural heritage collections from across the University accessible through a single portal.


The development of Marble was made possible, in part, by a three-and-one-half-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create an open-access, unified software solution that would enable universities to access museum and library holdings through a single online platform.


University libraries, archives and museums nationwide have been digitizing collections for well over a decade and have long sought collaborative solutions that would enable their respective holdings to be easily discovered online and used for teaching and research. However, there have been many obstacles preventing efficient and expansive research across collections, including disparate technical systems, discipline-specific practices and descriptive metadata norms.


A cross-disciplinary team developed Marble to address this universal challenge and to help transform teaching and research at Notre Dame and other institutions facing similar needs.


“Thanks to the hard work of so many in the Hesburgh Libraries and Snite Museum of Art and the generosity of the Mellon Foundation, Notre Dame is transforming the way scholars on campus and around the world further knowledge and advance research,” said Marie Lynn Miranda, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost. “Its a wonderful privilege for Notre Dame to play a role in preserving these important cultural heritage collections and in making those collections easier to access, explore, and investigate.”


The Snite Museum of Art, Rare Books & Special Collections and the University Archives have historically been independent gateways for faculty and students to engage with research collections, historical information and cultural objects. Users could access the physical collections at different locations and some item descriptions online, but few resources have been made available as digital surrogates, let alone through a single web platform.


In this unified discovery space, users now have open access to a selection of digitized cultural heritage collections that were once inaccessible. While these digitized materials are only a fraction of the University’s holdings, cross-institutional teams will collaborate to add new items regularly.


“The museum is grateful to be a part of this research partnership and the initial phase of the Marble project,” said Joseph Antenucci Becherer, director of the Snite Museum. “Offering the academy, and all users, access to our collections is deeply meaningful and useful in guiding the future of both research and teaching, not to mention pure enjoyment for even the more casual, curious user.” 


“Marble offers key features that fundamentally transform the way digital collections can be used for teaching and research,” said Diane Parr Walker, the Edward H. Arnold University Librarian. “The museum and library collaboration and the grant outcomes will have a transformational impact on pedagogical access, scholarly engagement and research outcomes at Notre Dame.”


Faculty, students and the general public can browse Marble and download select digitized materials from the Snite Museum of Art, Rare Books & Special Collections and the University Archives in a single platform — including books, manuscripts, sculptures, paintings, photographs, ephemera and more. Each item displays one or more images with descriptive information and linked metadata to view related or similar items.


At the heart of Marble is an open-source image sharing standard called IIIF, or the International Image Interoperability Framework. IIIF is a set of universal specifications that provides a standardized way of storing and displaying images. One of the benefits of using IIIF images is that they can be viewed alongside other IIIF-compliant images from institutions around the world. IIIF viewing features include zoom, rotation, color manipulation, comparable viewing and options for cross-institutional research.


The Portfolio tool turns members of the Notre Dame community into curators, allowing each person to create customized lists and collections of content. Users browse, search and easily save items of interest into portfolios for future viewing. Portfolios are versatile — they can be shared for teaching, used for course assignments or annotated for individual research. They can remain private for personal use or be shared with students, campus peers or the public.


“Marble’s features are designed to facilitate primary resource discovery and streamline the research process. This platform allows for deep integration of the University’s cultural heritage holdings — regardless of where they reside,” said Mikala Narlock, digital collections strategy librarian. “We hope Marble will become an essential and indispensable platform for teaching and learning with digital collections at Notre Dame.”


The University of Notre Dame shares the Mellon Foundation’s commitment to advancing museum-library collaborations through freely available, scalable solutions.


The Marble software has been developed in the cloud, making it more scalable and less costly than software deployed on a local network infrastructure. It uses a harvest model to draw descriptive information from key source systems and features a shared administrative back-end to augment harvested data. This solution is possible due to a shared understanding of different descriptive terms.


In addition to a technical solution, the grant team facilitated critical social infrastructure conversations to optimize collection management and metadata workflows. The development roadmap will enable new features and continue to improve collaboration between libraries and museums.


The code for the Marble project was developed and will be maintained by the Hesburgh Libraries development team. The platform code is openly licensed under an Apache 2.0 license and available on GitHub. Project documentation, technical diagrams, collaborative processes and best practices are published on the Open Science Framework.


Online access to these selections of distinctive cultural heritage materials at Notre Dame is free and open to the public. Visit often to see new materials and featured portfolios published throughout the year.


Consultations and demonstrations for using Marble in teaching, research or general study are available by appointment. Contact Mikala Narlock,, to arrange a time.


Contact: Gina Costa, Snite Museum of Art, 574-631-4720,; Tara O’Leary, Hesburgh Libraries, 574-631-1856,  Marble Release

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Jim Dine: American Icon opens August 21 at the Snite Museum of Art

Author: Gina Costa

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From an Extraordinary Gift comes an Exhibition: Jim Dine: American Icon opens August 21 at the Snite Museum of Art



Notre Dame, IN: The Snite Museum of Art and the University of Notre Dame are honored to announce the exhibition Jim Dine: American Icon. Made possible by the artist’s exceptional gift of a collection of two hundred and thirty-eight prints, covering nearly every aspect of Dine’s repertoire from 1969 to the present, the exhibition draws from the collection to highlight every significant facet of the artist’s renowned body of work.


Jim Dine: American Icon will be on view from August 21 through December 11, 2021, at the Museum.


Among the most distinguished figures in Contemporary art, Dine has been at the forefront of the American avant-garde since the Pop Art movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Born in Cincinnati, Dine attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati before transferring to Ohio University. Immediately following graduation, he moved to New York, fell in with Claes Oldenburg and Alan Kaprow, and participated in numerous Happenings in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His work was a vital presence in most of the Pop movement’s defining exhibitions. In contrast to the cool remove of Oldenburg’s and Andy Warhol’s work, and Roy Lichtenstein’s link to popular imagery, Dine focused on a series of icons that often held personal significance: images of tools, the heart, the “Venus de Milo,” and Pinocchio, among others, played a critical role in his iconography.


Best known for his paintings and sculpture, Dine is also among the most prodigious and prolific printmakers of his time, often combining techniques to a highly inventive end. The earliest works in the Museum’s gift are lithographs and etchings from the late 1960s and notable woodcuts from the 1980s.


Dating to 1875, the University of Notre Dame art collections are among the most acclaimed in the United States. Dine’s transformative gift is among the largest and most distinguished presented to the University by a single artist; it both increases the Museum’s holdings in Contemporary art and significantly contributes to its highly-regarded collection of works on paper.


You are invited to a public reception for the exhibition hosted by the Friends of the Snite Museum on Thursday, August 26, 5-7:00 p.m.  The reception is free and open to all.


image credit:

Jim Dine (American, born 1935)

Rancho Woodcut Heart, 1982

Woodcut, 47 3/4 x 40 1/2 inches

Gift of Jim Dine


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Kevin Beasley’s installation Chair of the Ministers of Defense welcomes the public back into the Snite Museum of Art June 1.

Author: Gina Costa

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Kevin Beasley’s installation Chair of the Ministers of Defense welcomes the public back into the Snite Museum of Art June 1.


Notre Dame, IN: The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame is thrilled to reopen to the public on June 1, with the special focus on the exhibition of Kevin Beasley’s Chair of the Ministers of Defense (2016) on loan from The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection and The Rennie Collection.


This immersive installation explores ideas of power and race in America through theatrics reminiscent of the Roman Baroque. Renowned conceptual artist Kevin Beasley calls into focus Black Liberation movements and ongoing imbalances of power experienced by Black Americans and marginalized men and women of color. The work maintains a formality often employed in religious imagery in artworks intended to convey the divine right of leaders.

IMAGE: Kevin Beasley, Chair of the Ministers of Defense (2016), as installed at the Hammer Museum, UCLA in 2017. Polyurethane resin, wood, acoustic foam, jeans, trousers, du-rags, altered t-shirts, altered hoodies, guinea fowl feathers, wrought iron window gate, vintage Beni Ourain Moroccan rug, kaftans, housedresses, Maasai war shields, Zulu war shields, and vintage peacock rattan chair. On loan from The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection and The Rennie Collection.


An empty, rattan “peacock” chair is at the center; above it hangs a house window clad in protective iron bars, evoking a stained-glass window. Flanking the chair are archetypical Maasai and Zulu warrior shields, icons of African might. Surrounding these objects are vaguely figurative, resin-infused sculptures made from t-shirts, housedresses, and du-rags—all items associated with contemporary urban culture. Bathed in the dramatic light of the theater, The Chair of the Ministers of Defense is an open stage in which to consider the circumstances and conventions used by those in control and those who challenge their authority.


Based in New York City, Kevin Beasley has emerged as among the most insightful and distinguished American artists of his generation. Through sculpture, installations, and performance art, he has captivated audiences by exploring challenging topics that address history, social injustice, power dynamics, and, ultimately, the dignity of Black men and women in America. Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1985, Beasley attended the College for Creative Studies in Detroit (BFA, 2007) and Yale University School of Art (MFA, 2012). He captured critical attention at the 2014 Whitney Biennial and presented a solo exhibition in 2018. He has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Studio Museum, Harlem, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Beasley’s work is included in many of the most important public and private collections across the United States and England, including The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection and The Rennie Collection.


This exhibition was made possible through the generosity of Pamela J. Joyner and Fred J. Giuffrida (ND ’73) and the Humana Foundation Endowment for American Art.

MEDIA CONTACT: If you would like high-resolution images or in-depth information, please contact Gina Costa, Marketing and Public Relations Program Manager, (574) 631-4720,


About The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame

Considered one of the leading university art museums in America, the Snite Museum's permanent collection contains nearly 30,000 works that represent many cultures and periods of world art history. Exceptional holdings 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. Marten Collection of 18th-Century Decorative Arts. Other collection strengths include Olmec and Mesoamerican art, 20th-century art, and Native American art. Sculpture is displayed in the Mary Loretto and Terrence J. Dillon Courtyard and in The Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park.


Snite Museum of Art                                

The University of Notre Dame

100 Moose Krause Circle

Notre Dame, IN 46556

Phone: (574) 631-5466

Fax: (574) 631-8501



Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Thursdays 10 a.m. -7:30 p.m.

Saturdays Noon-5:00 p.m.

Closed Sunday, Monday and major holidays.  Admission is free.

In compliance with University of Notre Dame regulations, all visitors must wear masks indoors and remain 6-feet from other visitors not in their group. Please check our website for the most current requirements for Covid-19 protocols when planning your visit.Pr Beasley Reopening 5 18


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Notre Dame breaks ground for New Raclin Murphy Museum of Art

Author: Gina Costa

Rmma Facade Image

Notre Dame, IN: The University of Notre Dame began construction last week on the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art, with a planned completion in fall 2023.


“Since its founding, Notre Dame has valued the vital role the visual arts play as an expression of human creativity, religious experience and insight into the human condition,” University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said. “By bringing the collections currently in the Snite Museum of Art to new life in the Raclin Murphy Museum, we will be able to share these treasures in all their richness with our University community, our neighbors in the region and the wider world.”


With a site in the northwest corner of the Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park on the south side of the campus, the Raclin Murphy Museum will be an outward-facing structure, serving both as a gateway to the University and as a welcoming community partner. Carefully situated to work in harmony with the landscape and the outdoor collections of the park, the new museum will be surrounded by green spaces that will allow for the growth of the outdoor sculpture collection. The location was selected to contribute to the University’s arts district, which now includes the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Walsh Family Hall of Architecture and O’Neill Hall of Music.


“This new museum building and its collection will bring together the healing power of the arts, of creativity and our strengthened humanity and solidarity — so needed as we move beyond the pandemic,” Marie Lynn Miranda, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost of the University, said. “The diversity and inclusion represented in all forms of visual arts are gifts we must share and experience with one another.”


Designed as a 132,000-square-foot complex to be constructed in two phases, the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art will greatly enhance exhibition and education spaces for the permanent collection. Phase one will encompass 70,000 square feet devoted to gallery and teaching spaces, a café and retail space. The scale of the project resulted from meticulously studying the Snite Museum’s collection and exhibition requirements to best showcase its holdings. The plans were also researched in comparison to museums at leading peer institutions in the U.S. and Europe.


“Speaking in chorus with the entire museum staff, we are honored to begin this journey toward the new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art,” Snite director Joseph Antenucci Becherer said. “In addition to creating majestic new galleries and creative learning spaces, we are committed to honoring the dedication to the arts and hospitality that is the very spirit of the Raclin and Murphy families and sharing that with the world.”


Thanks to the leading benefaction of Ernestine Raclin and her daughter and son-in-law, Carmi and Christopher Murphy, the new museum is intended as a national attraction owing to the quality of its collections, the exhibitions to be mounted and its increased accessibility.

“Notre Dame, as a Catholic university, has always been guided by a sacramental vision, one that finds in the arts an expression of the divine and of the human spirit,” Father Jenkins said. “We are blessed by this extraordinary gift from Ernie, Carmi and Chris, who have yet again made a pivotal contribution to our campus and region.”

Ernestine Raclin is a Trustee Emerita of Notre Dame, a community leader and a generous supporter of the University. The Carmichael Foundation and her family made a lead gift to Notre Dame in 2011 to fund the renovation of the Morris Inn, the full-service on-campus hotel initially constructed in 1952 with a gift from her parents, the late Ernest M. and Ella L. Morris. She also contributed to Raclin-Carmichael Hall, the home to Notre Dame’s W.M. Keck Center for Transgene Research and the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend.

Chris Murphy is chair, president and chief executive officer of 1st Source Corp. A 1968 Notre Dame graduate, he has served as CEO of 1st Source since 1977 and as a board member for 45 years. In addition to the Morris Inn, he and Carmi have supported Raclin-Carmichael Hall, the 1st Source Bank Commercialization Award and multiple other projects at Notre Dame. Chris Murphy serves on Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters Advisory Council, and he and Carmi are members of the President’s Circle and Gift Planning Advancement Committee. In addition to serving on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, he is chair of the Medical Education Foundation and the Indiana Academy Board of Regents and is a member of the Board of the Independent Colleges of Indiana.


Carmi Murphy has served on the Snite Museum Advisory Council since 2007 and is a life board member of WNIT. She served for 15 years on the Saint Mary’s College board of trustees and now sits on the President’s Circle. She serves on the boards of the Michiana YMCA, Memorial Health Foundation and the Family and Children’s Center. Four of the Murphys’ children have Notre Dame degrees.

After a rigorous search culminating in January 2019, the University selected the New York-based design firm of Robert A. M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) to design the new museum. RAMSA previously designed the Stayer Center for Executive Education at Notre Dame and numerous other academic facilities around the country.


The goal for the new Raclin Murphy Museum is taken from the leadership of the Snite Museum to provide “Experience with significant works of art intended to stimulate inquiry, dialogue and wonder for audiences across the academy, the community, and around the world—all in support of the University of Notre Dame’s Catholic mission.”

Raclin Murph Museum Of Art



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The Snite Museum of Art Announces Gifts of Six Important American and British Paintings from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries

Author: Gina Costa

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Notre Dame, IN: The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame is delighted to announce that it is the recipient of six noteworthy paintings from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries that will significantly augment the Museum’s holdings in American and British art. “The Museum is deeply grateful for these gifts, many by donors with long relationships to the Museum and Notre Dame,” states Joseph Antenucci Becherer, Director of the Snite Museum of Art. “The importance of our 18th.-, 19th- and 20th-century collections have been greatly enhanced with these works.”

An important and generous gift from Ann Uhry Abrams, PhD., of a work by the American painter John Twachtman, leads this group of acquisitions. Born in Cincinnati to German parents, John Henry Twachtman became a student of Frank Duveneck, who he followed to Munich, where the younger artist continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts. He traveled with Duveneck and William Merritt Chase to Venice, eventually landing in Paris. While there, Twachtman met Theodore Robinson, and the two developed their brand of Impressionism. He returned to the United States in 1886 and, with Childe Hassam and Julien Alden Weir, co-founded the group “The Ten” to organize exhibitions of their work.

The Chicago World’s Fair, Illinois Building, is from Twachtman’s mature period. His subject matter was primarily landscapes, most often devoid of architecture. Here, he features an important historical event in American art and history by examining the relationship between the landscape in the foreground and the highly geometric, manmade environment beyond. His is an apt illustration of the White City with its glorification of commercial and imperial ambitions. Dr. Abrams, the donor, is a long-standing member of the Museum’s Advisory Council.

Also part of this acquisition is an endearing work featuring three children is by the celebrated American Impressionist Joseph Morris Raphael (1869–1950). Associated with the California School of American Impressionism, Raphael spent a substantial portion of his career living and working in Belgium and the Netherlands, where he executed this painting.

Born in Jackson, California, and initially trained at the California School of Design, Raphael is one of the major figures of American Impressionism. He went to Paris in 1902 to continue his studies and remained in Europe until 1939. Upon arriving in Europe, Raphael quickly adopted the brushwork and palette of the French Impressionists. Although he would remain committed to the landscapes and domestic scenes favored by this group, his style expanded, becoming broader and more expressive under the influence of a variety of Post-Impressionist, Nabis, and Symbolist painters.

Although he developed a following of collectors in Europe, Raphael’s principal market was in the United States and, in particular, in California. Throughout most of his time in Europe, he exhibited in San Francisco and influenced an entire generation of collectors and plein air painters. Two Girls and a Baby is a gift to the Museum from Brenden Beck, Class of 1990.

Two works by the celebrated painter William J. GlackensThe Dressing Table (1922) and Sketch for a Girl in Pink (n.d.)—have been donated to the Museum by the Sansom Foundation, Inc.

Glackens is among the pre-eminent figures in the history of early twentieth-century American painting and was among the most influential art advisors to American collectors. He is one of the founding figures of the Ashcan School—arguably among the first genuinely American Modern art movements. Glackens is associated with a group of artists known as “The Eight” whose members included Robert Henri, George Luks, and John Sloan. Born and trained in Philadelphia, Glackens initially worked as an illustrator. He traveled to Europe in 1895 and was exposed both to Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Upon returning to the United States, he settled in New York and became a prominent figure in the city’s burgeoning art world.

In the last decades of Glackens’s career, his palette lightened significantly, and brushwork became increasingly sketch-like. The impact of the French Impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir is frequently cited as an inspiration for that change. Glackens came to know Renoir and his work well through the collection of Alfred Barnes, a high school friend who employed Glackens as an art advisor and agent. Both paintings contribute to the Museum’s holdings in American painting and early Modernism; each work is a beautiful example of Glackens’s repertoire in terms of subject matter and style. The Museum has been the grateful recipient of earlier gifts of the artist’s works by the Sansom Foundation.

An autumnal landscape by the celebrated American Impressionist Mathias J. Alten has been donated to the Museum by Anita M. Gilleo, the artist’s granddaughter.

Born in Germany, Alten trained at the Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi, Paris, and worked in the Netherlands before settling in Michigan. Alten’s earliest canvases are characterized by the more somber tones found in 19th-century Dutch and German painting; his later exposure to the work of the Spanish master Joaquín Sorolla opened his brushwork and lightened his palette.

In Autumn Attire portrays the shores of Lake Michigan and is the type of landscape painting that brought Alten great success during the second half of his career. Although he was also a successful portrait painter and creator of dazzling still life and floral imagery, Alten’s landscapes remained most in demand. They were widely collected, and the artist was a frequent presence in early 20th-century art communities like those in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Taos, New Mexico. He probably completed this painting in the year following his induction into the National Arts Club in New York. It’s a valuable addition to the Museum’s holdings in American Impressionism, and reveals strong symbolic ties to the geographical region.

A second gift from Ann Uhry Abrams, PhD, the painting Mrs. Sarah Siddons and Her Son in the Tragedy of “Isabella,” 1784 is by the British artist William Hamilton. Trained as an architectural draftsman, Hamilton turned his attention toward figure drawing. He was a member of the Royal Academy and became best known for his depictions of scenes from popular plays. This painting is an example of Hamilton’s work at mid-career and represents the artist at his neoclassical best. The composition is simpler compared to his other paintings of theatrical performances; here, he has pared the composition down to two main characters set on a terrace in a full-length, double portrait and costume piece.

Despite its muted color palette and the dearth of scenographic details, the painting expresses all of the drama expected from the genre. The portrait is of Mrs. Sarah Siddons, a famous actress in the late eighteenth century, who performed much of Shakespeare’s and Milton’s repertoire at the Drury Lane Theatre. Hamilton shows her playing the role of Isabella, the main character of a play entitled The Fatal Marriage originally written in 1694 by Thomas Southerne. In 1757, the actor-manager David Garrick rewrote and published the play as Isabella, or the Fatal Marriage, staging a production at Drury Lane in 1782 with Siddons as the lead.

     Image credit: John Henry Twachtman (American, 1853–1902), The Chicago World’s Fair, Illinois Building, ca. 1893

     Oil on canvas. Gift of Ann Uhry Abrams, PhD, 2020.029.001American And British Recent Acquisitions

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The Snite Museum of Art acquires a work by Magnum Photographer Alex Majoli from The Eye of the Storm series

Author: Gina Costa


Alex Majoli

The Snite Museum of Art acquires a work by Magnum Photographer Alex Majoli from The Eye of the Storm series

Notre Dame, IN The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame has added an important photograph by Magnum photographer Alex Majoli from his The Eye of the Storm series.  Created in Novara, Italy, in  April during the COVID-19 pandemic, Scene #2756, Novara, Italy, 2020, captures the moment when a priest blesses coffins that have just arrived at the cemetery by Italian Army trucks from nearby Bergamo.  Created in April amid Italy's early outbreak, this image brings into sharp focus the painful and tragic extent that northern Italy suffered during the first outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Italy’s death toll was the highest in Europe during the first months of the outbreak, and the country could barely keep up with the transportation of coffins for burial.

The photograph was an acquisition proposed by the Museum’s PhotoFutures: Collecting Art for Notre Dame, a student seminar led by the Curator of Education, Academic Programs, and Curator of Photographs. Designed for students of any major, this co-curricular program addresses issues related to museum-collecting, contemporary photography, and socially engaged artistic practice. Students critique individual photographs and evaluate artists' portfolios while engaging in critical discussions with the artists, Museum curators, and select faculty. This fall, students had the unique challenge of acquiring a photograph that addresses the ongoing crises of the Covid-19 pandemic. They state:

This photograph includes many of the hallmark elements of daily life under the conditions of the pandemic. The priest stands alone in a mask, even distanced from the coffins which contain the COVID-19 victims. The haunting loneliness of the piece and the solitary figure relate to the context of lockdowns and quarantine periods, which altered normal everyday activities and transformed bustling public places and city streets into ghost towns overnight. The artist’s choice of black and white adds to the melancholy tone while also eliminating any sense of the time of day, which recalls the disorientation of life under lockdown. . . . [Majoli’s photograph] brings to mind our shared humanity in contrast with the mechanized and dehumanized process of handling the high volume of COVID-19 victims. The presence of religion also evokes a theme of grief and the ways in which human beings find comfort when confronted with loss. Although the conditions of the pandemic precluded funerals and religious services from taking place, the priest preserves some measure of human dignity, even in death, through his act of blessing these coffins. . . .

Alex Majoli (b.1971, Ravenna, Italy) is a photographer whose dramatic black-and-white photographs focus on the human condition and the narratives of our daily lives. Known for documenting conflicts worldwide, he has covered the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. He has contributed to NewsweekThe New York Times Magazine, Granta, and National Geographic, among other publications. Majoli is the recipient of many awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), the Eugene Smith Grant (2017), the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography (2009), and the Infinity Award for Photojournalism (2003). A member of Magnum Photos since 2001, he splits his time between New York and Sicily.

Image credit: Alex Majoli, Scene #2756, Novara, Italy, 2020, archival pigment print. Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame. Milly and Fritz Kaeser Endowment for Photography, 2020.024.  Majoli Pr

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University of Notre Dame receives Lilly Endowment grant to fund Snite Museum of Art initiative on religion, spirituality and faith

Author: Gina Costa

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The University of Notre Dame has received a five-year, $2.4 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative to implement Inspiring Wonder: An Initiative on Religion, Spirituality, and Faith in the Visual Arts.


Designed to invite diverse audiences into meaningful conversation, Inspiring Wonder will significantly advance the Snite Museum’s efforts to deepen its constituencies’ understanding of religion, spirituality and faith in a deliberate and mission-driven way.


Notre Dame is one of 18 organizations from across the United States receiving grants through the Lilly Endowment initiative. The group includes fine arts museums, historical societies and history museums, museums dedicated to serving children and families and museums dedicated to particular locations and cultures.


“On behalf of the entire museum, I express our deepest gratitude to Lilly Endowment and their Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative,” said Joseph Becherer, director of the Snite Museum. “Such generosity is a profound investment in the future of the museum and countless lives that will be touched through education and programming. More than just faith in the future good work of this museum and University, this grant is a commitment to regional and national audiences through a deepened appreciation of and enlightenment through art that we can uniquely provide.”


The primary project component is the Museum Education Fellowship in Religion and Spirituality in the Visual Arts. The endowed, two-year fellowship will allow for the creation of innovative programming around religion and spirituality, and will help train the next generation of museum professionals and bring their fresh perspectives about museum education into the Inspiring Wonder initiative. This grant-funded work at the Snite Museum includes the development of two major thematic exhibitions, course development, research mini-grants, academic symposia and strategic acquisitions during the grant period.


Lilly Endowment awarded grants totaling more than $43 million through the initiative. These grants will enable the organizations to develop exhibitions and education programs that fairly and accurately portray the role of religion in the U.S. and around the world. The initiative is designed to foster public understanding about religion and lift up the contributions that people of all faiths and diverse religious communities make to our greater civic well-being.


“Museums and cultural institutions are trusted organizations and play an important role in teaching the American public about the world around them,” said Christopher Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “These organizations will use the grants to help visitors understand and appreciate the significant impact religion has had and continues to have on society in the United States and around the globe. Our hope is that these efforts will promote greater knowledge about and respect for people of diverse religious traditions.”


Lilly Endowment launched the Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative in 2019 and awarded planning grants to organizations to help them explore how programming in religion could further their institutional missions. These grants will assist organizations in implementing projects that draw on their extensive collections and enhance and complement their current activities.


“The Snite was founded on the principle that art is essential to understanding human experiences and beliefs. To that end, it is committed to providing its patrons with opportunities to engage in informed dialogue with scholars, artists and each other — or simply to spend time in silent communion with art,” Becherer said. “These efforts soon will be enhanced by the construction of the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame, which is designed to be more community-facing and will have an active chapel at its heart. This is therefore an opportune moment for the museum to take a bold step forward in deepening its mission as a leader in engagement and education around art and religion, both on campus and in the broader region.”Snite Museum Lilly Grant


Anonymous 18th century Mexican (Mexican, 1701-1800), Nuestra Senõra de Guadalupe, February 15, 1729, Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. Ignacio Aranguren, ND '52, his wife Pirri, and their sons Luis ND '84, Ignacio ND '85, and Santiago ND '92. 2002.01

Unknown Irish artist, Crucifix, 1776, Yew wood. Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame. Gift of Rev. James S. Savage, 1966.031

Paul Henry Wood (American, 1872-1892), Absolution Under Fire, 1891, Oil on canvas. Gift of the artist, Collection of the Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, 1976.057

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The Snite Museum of Art adds a compelling Dutch, 17th-century still life to its European collection.

Author: Gina Costa

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The Snite Museum of Art adds a compelling Dutch, 17th-century still life to its European collection.

Notre Dame, IN: The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame has added an important Dutch still life by a follower of Osias Beert I to its collection of seventeenth-century European art. 

"It is a great pleasure to welcome this fine painting into the permanent collection as it fills an important cultural and art historical opportunity we have long researched," said Director Joseph Antenucci Becherer. "In addition to playing a prominent role among our collection of European paintings, it makes dynamic connections to our renowned decorative arts holdings," he noted.

The Snite Museum's painting reprises a portion of a work jointly executed by Osias Beert I and Frans Francken I entitled Still Life with the Rich Man and Poor Lazarus, which depicts a parable about greed and charity. Themes and variations of this kind were typical of artistic practice at the time. Almonds, Oysters, Sweets, Chestnuts and Wine on a Wooden Table is particularly interesting for the decorative art objects and foodstuffs that it features, as well as for the artist's removal of figures that would have identified it as a work with a religious subject. Instead, the artist focuses not on the morality lesson found in the Beert and Francken painting, but on luxury. Gone from the upper right corner of this work is the scene of a rich man dining with a group of elegantly dressed men as a starving Lazarus, in rags, begs on the ground beneath them that was in the model.

By the second quarter of the 1600s, such explicit moral lessons fell out of favor, and still lifes incorporating lavish spreads alone were intended to signal the parable. The Snite's painting is an excellent example of the genre, beautiful on its own but also charged with rich symbolism.

In the lower-left, a pewter serving dish is filled with peeled and candied almonds and candied cinnamon sticks, called kapittelstokjes, after the bookmark used by Dutch ministers to keep their place in Bibles. In the center foreground, a comfit in the shape of a cross reminds viewers of salvation. Oysters, considered a delicacy, are plated to the right, and, at the upper left, two glasses in the Venetian fashion are filled with wine. A centrally placed silver dish, decorated with seahorses in an allusion to sea trade, holds almond paste tartlets and biscotti. In the background on the right, a pewter plate contains chestnuts, in season in the autumn and used in stews or sautéed in butter and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. The large white bun filled with cream at center right was another luxury item relative to the standard fair of whole wheat or rye buns. With its Venetian glass, seahorse motifs, and foodstuffs baked with the liberal use of sugar—a commodity imported from plantations in the Caribbean and Brazil—the painting offers a visual narrative of international commerce and the slave trade needed to sustain it.


"This still life painting with its dazzling array of treats is a welcome addition to our collection of seventeenth-century paintings. It was supposed to remind viewers about the sin of gluttony, the need for charity to those who have less, and the transience of life,” said Cheryl Snay, Curator of European and American Art before 1900. “Instead, it became an essay on conspicuous consumption. With its display of sugar-coated spices and almonds, it affords us an opportunity to discuss its appeal to the morality of its original audience in addition to the sugar trade that fueled slavery," Snay continued.

Follower of Osias Beert I (Flemish, ca. 1580–1624)

Almonds, Oysters, Sweets, Chestnuts and Wine on a Wooden Table, ca. 1605–30

Oil on panel

18 1/8 x 25 ¾ inches (46.1 x 68.5 cm)

W. L. Travis Fund

2020.008Dutch Still Life

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Sèvres Enamel Masterpiece Joins Distinguished Decorative Arts Collection at the Snite Museum

Author: Gina Costa

Sevres Ewer

The Snite Museum added to its distinctive decorative arts holdings thanks to the generosity and foresight of the Virginia A. Marten family, whose longstanding support contributes to the University of Notre Dame’s teaching mission.


"The decorative arts have long played an important role in the Museum’s collecting and education programs; it is, therefore, a delight to welcome this exquisite Sèvres Limoges-style ewer into the permanent collection," said Snite Museum Director Joseph Antenucci Becherer. "The monumentality of this object and its exceptional condition exceed many expectations for the decorative arts, guaranteeing that it will soon become a Museum favorite," he added.


This most recent gift strengthens the holdings of decorative arts dating from the middle of the nineteenth century, a period when trends developed in response to the social and political upheaval prevalent at the time. At the forefront of those trends was a backlash against an increasingly industrialized society that led to a nostalgia for Medieval and Renaissance workshop productions and themes.


“This Sèvres Limoges-style ewer, long recognized as a masterpiece, reflects the intense interest in stylistic revivals at mid-century,” said Cheryl Snay, Curator of European and American Art before 1900. “The elegant grisaille cartouches depicting Venus and Flora, set against a dark blue ground highlighted with gold, hearken back to the glory days of the French Renaissance ushered in by Francis I.”


The Snite’s ewer complements several other works in the Museum’s collection, namely Edouard Pingret’s Troubadour painting of Diane de Poitier Receiving a Message from Francis I (1846), and the chalice designed by Charles-Eugène Trioullier (ca. 1850), also made in a Renaissance Revival style. Additionally, Eduard Steinbruck’s Adoration of the Magi (1838) was painted in a style meant to evoke the smooth, clear, sharp, enamel-like finish of Northern Renaissance artists.


Established in 1756, Sèvres is known for its porcelain wares. In the 1840s, the manufactory began experimenting with enamel, a technique that had flourished in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries but had since declined. The director of Sèvres, Alexandre Brogniart, invited the Parisian enameller Jacob Meyer-Heine to the manufactory to experiment with “new” forms and techniques. The results were successful, and Meyer-Heine was hired by Sèvres to produce Renaissance Revival, Limoges-style enamel wares. Because the Snite’s ewer with its distinctive grisaille decoration was among the first to come off the production line, it was featured in exhibitions and was well documented in the press.

Sèvres Enamel Ewer, 1849
Enamel on copper with gilt-metal mount
24.4 x 10 inches,

Virginia A. Marten Endowment forDecorative Arts Fund


MEDIA CONTACT: If you would like high-resolution images or in-depth information, please contact Gina Costa, Marketing and Public Relations Program Manager, at (574) 631-4720 or

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The Snite Museum of Art Announces Important Acquisitions to its Mesoamerican Collection

Author: Gina Costa

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The Snite Museum of Art announces  five gifts to the Museum’s distinguished Mesoamerican collection.


Mr. William. J. Gallagher Jr. ND’1950, was one of the original lenders of Pre-Columbian objects to the Snite Museum of Art when it opened its doors in the fall of 1980. These early loans from the Gallagher Family were foundational objects to the development of the Pre-Columbian and Mesoamerican collection during the Museum’s first years. All five gifts, four on long-term loan, will increase the number of works in their respective cultural groups in the collection.


William J. Gallagher Jr. passed away in the fall of 2017. His widow, Maureen Smith Gallagher, remarked that


Notre Dame was always central to my husband’s life, and he ended up becoming friends with Doug Bradley, the late curator of Mesoamerican art at the Snite Museum of Art. As a result of this friendship, Bill developed an interest in Mesoamerican culture and the Snite Museum of Art. I wish to honor my husband by donating these artifacts to the Snite Museum so that others can, likewise, gain an interest in and an understanding of not only Mesoamerican culture but also an appreciation of the fine collections at the Snite.


“We are honored by the longstanding support and thoughtfulness of the Gallagher family. Their contributions to our Mesoamerican collection and their desire to honor the Museum and its staff are deeply appreciated.” — Joseph Antenucci Becherer, Director, Snite Museum of Art


The donated objects are a Monte Alban IIIb Zapotec Goddess Effigy Urn, a Tres Zapotes IV Verzcruz Ritual Performer Tripod Figure, a Colima Tripod Olla, a Veracruz Tlazolteotl Priest Figure, and a Colima vessel in the shape of a pair of ducks.Mesoamerican Gift From Gallagher Family

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The Snite Museum of Art announces important acquisition of Cabinet Card portrait of Oscar Wilde

Author: Gina Costa

Oscar Wilde Portrait

The Snite Museum of Art announces important acquisition of Cabinet Card portrait of Oscar Wilde

Notre Dame, IN: The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame has added to its impressive collection of over 10,000 photographs with the addition of a cabinet card portrait of the writer Oscar Wilde taken by Napoleon Sarony.

David Acton, Curator of Photographs at the Snite Museum, states ”In the latter half of the nineteenth century, Napoleon Sarony was regarded as the leading photographic portraitist in New York. From his studio in Union Square, he also produced fashionable celebrity photographs, mostly in the small, collectible carte-de-visite format. Sarony photographed virtually every star of the New York stage during the 1860s through the 1890s, his work helping to create and perpetuate his subjects’ fame.”

In 1882, at age twenty-six, Oscar Wilde arrived in New York. He had just published his first volume of poetry and had recently enjoyed acclaim in London social circles for his epicene character and sharp wit. To promote his career in the US, Wilde signed with agent Richard D’Oyly Carte, who was also the producer of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera Patience; or Bunthorne’s Bride. Wilde embarked on a lecture tour in association with the opera, a work that tells the story of the rivalry between two poets—Bunthorne and Grovesnor—for the attention of female admirers. The opera satirizes the English aesthetic movement in literature and art, and the pretension of all stylish fads. Appearing on stage dressed in knee-breeches and pumps, Wilde both celebrated and poked gentle fun at aesthetic movement poetry and Pre-Raphaelite art with his trademark witty self-deprecation.

Before the tour, Wilde visited Sarony’s studio to pose for a series of publicity photographs, of which the Snite Museum’s photograph became one of the most famous. They were sold at tour stops, at Sarony’s, and other fashionable photography studios, and exported to Britain. After a successful New York engagement, Wilde toured the American continent, presenting 141 lectures over eleven months. Although his style and subject invited ridicule, his effortless ability to humiliate attackers with sharp wit delighted audiences.

“The Museum’s collection of nineteenth-century photography ranks as among the finest in the United States, and this acquisition will make an important contribution, individually and collectively,” stated Joseph Antenucci Becherer, PhD, Director of the Snite Museum of Art. “As we work towards an important volume and exhibition on this aspect of our collection, this particular image will surely resonate visually and historically with scholars and museum-going audiences alike.” Oscar Wilde Recent Acquisition

Image information:

Napoleon Sarony (American, born in Canada, 1821–1896)

Oscar Wilde, 1882

Albumen print from wet collodion negative, mounted as boudoir print

30.5 x 18.4 cm (12 x 7 ¼ in.) Sheet,33.0 x 19.0 cm (13 x 7 ½ in.) Mount

Milly and Fritz Kaeser Endowment for Photography, 2020.012

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Snite Museum of Art reopens to Students, Staff, and Faculty August 10, 2020

Author: Gina Costa

The Snite Museum of Art  will open August 10 to University of Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff.

Public access to the Museum will not be possible at this time but should that change and opportunities to welcome the public avail themselves, that will be communicated immediately.

Please note: all visitors to the Museum will be required to wear a mask and social distance.

Engage with us online for deep dives into the collection, educational resources, and videos with Museum Director, Joseph Becherer

The Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park is open all day and year-around.  Come enjoy the sculptures and plantings in this important extension of the Museum. Learn more:

Snite Museum of Art                              

The University of Notre Dame

100 Moose Krause Circle

Notre Dame, IN 46556

Phone: (574) 631-5466

Fax: (574) 631-8501





Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Thursday evening until 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, 12 noon–5:00 p.m.


Closed Sunday, Monday, and major holidays.

Admission is free

Museum Re Opening Hours


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Message from the Director of the Snite Museum of Art

Author: Snite Museum of Art

To Our Museum Community and Beyond:

Images. We live in a world filled with images. Small and large, handheld and wall-mounted, still and moving, images fill our daily life. In recent days, horrifying images of senseless violence and death have added clarity to the injustices rampant in the world we share. From the devastating death of George Floyd recorded on film and shared, the global community was presented with undeniable visual evidence of racism and inequality, yet again.…

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Snite Museum of Art Acquires a Major Work by Sculptor Louise Nevelson

Author: Gina Costa

Nevelson Copy

Revpr Nevelson


Notre Dame, IN: The Snite Museum of Art announces the acquisition of Sky Sentinels, a 1976 work by the iconic sculptor Louise Nevelson. In heralding the gift, Joseph Antenucci Becherer, Director and Curator of Sculpture at the Snite Museum, said, “It is an honor and pleasure to welcome this exceptional work to the museum through the insightful patronage of Charles S. Hayes, who remains a beacon for the appreciation of art, and sculpture in particular. Nevelson is among the bold figures in the history of sculpture and this landmark work in her oeuvre offers vivid testimony of her achievement. Further, she was a pioneering figure for women in the visual arts and her presence in the collection allows us to both celebrate her and her legacy.”

One of the most remarkable artists of the 20th century, Louise Nevelson (1899–1988) studied as a dancer, actress, ceramist, and painter before embarking on a career as a sculptor. Born in what is present-day Ukraine, she emigrated with her family from Czarist Russia to Rockland, Maine, where they were among the few Jewish families in town. Independent and athletic, Louise briefly married and moved to New York where she was drawn to the art world. In the 1930s, she moved to Munich to study with Hans Hofmann; while there, she was introduced to collage and assemblage and exposed to the European avant-garde.

Returning to New York in 1932, she began to assemble large compositions of found objects, primarily of wood, which she painted a uniform black. By the late 1950s, she had established a definitive abstract style and her works were eagerly acquired. Although never formally a part of any movement, Nevelson is associated with the phenomenon of “New American Sculpture,” whose adherents pioneered the use of industrial materials in an abstract vocabulary.

In the 1970s, Nevelson began working out of doors where she utilized sheets of steel, aluminum, and plexiglass in her sculpture, all often painted in her signature black. The year 1976 was a critical one for the artist: her work was selected for a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, solidifying her stature as one of the most important artists of the age. With Barbara Hepworth, Louise Bourgeois, and Beverly Pepper, Nevelson is regarded as one of the pioneering female figures who greatly expanded the dimensions of 20th-century sculpture.   

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