Press Room

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

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

Author: Gina Costa

Nevelson Copy

Revpr Nevelson


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

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

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

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

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The Snite Museum of Art acquires major work by sculptor Clement Meadmore (American, born Australia 1929-2005)

Author: Gina Costa


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.”

Meadmore0008 Copy


Clement Meadmore (American, born Australia. 1929-2005)

Upbeat, 1984

Painted aluminum, Artist’s Proof

9’10” x 6’3” x 6’6”

Gift of the Clement Meadmore Foundation

Meadmore Acquisition Final

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Chao Shao-an: Moments between Worlds

Author: Gina Costa

Chao Shao-an: Moments between Worlds

February 4 - June 20, 2020

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.


Image credit: Chao Shao-an, Chinese, 1905 - 1998

Pomegrante: Seeds of an Open Pomegranate

Ink and pigment on paper

Courtesy of the Artist’s family.

Chao Shao An

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Divine Illusions: Statue Paintings from Colonial South America

Author: Gina Costa

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.

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The Snite Museum of Art announces the publication of The Donald and Marilyn Keough Collection of Irish Art.

Author: Gina Costa

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 ( or 574-631-4522).

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Keough Collection Book Pr Final

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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).

Author: Gina Costa



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.”


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


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.


Snite Museum of Art                         

The University of Notre Dame

100 Moose Krause Circle

Notre Dame, IN 46556

Phone: (574) 631-5466

Fax: (574) 631-8501




Tuesday–Friday, 10: a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Thursday evening until 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, noon–5:00 p.m.


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


Caption for image of painting:

Jusepe de Ribera (called “lo Spagnoletto”), Spanish, 1591-1652

St. Paul the Hermit, ca. 1614-1615

Oil on canvas

34 ¾ x 29 inches (87.5 x 73.5 cm)

Image courtesy of the Cummins Family Collection

St. Paul the Hermit by Jusepe Ribera


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New 18th and 19th century acquisitions

Author: Gina Costa


Small Laocoon

 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 that depicts 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 and writer 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.



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,


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.



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“Looking at the Stars”: Irish Art at the University of Notre Dame

Author: Gina Costa

Irish Show

“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



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Snite Museum of Art announces gift of photographs from the Brett Weston Archive

Author: Gina Costa



Weston Pr


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

Brett Weston 2019



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Revisions:Contemporary Native Art

Author: Gina Costa

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). 

Revisions Contmporary Native Art


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).




0c6a0059 Copy

Image credit: Wendy Red Star, Peelatchiwaaxpáash/Medicine Crow (Raven), 2014. Pigment print on paper, from digitally reproduced and artist manipulated photograph by C.M. (Charles Milton) Bell, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution. ©️ Wendy Red Star; photo: courtesy of the artist.


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Snite Museum of Art Appoints New Director

Author: Gina Costa

Joseph Antenucci Becherer Feature


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.”




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There's No Place Like Time: A Novel You Walk Through

Author: Gina Costa

Theories Of Forgetting 900

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

A Retrospective of Video Artist Alana Olsen


There Is No Place Like Time



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Solidary & Solitary

Author: Gina Costa


New Norman Lewis Image 1

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. 



Solidary And Solitary Release X

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Search for New Snite Museum Director

Author: Museum Search & Reference


The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame (ND) seeks a director to lead this prominent university museum at an exciting moment. Major funding was received in 2017 for a new museum building, and the new director will work with the Office of the Executive Vice President and the University Architect in selecting the architect, constructing and opening the new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame in 2021. The director will also have the opportunity to shape future exhibitions and to continue and enhance the Snite’s integral role in the vibrant university community, and in particular within the new Notre Dame arts district, which already features the Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park, opened in 2017. The director will report to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and work with a generous and loyal Advisory Council. The director will lead a staff of 16 in exhibition development and educational programs serving over 7,000 ND students and faculty, 15,000 primary and secondary school students, and in recent years, over 43,000 total visitors annually.


The new director will also collaborate on the completion of a major digitizing project. The Snite and the Hesburgh Libraries received a $455,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, since enhanced by $500,000 in private gifts, to support making the Snite, Library, Special Collections, and Rare Books collections searchable, discoverable, and available for teaching and research.


The director must be a forward-thinking art-museum leader and scholar able to collaborate with diverse elements in a university community and oversee a dedicated professional staff to achieve a shared vision. While the Director may or may not be a person of faith, s/he must wish to support the mission of Notre Dame as a Catholic research university in, for instance, its aim “to cultivate in its students not only an appreciation for the great achievements of human beings but also a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many. The aim is to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.” (From the University’s mission statement at


The director will coordinate and partner with ND academic departments, colleges, and schools to enhance the role of the arts in the curriculum. S/he will work with Development Office staff dedicated to the museum and maintain strong relationships with the Advisory Council to ensure continuing generous financial support from benefactors and alumni. The director will embrace the roles of advocate and relationship-builder for the museum and the arts within the University and ambassador for the museum in the larger South Bend community and nationally.


Nominations and Inquiries are welcome

Nominations and inquiries are welcome in strict confidence by contacting Scott Stevens or Marilyn Hoffman at


How to Apply

Email cover letter and résumé (Word documents preferred), salary requirement, and names of 3 references with contact information by May 21, 2018 to: Scott Stevens and Marilyn Hoffman, Museum Search and Reference, References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant.



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Keough Family Gift of Irish art to Snite Museum of Art

Author: Gina Costa


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.”

Keough Collection Press Release Cskeough Family Giftdocx

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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


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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



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Raclin, Murphys make lead gift for new art museum at Notre Dame

Author: Snite Museum of Art

Raclin Murphy Xmas PhotoLeft to right: Carmen Murphy, her mother Ernestine Raclin, husband Chris Murphy.

Longtime philanthropists in the greater South Bend community – Ernestine Raclin and her daughter and son-in-law Carmen and Chris Murphy – have made a lead gift to the University of Notre Dame for the construction of a new community asset, the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame.…

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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

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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

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