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.
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
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. “It’s 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 marble.nd.edu 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, email@example.com, to arrange a time.
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 exhibitiondraws 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.
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 fromThe 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 Defenseis 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
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.”
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 20thcenturies 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. Glackens—The 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
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 Newsweek, The 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
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
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
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
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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
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
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
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.
There is little doubt that Modern and Contemporary sculpture play a significant role in the collection, and by extension, the persona of the Snite Museum of Art. The collections of both Ivan Meštrović and George Rickey have played definitive roles. Against this backdrop, the Museum is pleased to announce the gift of a major sculpture by Clement Meadmore – one of the most compelling and eagerly sought public sculptors of the second half of the 20th century.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, and educated at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Meadmore began making welded sculptures in the 1950s. He moved to New York City in 1963 to more closely experience the vanguard of Contemporary art. Deeply moved by both Minimalism and its forerunning antithesis, Abstract Expressionism, he forged a career as one of the most distinguished abstract sculptors of his generation.
Meadmore is most widely celebrated for his bold statements based on a vocabulary of geometry with a strong emphasis on crisp linear contours and broad planes. Whether working in aluminum, steel, or bronze, he most frequently finished his sculptures with a black patina. For all of the aforementioned, he can be seen in the ambiance of Minimalism. However, his introduction of movement and frequent use of curved forms celebrate his affection for the visual energy of Abstract Expressionism.
Upbeat, 1984, coveys the buoyancy of the upright composition of Meadmore’s iconic style. The work and title also convey the sculptor’s life-long interest in music, particularly jazz. Upbeat is a gift of the Clement Meadmore Foundation. It will be placed in the Museum courtyard to be a point of dialogue with other major outdoor sculptures in the collection.
“The Museum is deeply grateful for this exceptional gift which has been eagerly placed and is already engaging audiences at the heart of our sculpture courtyard,” shares Director, Dr. Joseph Antenucci Becherer. “Meadmore’s iconic style is masterfully available in this work and is at once both lyrical and minimalist.”
Clement Meadmore (American, born Australia. 1929-2005)
NOTRE DAME, IN. Chao Shao-an (趙少昂, 1905-1998) lived a momentous life vividly expressed through brush and ink over a nearly eighty-year career as an artist. This intimate exhibition of seventeen works are drawn from the collection of Chao Shao-an’s family and feature detailed yet poetic images of the natural world for which the artist developed an international reputation. These album leaf paintings highlight Chao Shao-an’s remarkable ability to capture the essence of subtle moments in nature through vibrant brushwork and coloration.
The artist came of age in the southern Chinese province of Guangzhou in the early years following the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty. During this period of rapid change, Chao began his first apprenticeship in ink painting under one of the three masters of the Lingnan School of painting -- famous for creatively blending international painting methods and materials onto a foundation of traditional Chinese technique. Chao Shao-an took over responsibility for the Lingnan School and began his career as an award-winning artist that brought recognition to the Lingnan style across the globe.
Through the unrest of the Japanese occupation of China during World War II and the subsequent civil war, Chao developed a style that emphasized the traditional category of bird-and-flower painting and the close study of nature. From the 1930s-1960s, Chao Shao-an traveled around the world for solo and group exhibitions across Asia, Europe, and the United States. During that time, he settled permanently in Hong Kong in 1948 and established the Lingnan Art Studio in his residence. There, he mentored generations of students in the Lingnan method and ensured its place as one of the most influential styles of twentieth century Chinese ink painting.
“In a remarkable continuation of Chao’s international legacy, two generations of his descendants have attended the University of Notre Dame and have made this distinguished exhibition a possibility” offers Director Joseph Antenucci Becherer. The exhibition is curated by Fletcher Coleman from the Department of Art, Art History and Design and made possible through the partnership of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies.
Divine Illusions: Statue Paintings from Colonial South America
January 18 – May 16, 2020
NOTRE DAME, IN. The Snite Museum of Art is pleased to announce the landmark exhibition Divine Illusions: Statue Paintings from Colonial South America, on view beginning January 18, 2020. In eighteenth-century Spanish America, sculpted images of the Virgin Mary were frequent subjects of paintings. Some of these "statue paintings" depicted sculptures famed for miraculous intercession in medieval Spain. Others captured the likenesses of statues originating in the Americas and similarly celebrated for their divine intervention. Like the statues they portrayed, the paintings, too, were understood to be imbued with sacredness and were objects of devotion in their own right.
Drawn from the extraordinary holdings of the internationally renowned Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, this exhibition focuses on statue paintings of the Virgin from the Viceroyalty of Peru, a part of the Spanish Empire encompassing much of Andean South America. It centers particularly on works produced in Cuzco (Peru) and artistic centers in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca and explores the European and American dimensions of the phenomenon, iconographic variations in the genre, and what these works of art reveal about sacred imagery and its operation in Spanish colonial South America. The identities of the painters and patrons of these works remain largely unknown, but certainly some of them were native Andeans.
The paintings in the exhibition cohere not only in their subject matter and place of production, but also in the painters' meticulous treatment of the lavish dresses, mantles, jewels, and crowns that adorned the sculpted images. These details enhance their illusionistic effects, simulating the presence of the dressed statue itself. By making divine images from distant places present in colonial Peru and positioning them--through painting--in the company of sacred sculptures from the Americas, works in this genre traced a transatlantic spiritual geography conceived in eighteenth-century Spanish America and extending from the Andes to the Pyrenees and beyond.
“The Museum is greatly honored to host this important exhibition and for our relationship with the Thoma Foundation,” states Museum Director Joseph Antenucci Becherer. “Such important loans and new scholarship are vital to our expanding awareness through the visual arts.”
In addition to the paintings on display, this exhibition will be supplemented with carefully selected archival and didactic materials from the Marian Library of Rare Books at the University of Dayton, and the Hesburgh Library Rare Books and Special Collections at Notre Dame. This landmark exhibition is curated by Michael Schreffler, PhD, of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History and Design.
Divine Illusions Unidentified artist, Our. Lady of the Rosary of Pomata, 1669, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, photo by Jamie Stukenberg.
The Snite Museum of Art announces the publication of The Donald and Marilyn Keough Collection of Irish Art.
NOTRE DAME, IN. Celebrating the landmark gift of Irish Art, the Snite Museum of Art is honored to announce the publication of The Donald and Marilyn Keough Collection of Irish Art. Edited by Cheryl K. Snay, Ph.D., Snite Museum of Art Curator of European Art, this full-color, 47-page catalogue explores the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family gift of paintings to the University of Notre Dame.
The Keough Collection of Irish art comprises nineteen works by Modern and Contemporary artists, including Jack B. Yeats, Roderic O'Conor, Paul Henry, Mary Swanzy, Markey Robinson, and James O'Halloran, among others. “This wonderful volume celebrates both the importance of the collection and the generous spirit of the entire Keough family,” said Joseph Antenucci Becherer, Director of the Snite Museum of Art. “We are deeply honored to commemorate this gift to the Museum in such a lasting way.”
The Keough family began building their collection in the 1990s with the hope that the collection would some day find a place at the University of Notre Dame. The gift serves as the foundation for a new, ongoing collaboration between the Irish studies program that bears their name and the Snite Museum.
This catalogue features important contributions by Snay as well as essays and entries by scholars Patrick Griffin, Director, Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Art; Frances Jacobus-Parker; Morna O’Neill, Professor of Art History at Wake Forest University; and Maria Rossi. Professor O’Neill includes a thoughtful essay “Defining Irish Art: Between Tradition and Modernity. “ Eleven entries about selected works of art provide insight into what is “Irish Art”. This important volume is a lasting and insightful commemoration of the Keough’s magnificent gift. The catalogue is made possible by a generous donation from the Keough Family Foundation through Snite Advisory Council member Eileen Keough Millard.
The catalogues can be purchased through the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore by contacting Kevin Gibley (firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-631-4522).
NOTRE DAME, IN. -- The Snite Museum of Art is pleased to announce an extraordinary long-term loan from the Cummins Family Collection of the painting St. Paul the Hermit by Jusepe de Ribera (b. 1588- d. 1656).
On the occasion of announcing the loan, Dr. Joseph Antenucci Becherer, Director of the Museum, said, “The significance of this long-term loan to the Museum cannot be overstated.”
Recognized as one of the greatest Baroque masters, Ribera was born in Jativa, near Valencia, in Spain. He left Spain for Italy as a young man and was active there for most of his career. Known as "lo Spagnoletto" (The Little Spanish One), Ribera lived and worked in Parma, Rome, and Naples. He is recorded as living in Rome by 1612, and is viewed as one of the artists drawn to, and influenced by, Caravaggio and his followers. His extreme version of Caravaggio’s naturalism can be seen in his use of strongly contrasting light and shadows, his brooding figures depicted with raw realism.
Art historian Tomaso Montanari has described the softer and lighter style that emerged following Ribera’s activity in Parma around 1614—a style showing indebtedness to the work of Annibale Carracci and Guido Reni. It is this period around 1615, just before Ribera' s move to Naples, that Montanari dates St. Paul the Hermit. Montanari characterizes the painting as indicative of the artist's style in precisely those years after a sojourn to Emilia-Romagna and before the artist’s departure for Naples where his style became more strictly codified.
According to legend, St. Paul the First Hermit was born in Egypt. During the persecution of Decius (A.D. 250) he left for the desert where he remained a hermit for ninety years. After the saint had lived in solitude for twenty-one years, a raven began to bring him a half loaf of bread each day. The loaf and three dates, nourishment from the desert palm tree, are prominently displayed in the foreground of the painting. The saint grasps an upturned skull with his sunburned hands as he looks up and to the right, his gray beard and the tired skin of his torso indicative of his advanced age. These motifs—the haggard depiction of an elderly bearded ascetic, the remarkably natural portrayal of the skull, and the isolation and devotion of the subject—were to become hallmarks of Ribera's work. Here they are contrasted with a distant, almost romantic landscape of a dark blue sky looming over a rocky promontory.
“Ribera’s half-length portrait of a saint is a stunning example of Counter-Reformation devotional art popular in the seventeenth century, and it richly complements the University’s collection of Italian religious narratives,” said Cheryl Snay, Curator of European Art at the Snite Museum of Art. “Moreover, the artist’s emphatic naturalism and dramatic tension make it as compelling now as it was four centuries ago.”
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About The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame
Considered one of the finest university art museums in America, the Snite Museum's permanent collection contains over 25,000 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.
Notre Dame, IN The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame announces the acquisition of several important works which enrich the Museum’s eighteenth- and nineteenth-century permanent collections. “Our holdings in this period are among the many strengths of the permanent collection of the Museum,” said Joseph Antenucci Becherer, Director of the Snite Museum of Art. “Such carefully selected acquisitions will make a further and lasting contribution, individually and collectively.”
Chief among them is the life-size marble sculpture Laocoön and His Sons thatdepicts a scene from the Roman poet Virgil's Aeneid (29-19 BCE) in which Laocoön, the Trojan priest of Apollo, and his two sons are killed.
Dated to between 1650 and 1780, the Snite Museum’s version is modeled after the ancient sculpture on view at the Vatican Museums in Italy. The slightly smaller replica was most likely made for a wealthy collector's private home, signaling the owner's superior taste and classical education.
University of Notre Dame benefactors Michael and Susie McLoughlin donated the sculpture after having lent it to the Snite Museum in 2016. “The Laocoön group is the centerpiece of our eighteenth-century gallery where it draws historical, philosophical, and stylistic connections among many of the other paintings and decorative arts on display there,” said Cheryl Snay, Curator of European Art at the Museum. “Visitors are riveted by the scale, technique, story, and the ideas about virtue, violence, and heroism that the sculpture embodies,” she continued.
The Museum is also pleased to announce a major addition to its celebrated collection of 19th-century photography. Portrait of Ella Monier-Williams was created by the artist andwriter the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, widely known as Lewis Carroll. “Dodgson was perhaps the most prolific amateur English portrait photographer of his day," observes David Acton, Curator of Photography. "Best remembered, however, as Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. He grew up in a large family, which nurtured a penchant for storytelling, and an enduring sympathy for children. Both traits contributed to his skill behind the camera.” In the summer of 1866 he made this portrait of Ella Monier-Williams, an albumen print which suggests the sitter’s awakening love of literature.
Notable among other acquisitions to the Museum’s renowned collection of prints and drawings, Edmond de Goncourt by the artist Félix Bracquemond , is a remarkable example of the etcher’s art, incorporating different techniques, invention, and skillsets. Bracquemond’s subject is Edmond de Goncourt, a prominent writer and trendsetter in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Finally, new to the Museum’s important collection of decorative arts is an exquisite, black-ground coffee pot from the late eighteenth century. Dated to around 1795, it is from a service demonstrating a departure from the more common neoclassical style with reserves depicting regional costumes of the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily. The coffee pot is from the Real Fabbrica Ferdinandea, a porcelain manufactory in Naples, best known for its table settings decorated with neoclassical motifs.
“Félix Bracquemond’s 1882 print, Portrait of Edmond de Goncourt—and the black-ground coffee pot, the first of its kind in the Virginia A. Marten Collection—each represents a technical tour-de-force in their respective areas,” states Cheryl Snay, Curator of European Art at the Museum. “Both works add considerably to our understanding of the tastes, intellectual interests, and entrepreneurial motivations that inspired artists and their clients during the nineteenth century.”
These four important acquisitions will enrich the Museum’s eighteenth- and nineteenth-century permanent collections, among the many strengths of the permanent collection of the Museum. They will play a major role in the new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art scheduled to open late in 2022.
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The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame
Considered one of the finest university art museums in America, the Snite Museum's permanent collection contains over 25,000 works that represent many cultures and periods. Notable are the Museum's holdings in Mesoamerican and Olmec art, African art, European art from 1400 to 1900, Decorative Arts, Prints, Drawings, Photography, the George Rickey Sculpture Archive, and Ivan Meštrović Collection. Sculpture is displayed in the Mary Loretto and Terrence J. Dillon Courtyard, and in The Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park.
“Looking at the Stars”: Irish Art at the University of Notre Dame
August 17 – December 14, 2019
Snite Museum of Art
Notre Dame, IN- The Snite Museum of Art presents “Looking at the Stars”: Irish Art at the University of Notre Dame on view beginning August 17. With the recent gift of modern paintings by artists such as Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957), Rodreric O’Conor (1860-1940), and Mary Swanzy (1882-1978), among others, from the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family, the University of Notre Dame has laid a solid foundation on which to build a rich collection of Irish art that will inspire audiences the world over. This is the premier examination of many works from the Keough gift as well as several other significant collections of Irish Art. Taken together, the collections combine to create a landmark exhibition at the Snite Museum of Art.
The exhibition will also include selected gifts to the Museum of photographs by Alen MacWeeney. Born in Dublin in 1939, the photographer established a worldwide reputation when he chronicled the native itinerants of Ireland known as the Travellers. The artist’s genre studies in the chapels and pubs of Dublin, and his country landscapes, possess a mood of poetic evocation. Also included in the exhibition are MacWeeney’s photographs of O’Neill House in Southwestern County Kerry. Approximately fifty-five photographs, ranging in date from 1965 to 2015, will be shown.
Additionally, important collections from the Museum, including a celebrated group of James Barry (1741–1806) prints, and substantial holdings in the Hesburgh Library’s Special Collections, will be featured. These gems and others currently held by the university are cause for celebration and pride with the addition of the Keough and the MacWeeney gifts.
Finally, the Museum is honored to announce the loan of several Modern and Contemporary masterpieces from the renowned collections of Pat and John O’Brien of Chicago. Such works continue a deeply appreciated relationship with the O’Briens who have made their collections available to the Notre Dame Community and the world.
The history of Irish visual art may be less familiar to visitors than the performing or literary arts, but it is no less compelling. The Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at Notre Dame is renowned for promoting new lines of inquiry and research; it is a partner with the Snite Museum in this important exhibition endeavor. As partners, the Museum and Institute offer audiences the intractable wit, tenacity, and infinite invention of the Irish spirit through this exhibition. As such, Oscar Wilde’s words in Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892), may apply to Irish artists within the broader art community: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
"In celebrating the visual arts in Irish culture, the Museum is proud to honor our donors, lenders, and partners in a meaningful and meaning-filled way." Joseph A. Becherer, Director, the Snite Museum of Art.
“The gift of paintings that is at the centerpiece of this important exhibition is all the more meaningful because it comes from the Keough family, one of the most generous benefactors to the University and to our Institute for Irish Studies. The paintings are more than an aesthetic contribution to Notre Dame. They are part of an exhibit that helps to build a bridge between Ireland and America—an endeavor that is at the very heart of our Institute.” Patrick Griffin, Madden-Hennebry Professor of History and Director, Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
Public Reception: Friday, September 6, 5-7 p.m. This reception is free and open to all. Details about speakers and events TBALooking At The Stars Pr
Image credit: Mary Swanzy (1882–1978), Young Claudius, 1942, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches. Gift of the Donald and Marilyn Keough Foundation, 2019.001.002
THE SNITE MUSEUM OF ART, University of Notre Dame, announces the gift of photographs from the Brett Weston Archive.
NOTRE DAME, Ind., May 1, 2019 –The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame announces the gift of 50 photographs by Brett Weston (American, 1911-1993). This generous donation comes from the Oklahoma City philanthropist Christian Keesee, who founded the Brett Weston Archive after acquiring works from the artist’s estate in 1996. Aside from organizing the photographer’s work, and publishing a catalogue raisonne, the Brett Weston Archive makes this gift to the University to broaden appreciation of Weston, to preserve his work, and to contribute to study of the history of photography.
“The Museum and University are honored to receive this important gift,” shares Museum Director Joseph Antenucci Becherer, “It furthers greatly one of the important university collections of photography.”
Brett Weston was the second of four sons of the photographer Edward Weston and Flora Chandler. He left school at age thirteen, move to Mexico with his father, who was already a distinguished photographer. He observed his father’s dedication to craft when the elder Weston shifted from a Pictorialist style to a sharp, incisive manner that emphasized bold forms and delicate textures. He displayed a natural talent in his first photographs. “He is doing better at fourteen than I did at thirty,” the father wrote in his journal. “To have someone close to me, working so excellently, with an assured future, is a happiness hardly expected.” Edward Weston chose a group of his son’s photographs for the landmark Film und Foto exhibition at Stuttgart in 1929, and the seventeen-year-old had his images published in European magazines.
In the early 1930s, when father and son were partners in studios in San Francisco and Carmel, both made some of their most remarkable photographs at Point Lobos, views of the windswept Pacific coastline, and natural objects collected along the beach.
In May 1930, Brett Weston set out on his own, opening a portrait studio in Glendale, California. Two years later a solo exhibition of his photographs was mounted in San Francisco at the M. H. De Young Memorial Museum. During the Depression, he was a photographer for the Works Progress Administration, and a supervisor of the photographic section in the Federal Arts Project. He moved to Santa Barbara, during World War II, to work as a photographer for the Douglas, and North American Aircraft corporations. Drafted into the Army in 1941, he later photographed in New York, surveying the city from the rooftops, and exploring the New York Botanical Garden. He was posted to El Paso, Texas in 1945, he explored the White Sands National Monument in a series of photographs that were continued during his Post-Service Guggenheim Fellowship. After the war, he returned to California to assist his father through the struggle with Parkinson’s disease in the final decade of his life. In 1958, Weston traveled for the first time to Europe, where he made studies of space, form and texture rather than picturesque tourist views.
“Brett Weston was a darkroom virtuoso,” said David Acton, Snite Museum Curator of Photographs. “His deep understanding of the capabilities of film photography produced prints seldom equalled in digital media. So his great prints often provides a revelation to students.”
All of the works in this gift were made by Brett Weston himself, from his own original negatives which range in date from about 1940 to 1985. Many of the photographs in this gift are vintage prints, produced around time of the negative. Others were made later, and meant for exhibition or sale, but they remained in the artist’s possession at the time of his death. Building upon his father’s achievements, Weston made many studies of plant forms, and the reflective or coarse surfaces of water, soil or rock.
Weston observed abstraction in nature with his camera, and accentuated its beauty with the processes of photographic film. These were ideal subjects for the demonstration of the tonal capabilities of the gelatin silver print process. In this era of cellphone camera and digital photography, students are surprised and delighted by the beauty of traditional gelatin silver photographic prints.
Image: Rock Wall, 1975. Vintage gelatin silver print
Revisions: Contemporary Native Art features over twenty regionally and nationally celebrated artist. The exhibition highlights strategies of revision, reuse, and appropriation in Native art from the 1990s to today in media ranging from painting to sculpture to video. On view through May 18, 2019, the exhibition gathers national loans and works from the museum’s collection, and includes a major installation by artist Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke/Crow).
The participating artists—who hail from diverse tribes in the United States and Canada—share an interest in the circulation and reconfiguration of forms over time, across space, and between cultures. Some reflect on the appropriation of Native culture by settler society while others repurpose found objects, images, and texts from tribal history, family archives, and popular media. The resulting artworks address issues of inheritance, colonization, authenticity, and the politics of representation.
Works by artists from the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, including beadwork by David Martin, a commissioned black ash basket by Christine Rapp-Morseau, and a collage by Jason Wesaw, demonstrate the tribe’s cultural richness and diversity. Rapp-Morseau’s basket is a new commission for the Snite Museum and marks the first contemporary object by a Pokagon Band artist to enter the collection.
Artists represented in the Snite Museum’s permanent collection include Rick Bartow (Mad River Band Wiyot), Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne and Arapaho), Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Salish and Kootenai), Kay Walkingstick (Cherokee), and Melanie Yazzie (Diné/Navajo).
Joseph Antenucci Becherer, the founding director and curator of the sculpture program at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan,has been appointed the new director of the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame. HIs term as director will begin in January 2019.
Becherer joined Meijer Gardens in 1999, and became its chief curator and vice president of sculpture and horticulture, collections and exhibitions in 2009. He also is the Lena Meijer Professor in the History of Art at Aquinas College, where he teaches courses in Renaissance, Baroque and Contemporary art.
At Notre Dame, Becherer will lead a staff of 16 responsible for exhibition development and educational programs that serve Notre Dame students and faculty as well as thousands of primary and secondary school students who visit the Snite Museum of Art annually. He also will play a major role in helping design the University’s new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Joseph’s artistic vision, talents and operational experience joining our team at Notre Dame,” said Maura Ryan, vice president and associate provost for faculty affairs, who oversaw the national search that led to Becherer’s appointment. “We are confident he will continue and enhance the museum’s role in the University’s vibrant arts district that is taking shape on the southern edge of our campus and includes the Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park, which opened in 2017.”
“This directorship is a great honor and opportunity beyond measure as the museum and entire academic community fully embrace the essential role of the arts at the heart of Notre Dame,” Becherer said. “Following in the great tradition that is the Snite Museum of Art, I look forward to working with donors, staff, faculty, students and artists to create in the new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art one of the nation’s pre-eminent and most innovative university art museums.”
There’s No Place Like Time: A Novel You Walk Through
A Retrospective of Video Artist Alana Olsen
A Multimodal Installation by Lance and Andi Olsen
September 1 – December 1, 2018
Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
An interplay of videos, texts, objects, and interventions, There's No Place Like Time is a multimodal installation translating the life of Alana Olsen—a fictional character plucked from Lance Olsen’s novel Theories of Forgetting—into three-dimensional reality that will be on view in the Snite Museum of Art from September 1 through December 1.
Andi and Lance Olsen's collaboration takes the form of a retrospective of Alana’s videos, created over a span of forty-some years, the later ones revealing her attempts to incorporate such innovative techniques as erasures, dubbed narrative, and words as images. Alana’s fictional daughter Aila, an art critic and conceptual artist, appears as the exhibition curator; through Aila, we receive biographical information describing Alana’s evolving aesthetics, a context for her development as a video artist, and an exhibition catalogue.
There’s No Place Like Time: A Novel You Walk Through
Solidary and Solitary: The Pamela J Joyner and Alfred J Giuffrida Collection
Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame
August 18, 2018 – December 15, 2018
Notre Dame, IN –The Snite Museum of Art will exhibit a major nationwide touring exhibition beginning Saturday, August 18, 2018 Solidary and Solitary: The Pamela J Joyner and Alfred J Giuffrida Collection.This exhibition offers a new perspective on the critical contribution black artists have made to the evolution of visual art from 1940s through to the present moment. Curated by noted art historians Christopher Bedford and Katy Siegel, this will be the first large-scale public exhibition to bring together a vital lineage of visionary black artists. Commencing in the mid-twentieth century with Abstract Expressionist Norman Lewis, the show will trace a line through some of the most celebrated artists working.
Drawing on the Joyner/Giuffrida collection’s unparalleled holdings, a central theme will be the power of abstract art as a profound political choice, rather than a stylistic preference, for generations of black artists. The exhibition will demonstrate how abstraction has declared individual freedom; a resistance to the imagery of racist mainstream culture on the one hand, and pressures to create positive representations of black Americans on the other.
Ranging across 70 years, Solidary and Solitary will reveal a rich and complex history woven from the threads of artistic debates about how to embody blackness; social struggle and change; migrations and the international African diaspora. Placing a spotlight on individuals’ pursuit of creative freedom in different eras and geographical contexts, highlights will include works by an array of artists that fuse the social and the abstract in visceral ways, including Sam Gilliam, Norman Lewis, and Kevin Beasley, among many others. Placing a spotlight on individuals’ pursuit of creative freedom in different eras and geographical contexts.
Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner / Giuffrida Collection is presented by The Helis Foundation and organized by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and The Baltimore Museum of Art.
The Snite Museum of Art announces a gift of 19 modern and contemporary paintings by Irish artists from the Donald and Marilyn Keough family. Combined with earlier acquisitions of 18th-century prints by James Barry and Thomas Frye and photographs by Alen MacWeeney, the gift lays the foundation for a significant collection of Irish art spanning three centuries at the University of Notre Dame.
“This gift of paintings does not only represent an aesthetic contribution to Notre Dame,” said Patrick Griffin director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies. “It also helps build a bridge between Ireland and the University. For these reasons, we are thrilled to have these paintings here. It is especially gratifying for me that the gift comes from one of our most generous benefactors, the Keough family.”
Thinking about money, and money itself, has the power to evoke despair,” wrote Michael Phillips in his 1974 book The Seven Laws of Money. That observation was the starting point for a new exhibition, Money Worries, on view at the Snite Museum of Art January 21 through March 25.
Co-organized by an anthropologist, a professor of French, a curator, a local numismatist, and an emerging technologies librarian, the exhibition includes old master and contemporary paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, antique and modern currencies from Europe, America, and Africa in addition to interactive games that encourage visitors to reimagine money and their relationship to it.
Modern Women’s Prints includes over thirty works by American female artists drawn from the Snite Museum’s permanent collection. Among the artists represented are Jennifer Bartlett, Deborah Muirhead Dancy, Grace Hartigan, Lee Krasner, Emmi Whitehorse, and Koo Kyung Sook, their work reflecting an array of printmaking techniques and cultural traditions.
Dimensions of Power: African Art at the Snite Museum of Art
Fritz and Milly Kaeser Mestrovic Studio Gallery
NOTRE DAME, IN—August 22, 2017
The Snite Museum of Art African art collection will reopen this fall within a larger, more prestigious space on the main floor of the Museum. The reinstallation will explore themes of power.
In the past, African art was often tied into the way African leaders promoted their agendas. Royalty and rulers used art to project their authority; religious groups promoted their faiths; while the wealthy desired to display their riches. Ordinary Africans also used art to enable them to wield their own forms of power. Since supernatural forces were thought to play a large role in determining events, it was important to own objects that could withstand or shape events that lay beyond ordinary control. Fifty-nine outstanding works from the Snite Museum collection will illustrate these ideas through themes of economic, political, social, and spiritual power in Africa.
Most of these works have never been on public view before. Nearly a third belong to the Owen D. Mort Jr. Collection, with art primarily from Democratic Republic of Congo, where Mort worked for many years. As he said, “My hope is to educate people on Africa. It’s been a great love of mine… Ideally Notre Dame would use the collection for education, to get interest going in Africa.”
The African gallery will feature online interpretive tools to encourage further learning. A highlight will be a digital touch screen with an interactive map of Africa.
The reinstallation is curated by Visiting Curator of African Art Elizabeth Morton. An exhibition catalogue by Dr. Morton will be available after December 2017.
This exhibition is generously supported by the Lake Family Endowment for the Arts of the Americas, Africa, and Oceania.