Front facade of Snite Museum in summer 2018.

Welcome to the Snite Museum of Art

Mission Statement
Founded on the principle that art is essential to understanding individual, shared, and diverse human experiences and beliefs, the museum encourages close looking and critical thinking. Experiences with significant, original works of art are 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.

Our Core Values are:

  • Learning from original art
  • Diverse cultures, ideas, and audiences
  • Relevance and social responsibility
  • Scholarship, interpretation, and dissemination of knowledge
  • Building, preserving, and providing access to collections for students, faculty, and the community
  • Visual representations of Catholic traditions
  • Collaborating with on- and off-campus communities

Admission is free and all are welcome to view the exhibitions and attend the various educational events and programs held in the museum.

A family looking at art in the 19th Century Gallery

The Future Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame

Longtime philanthropists in the greater South Bend community—Ernestine Raclin and her daughter and son-in-law Carmen and Christopher Murphy—made a lead gift for the construction of the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame to be located within the Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park. At 70,000 square feet, the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art will be the first phase of what will ultimately become a 132,000-square-foot museum. It will join the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park, Matthew and Joyce Walsh Family Hall of Architecture, and O’Neill Hall of Music in Notre Dame’s new arts district being created at the south end of campus.


Exhibitions and art education programs will continue to be held in the current Snite Museum of Art until both Phase I and Phase II of the new Raclin Murphy Museum of Art are completed. 


This transformative lead gift from the Raclin and Murphy Families fulfills the museum’s primary vision—to place art at the heart of Notre Dame. This new museum will make the arts central to a Notre Dame education, enhance collaboration between Notre Dame’s arts units, and better share campus resources with the local community. It will also resolve serious space shortages we are experiencing within the current building housing the Snite Museum of Art as well as address the absence of adjacent visitor parking.

The permanent collection features over 30,000 artworks and continues to grow through endowment income, gifts of art, and gifts of funds to purchase artworks. Major collection strengths include Mesoamerican art, old master paintings and drawings, nineteenth-century French art, nineteenth-century photography, and the art of Ivan Meštrović. While our Old Master collections feature numerous subjects relating to Christianity and Catholicism, our holdings also include Native American, Latinx, African, African-American, and contemporary art—as represented within the collection section of this website.


The Museum presents eight to ten special exhibitions each year, many of which are augmented by scholarly publications.  Current exhibitions are described in that section of this website.


Two curators of education design programs for the academic community and an additional two are responsible for outreach to the local community, primarily to schoolchildren.

2016 jazz performance in museum courtyard

The Snite Museum Staff invite you to learn more about the Museum through the various sections of this website, and especially encourage you to visit the Museum. There is no equivalent to the unique experience gained by standing in the presence of original artworks, which assists us in better understanding who we are as individuals and as members of specific communities.