The twentieth century was marked by enormous advancements in science, technology, and philosophy all of which manifest themselves in the styles and movements that arose during this tumultuous period. Paintings by Joan Miró, Georgia O'Keeffe, Milton Avery, Phillip Pearlstein, and Sean Scully along with sculptures by Ernst Barlarch, William Zorach, Joseph Cornell, and George Rickey signal radical shifts in society.

The Snite Museum of Art has a special collection of the sculptures, maquettes and writings of Croatian-American sculptor Ivan Mestrovic who taught at Notre Dame from 1955 until his death in 1962. His sculptures can be seen in various buildings on campus, including the Snite, the Eck Visitor Center, and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.