About our collections
The Bellarmine Museum of Art holds a rich and varied collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art objects, including ten paintings by masters from the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods - works gifted to the University by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation via Bridgeport's Discovery Museum (formerly the Museum of Art, Industry and Science). The BMA also maintains a large selection of historic plaster casts after important works from ancient Greece and Rome, including eight that were donated to the University by the Acropolis Museum in Athens in July 2010. In addition, the museum showcases a range of non-Western art objects (including pre-Columbian vessels, 19th-century South East Asian sculptures, and African masks), and is fortunate enough to hold twenty-four objects from the Celtic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Medieval periods on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters.
The Kress Collection at Fairfield comprises ten paintings by lesser masters of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque. These works were donated to the University in 2002 by the Museum of Art, Science & Industry in Bridgeport (now "The Discovery Museum") to honor the spirit of Samuel H. Kress's "Gift to America." This "Gift" brought over 3,000 works of European art to more than 90 museums - including the Discovery Museum - in the United States, Puerto Rico, and France. In their new location in the Bellarmine Museum, the Kress Collection at Fairfield is permanently available for careful study by scholars and school children, connoisseurs and casual visitors, professors and passers-by alike.
Fairfield University's rapidly expanding Plaster Cast Collection is composed of casts after works of art from the Classical world through the Renaissance, with an emphasis on ancient Greece and the Parthenon. A majority of the casts have been lent to the University as long-term loans or gifted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art from its historic cast collection, while others have been generously donated by the University's friends and benefactors.
The Asian Art Collection at Fairfield University has grown over the years through the generosity of alumni and friends. The collection, which features works from China, Thailand, India, and Persia, provides a critical window onto distant cultures. This in turn fosters knowledge, understanding, appreciation, tolerance and respect, all of which are critical facets of Fairfield's commitment to Global Citizenry and speaks to the Jesuit commitment to Social Justice and mission work.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters has lent the Bellarmine Museum of Art twenty-four spectacular objects, which span from the Bronze Age to the 17th century in Europe. These loans, which will be on view for periods ranging between two and four years, enable the museum to provide its many constituencies with invaluable opportunities to engage with a broad array of original artifacts. This collaboration also speaks to the high standards of professionalism to which the Bellarmine holds itself.