Money Worries January 21-March 25, 2018

Author: Gina Costa

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.


Money Worries


Read More

Modern Women's Prints, January 14-March 15, 2018

Author: Gina Costa

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.


Modern Women's Print 2018



Read More

Dimensions of Power

Author: Gina Costa

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.


Dimensions Of Powerfinal

Read More

Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park

Author: Gina Costa

The Snite Museum of Art will reopen the Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park in fall 2017.


Designed by noted American landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, this eight-acre site will feature twelve sculptures by important national and international artists.


The title of the inaugural sculpture exhibition is Reclaiming Our Nature

Read More

Rembrandt's Religious Prints

Author: Gina Costa

Rembrandt Redux at the Snite Museum

 Rembrandt’s Religious Prints: The Feddersen Collection at the Snite Museum of Art

On view September 3–November 26, 2017

The Jack and Alfrieda Feddersen Collection of Rembrandt prints will make an encore appearance at the Snite Museum of Art September 3 through November 25. The exhibition of the renowned artist’s prints marks the publication of the first comprehensive catalog of the entire collection and the celebration of the University of Notre Dame’s 175th anniversary.

 All 70 of Rembrandt’s etchings that comprise the Feddersen Collection will be displayed together, examining the sweep of historical, theological, and artistic impulses that informed the creation of the master’s religious and biblical prints.    

Read More

Making Everything Out of Anything Prints, Drawings, and Sculptures by Willie Cole

Author: Gina Costa

Making Everything Out of Anything

Prints, Drawings, and Sculptures by Willie Cole


August 20 to November 26, 2017


This exhibition focuses on American artist Willie Cole and his extraordinarily creative repurposing of everyday objects such as steam irons, ironing boards, hair dryers, bicycle parts, and women’s shoes to create artworks that comment on diverse subjects such as African art, African-American history, cultural identify, consumerism, gender, and sexuality.…

Read More

Three from the Thirties Classic Cars from the Heartland

Author: Gina Costa

Three from the Thirties

Classic Cars from the Heartland

On view through November 20, 2016

The Snite Museum of Art will place on view three luxury automobiles manufactured in the Midwest during the Great Depression.

The three automobiles in this exhibition are Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) approved classics and two have won awards at juried, classic-car competitions.  The 1938 Packard convertible coupe received a frame-off restoration by LaVine Restorations, Inc., Nappanee, Indiana, and took first place in its class in the prestigious August 2016, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The three automobiles featured in the exhibition are:


1) 1934 Auburn 1250 V12 Salon Cabriolet

Known as the “James Cagney car,” this automobile was featured in the Warner Brothers movie entitled The Mayor from Hell, starring Cagney.  The Salon was Auburn Automobile Company’s top-of-the-line model and it competed against other luxury brands of its day, including Packard.

2) 1934 Packard 1107 Twelve Convertible Victoria, with custom interior by Raymond Dietrich

This automobile has won awards at America’s three most prestigious classic automobile competitions: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, St. Johns Concours d’Elegance of America, and Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

3) 1938 Packard 1607–1139 Twelve Convertible Coupe


Read More

Images of Social Justice from the Segura Arts Studio

Author: Gina Costa

Images of Social Justice from the Segura Arts Studio

Through December 4, 2016

This exhibition of fifty-two prints illustrates the history of Segura Arts Studio’s published works and describes its mission of working with underrepresented artists.  Joseph Segura founded the Segura Publishing Company in 1981, in Tempe, Arizona.  The studio played a role in contemporary printmaking with an initial focus on collaboration with artist-printmakers and on the print process. This was followed by an emphasis on artists whose work has a political message. Segura was drawn to marginalized artists: women, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans.


Read More

Seizing Beauty-Photographs by Paulette Tavormina

Author: Gina Costa


through November 27, 2016

Seizing Beauty is the first museum exhibition of works by Paulette Tavormina, a New York creative photographer celebrated for her reinterpretation still life paintings of the Old Masters.  The representation of commonplace objects had its origins in ancient Greek and Roman painting.  But it was in the Low Countries, at the end of the sixteenth century, that still life emerged as a genre and professional specialization. 

To explore aesthetic goals to match her technical skills, Tavormina made an extended visit to Sicily, seeking out her ancestral roots and living relations.  She returned to New York City, and began working at Sotheby’s, the international fine arts auction house.  She photographed works of art for auction catalogues, advertising, and scholarly study. Her work provided an extraordinary opportunity to observe and study European still life painting first hand.  She learned its subtlety, complexity, and life enhancing power.  Soon, in her own apartment studio, Tavormina experimented with photographic images inspired by the Old Masters.  She recreated still-life arrangements inspired by artists such as Garzoni, and Merian, as well as Francesco de Zurbarán, Willem Claesz. Heda, and many others.  Tavormina gathers her subjects, and arranges her compositions, exactly as her forebears.  Her photographs reveal a practical knowledge of composition, color, form and illumination, comparable to their own.  Aside from her fine art work, Tavormina has continued to produce lush images for cookbooks, and historicizing photographs to illustrate such magazines as National Geographic, and The New York Times



Read More

The Portage Path: Returning to Our History

Author: Gina Costa

The Snite Museum of Art commissioned artist Kay Westhues to document some aspect of the local area as part of South Bend’s 150th anniversary.  She selected the St. Joseph River to Kankakee River portage.  This four-to five-mile-walking trail was the only overland segment of an ancient water route between the Great Lakes region and the Gulf of Mexico.  Native Americans first utilized the portage and then French explorers and fur traders used it to travel from Detroit to New Orleans.  While now largely forgotten, the portage was a primary reason why a city grew at the “south bend” of the St. Joseph River.

Artist Kay Westhues describes her project, “as there was no actual trail to photograph, I decided to suggest the idea of a pathway in each of the images.  They were taken in the approximate area of the original route, and I did not try to conceal the human-made changes that have taken place along it.  The St. Joseph River and some of its branches still reflect the pastoral beauty once acclaimed in descriptions of the area by eighteenth-century writers; other tributaries have been channeled underground.  The 500,000-acre Grand Kankakee Marsh was drained in the nineteenth century, turning the Kankakee River into a large drainage ditch; an ethanol plant now makes use of its headwaters”the_portage_path.pdf


Read More

No Cross, No Crown: Prints by James Barry

Author: Gina Costa

The Snite Museum of Art presents an exhibition of 28 monumental prints by James Barry, the eighteenth-century Irish provocateur whose work challenged the British art establishment and questioned the government’s policies. The exhibition No Cross, No Crown: Prints by James Barry will be on view from January 24 through April 17, 2016.

James Barry (1741–1806) was born in Cork, made his artistic debut in Dublin, and was awarded membership in the Royal Academy in London in 1773, although he was later expelled for his belligerence and acrimony. The series of six murals he painted to decorate the Great Room of the Royal Society of Arts in Adelphi from 1777 through 1783 is his claim to fame. Included in the exhibition is a complete set of the prints he made after these grand paintings, once referred to as Britain’s answer to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Barry’s prints are significant in the history of printmaking and eighteenth-century trans-Atlantic studies for their scale, their technical innovations, and the role they played in the artist’s creative process. These are not mere reproductive prints, but rather charts illustrating Barry’s evolving positions on hot political and artistic issues of the day. Peppering his religious and historical works with portraits of his contemporaries, such as the philosopher Edmund Burke and the politician William Pitt, the ensemble reads like a Who’s Who of British society in the late 1700s.james_barry_prints.pdf


Read More

African-American Voices

Author: Gina Costa

African-American artworks from the permanent collection of the Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame will be on view thorugh March 13

A featured sculpture is Richard Hunt’s Maquette for Wing Generator, 1982/2010, which developed one of Hunt’s major themes—hybridization of the Greco-Roman winged victory motif with mythological bird forms found on African iron staffs. The sculpture is a prototype for a gravesite monument commissioned through the will of Hunt’s deceased friend Hobart Taylor Jr. Taylor achieved victory through a successful private and public life as a civil rights lawyer, as an attorney for the City of Detroit, as a member of President Lyndon Johnson’s staff for the enactment of civil rights legislation, and as a successful corporate lawyer. The winged victory motif also symbolizes the Christian victory of life after death.

An avid collector of African art, Hunt owns iron staffs featuring abstract bird forms. His use of this symbol in Wing Generator acknowledges the traditional meaning associated with the staffs: birds are linked with the mind and with personal destiny. This metaphor is especially significant for Wing Generator because Taylor’s only requirement for the memorial sculpture (communicated through his will) was that it include the phrase “There are no barriers to the mind.”

The exhibition also includes work by Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, and Renee Stout.african_american_voices.pdf

Read More

New to the Collection: Twentieth-Century Photographs

Author: Gina Costa

This exhibition reveals the ongoing activity to build and refine the holdings of the Snite Museum’s permanent collection, meant for enjoyment and instruction of students now and in in the future.  For the art museum the chief objects of interest are creative photographs, made with aesthetic intent.  During the twentieth century, however, photography is so prevalent and central to visual culture, that such distinctions blur. 

This group of objects, acquired by the museum from 2013 to the present day, include portraits, photojournalism, fashion and advertising photography, as well as intention works of fine art.  The images reflect the evolution of artistic styles over the course of the century, and the influences of Pictorialism, Modernism and abstraction, Futurism and Cubism, Regionalism and the American Scene, even Conceptualism and Earth Art can be seen in the images.  Moreover, this group of photographs reveals an unintentional survey of the changing technology of photography, from platinum and silver developed out prints to photogravure.  A range of color photography processes are also represented, some of them now almost extinct, including carbro printing, dye imbibation, and silver dye bleach printings.  These make a fascinating comparison to the contemporary digital inkjet printing techniques. new_to_the_collection_photos.pdf

Read More

In Dialogue: Henry Mosler, Forging the Cross

Author: Gina Costa

In the second of its occasional series of single-work exhibitions, the Snite Museum presents In Dialogue: Henry Mosler, Forging the Cross from January 10 through March 13, 2016. Curators invited scholars from various disciplines to give their insights on this hidden treasure from the Museum’s permanent collection in an effort to showcase the many interpretive possibilities a work of art can offer.

Visitors, too, will have an opportunity to add their voices to the mix by contributing their thoughts in a notebook in the gallery where others can read and share their ideas.“Museum staff are always looking for ways to engage their audiences and to empower visitors,” said Cheryl Snay, Curator of European Art at the Snite Museum. “There is no single, definitive response to a painting or sculpture. This exhibition demonstrates that different people can look at the same thing and arrive at different, but informed, conclusions,” she added.

Contributors include faculty and staff from the University of Notre Dame: Abigail Palko, Associate Director of the Gender Studies Program; Daniel Graff, Director of the Higgins Labor Program at the Center for Social Concerns; and William Purcell, Associate Director of Catholic Social Tradition and Practice.mosler_exh._press_release.pdf

Read More

Rock, Paper...Lithographs From the Permanent Collection

Author: Gina Costa

Snite Museum of Art Features Modern and Contemporary Lithography Rock-Paper . . . Lithographs from the Permanent Collection, Part Ii 

On view through November 22.

This exhibition charts lithography’s continued evolution from 1900 through today. The course of the medium’s development reflects shifts in styles from expressionism, regionalism, abstract expressionism, pop art, and more recently a return to the figure. Lithography’s popularity waxed and waned throughout the twentieth century as new technologies, such as silkscreen and color photography, eclipsed it.


Read More

Over One Hundred Years of Automobile Design

Author: Gina Costa

Visit the Snite Museum of Art to see the difference 100 years made in automobile design as revealed by three automobiles not likely to be found elsewhere. The 1905 Cadillac represents utilitarian, affordable, early automobile design.  The 1933 Packard is a powerful luxury automobile built for an ultra-wealthy customer.   The 2014 Ferrari is a state-of-the-art sports car designed solely for high performance. over_one_hundred_years.pdf

Read More

Transitory Waterscapes

Author: Gina Costa

Landscape Paintings and an Evaporation Pool

By Danae Mattes

August 9 to December 6, 2015

These beautiful landscapes are the artist’s personal “maps” of time spent within nature, formal equivalents to the experience of moving through the landscape.   She combines “materials and methods that are, in themselves, directly extracted from the earth and which interact in ways that are inherent to their physical properties.”  That is, the paintings are created from natural materials (clay, fiber, and pigments), where shapes, patterns, and forms are revealed through natural processes––such as evaporation causing clay to dry and crack, and gravity moving water-based pigments across sloped canvases.


Mattes will also install an evaporation pool within the gallery.  Liquid clay will be poured into a clay basin on the gallery floor.  As the water evaporates from the clay over days and weeks, the various clays used will create distinct cracking and tonal patterns.


Read More

Counter Archives to the Narco City

Author: Gina Costa

Counter-Archives to the Narco-City

August 16 to December 13, 2015


Counter-Archives to the Narco-City is a curatorial project on art and human rights, co-curated by Tatiana Reinoza and Luis Vargas-Santiago, that offers alternative views to the media spectacle of narco-violence in the Americas. Hosted at both the University of Notre Dame’s Snite Museum of Art and the Notre Dame Center for Art & Culture, the first edition of this ongoing project features the work of visual artists Adriana Corral and Alma Leiva and focuses on the counter-archives of two cities: Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras. These are two of the deadliest cities in the world, as well as industrial centers and migration points with thriving narco-economies that corrupt their political structures and terrorize everyday life. Rather than repeating spectacular images of violent public crimes, this exhibition aims to give voice to those who live intimately with violence in contemporary Latin America and document everyday forms of resistance against the societal structures that sustain the chaos.


The exhibition will include, Impunidad, Circlo Vicioso, 2015 and the installation, Within the Ashes, 2013, both by Adriana Corral, along with nine photographs by Alma Leiva from her series Celdas (2009–15).


Read More

James Barry Prints arrive in Indiana

Author: Gina Costa

The William and Nancy Pressly Collection of James Barry Prints Arrives in Indiana

The Snite Museum of Art announces the acquisition of a significant portfolio of 28 prints by the quixotic Irish artist James Barry (1741–1806). Rich in symbolism and technically inventive, these new additions to the collection promise to enhance the University of Notre Dame’s position as a leading center for Irish, eighteenth-century, art historical, and trans-Atlantic studies. The artist’s dramatic compositions, grand scale, and heroic subjects offer visitors, connoisseurs, students, and scholars much to contemplate and enjoy.


“This is a first-rate acquisition of one of the most influential artists of the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world. It will be thrilling to see how our students in early American, Irish, and British history interpret such a rich and complex set of materials,” said Patrick Griffin, chair and Madden-Hennebry Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.


Read More

Natalia Goncharova’s Mystical Images of War, 1914

Author: Gina Costa

Natalia Goncharova’s Mystical Images of War, 1914

February 1 through March 22, 2015

In conjunction with a year-long commemoration of the centennial of World War I that began in September, the Hesburgh Libraries and the Snite Museum of Art team up to present Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova’s dramatic portfolio Mystical Images of War, published in 1914.


Read More

ND Alumni: Sculptors and Professors

Author: Gina Costa

ND Alumni: Sculptors and Professors

through November 30, 2014


Each of the twenty-one Notre Dame alumni selected for this invitational exhibition has graduated since 1988, has held a position at an institution of higher education, and is a practicing artist. Their sculptural methods, materials and concepts very greatly, but this variety showcases contemporary sculptural practices and just some of the exciting strategies that sculptors are utilizing to address themes and issues through three-dimensional forms.

Read More

Roaring Twenties Exuberance and Depression Era Extravagance

Author: Gina Costa

_Roaring Twenties_Exuberance_and_Depression_Era_Extravagance..pdf

Selections from the Jack B. Smith Jr. Automobile Collection

Four Classic Automobiles:  August 17 to November 30, 2014

Experience the exuberance of the Roaring Twenties as well as Depression era extravagance by viewing four classic automobiles on view throughout the 2014 Notre Dame football season.  Manufactured within the American heartland—Detroit, South Bend, and Auburn, Indiana––these classic automobiles epitomize American car design as well as technological prowess of the era.



Read More