Joel Patterson ' 09 - Following a Memorial Day weekend, I headed off to visit the South Bend Regional Museum of Art (SBRMA) and the Snite Museum of Art at Notre Dame. These museums, located about five minutes apart, complement each other quite well.
My day began at the South Bend Regional Museum of Art. The SBRMA is housed inside the Century Center located on the St. Joseph River. During this visit I interviewed the Curator of Collections Kim Hoffmann and viewed their permanent collect. The South Bend Regional Museum of Art is best known for their historical Indiana art, including artworks from Brown County artists, Midwest regional artists, and American artists with a connection to Indiana. Ms. Hoffmann “Considers the collection to belong to the community” because of the number of gifted artworks to the collection from the community.
One significant piece of art in the collection is Daniel Garber’s The Lumberville Bridge. Daniel Garber was born in North Mancester, Indiana and is nationally known for his Pennsylvania landscape paintings. He also has artworks featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Another piece of interest is Mark di Suvero’s Keepers of the Fire. This abstract sculpture standing in the St. Joseph River can be viewed out of the dynamic windows within the gallery or anywhere along the stretch of river outside of the Century Center.
My day of South Bend art museums ended on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, just behind the football stadium, at the Snite Museum of Art. Here I met with Director Charles Loving. Mr. Loving explained that their museum initially tried to offer the same ‘all-encompassing’ art experience that the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and Cleveland Museum of Art offer to the community. However, after he became director, their focus changed to concentrate on areas in art history that their collection excels in. Some areas of excellence include their Pre-Columbian collection, which is said to be the best in the county; 19th century European photograph collection; Old Master Drawings and Paintings; and George Rickey and Ivan Meštrović sculpture collection. This wide variety of art is a great complement to the regional historic art of the SBRMA.