The Snite Museum, which offers numerous resources to students and professors, is a hidden jewel on campus
By ERIN LaRUFFA
It is not easy to sit in the shadows of the Notre Dame Stadium.
But that is exactly where the Snite Museum is, right across the street from a place renowned for its rich history and tradition. Its hidden location may be why many students are not aware of all that the Snite has to offer.
"We have this treasure, this jewel," said Gina Costa, the museum's marketing and public affairs specialist. "Be aware, it's on campus."
The Snite, like any typical art museum, has both a permanent collection and rotating exhibitions. The current exhibition features the Taos Artists of the American Southwest. An upcoming exhibit will display photographs of victims of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.
The permanent collection includes works by Rembrandt, among others. According to Loving, the museum's strengths are in pre-Columbian art, 15th through 19th century drawings, 19th century photography, and 19th century paintings.
Despite the many strengths of the museum's collection, some people would like to see the Snite improve.
"It has amazing strengths in some areas, but hopefully it will continue to evolve," said Charles Rosenburg, a Notre Dame art professor.
"There certainly are university museums that have better collections in 20th century art," said Robert Haywood, professor of 20th century art and art history. "But that [period] has not been their focus. ... Every museum has its strengths."
Loving said that the museum is developing its 20th century art collection.
"In terms of collection, we're in the top six or seven in the country [among university museums]," Costa said.
In addition to the collection, some Snite staff members also feel that the museum is hindered by lack of space. The museum could use more space in order to increase its education center, storage areas and display gallery, Loving said.
"We have more in the vaults than on the walls," Costa said. "We need a new wing."
However, there are no immediate plans to expand the Snite, said Carol Mooney, vice presdient and associate provost of the University.
The museum also has outreach programs with local schools and with local community organizations. There are programs for disadvantaged children, and 10,000 local school students visit the museum annually.
"Our outreach programs are some of the best in the country," said Costa.
The museum is open to students and the general public. Some professors, especially in the areas of history and art, take their classes to the museum for curriculum-based tours. The museum also hosts movies and lectures.
"It's the students' museum. We are here for you," Costa said.
The Snite is open every day except Monday. Admission is free and tour guides are available. Costa encourages all students to use the museum.
"Arts can uplift and enrich one's life," she said.
All News Stories for Tuesday, October 5, 1999