The Metropolitan. The Guggenheim. The Louvre.

Don’t have time to travel? Fairfield University is bringing the world of art to students on a local level.

The department of visual and performing arts and its art history program, members of the offices of the academic vice president and the College of Arts and Sciences and Campus Planning and Operations have come together to plan for the development of a museum on Fairfield’s campus, according to Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Timothy Snyder.

In order for construction on the available 2,000 square feet of space in the lower level of Bellarmine Hall to begin, $300,000 must be raised.

Snyder said Father Jeffrey von Arx, S.J. has provided thoughtful support and the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors Chair Jorge Figueredo has helped enhance the vision for the project.

Figueredo in the process of developing a case statement concerning it, said Snyder.

Snyder said many different things inspired the development of a museum.

Fairfield has a growing collection of Irish, Celtic, African, American and Asian art in storage. The university also plans to acquire objects on loan from the Cloisters Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“The university needs a place to showcase all the wonderful artwork,” said Snyder.

Snyder said the university has several collections on display now.

“Our plaster cast collection housed primarily in rooms in Loyola Hall and the Kress Collection of ten Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings presently housed in the Library,” said Snyder.

The museum will feature Medieval and Renaissance art, paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, traveling exhibitions, student exhibitions and a new digital classroom.

As a liberal arts college in the “arts corridor” between Boston and New York, Fairfield has opportunities and connections that most institutions do not.

Students with an interest in the arts are excited for the museum’s construction.

Alyssa Ballard ’08 said she has a growing interest in the arts since taking an Art History class but said it is difficult for her to visit a museum off campus.

“It’s a great thing to have, especially on campus, so that students get a vision of the art world without having to go into the city,” Ballard said. “We just don’t have that kind of time.”

Other students said they think it is a great way to learn about other cultures and increase diversity on campus.

“Sounds like a great opportunity to bring some diversity onto campus and if we could overcome student apathy, people could learn something,” said Elliot Smith ’08.

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