'Substantial' Gift to Support Notre Dame Art Museum

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Notre Dame says a big gift will support a major museum project. The donation from Ernestine Raclin and her daughter and son-in-law Carmen and Chris Murphy will help build the $66 million Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame. The specific amount of the gift is not being disclosed, but a university spokesperson calls it "substantial."

The 70,000-square-foot venue is the first phase of what the school says will be a 132,000 square-foot museum complex. Construction is set to begin in 2020 and be complete in late 2021 or early 2022.

Charles Loving, director of the Snite Museum of Art on the South Bend campus, says the gift will fulfill the museum's primary vision: to create an arts district serving not only Notre Dame students and faculty, but forming a "bridge to community audiences."

"Our current museum is presently turning down some requests for tours and programs because the building is at capacity," said Loving. "We cannot display certain temporary exhibitions offered to us because of limited gallery space, and as the collection has grown we have had to convert some galleries to art storage vaults. In short, the new building will allow us to better fulfill the University’s mission as it relates to the arts.”

Raclin is a former Notre Dame trustee and has supported many projects at the school including the on-campus Morris Inn hotel and Raclin-Carmichael Hall. Chris Murphy is chief executive officer of South Bend-based 1st Source Corp. (Nasdaq: SRCE) and a 1968 Notre Dame graduate. Carmen Murphy has been on Notre Dame's Snite Museum Advisory Council since 2007 and serves on boards including the Michiana YMCA and Memorial Health Foundation. 

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