Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Visit to the Yale University Art Gallery

(this photo courtesy of Yale)
Over the holidays TD and I visited my father in Guilford and we had an outing to nearby New Haven to take in the newly renovated and expanded Yale University Art Gallery. We love the museums at Yale, which are beautiful and free! The Yale Art Gallery is the oldest university art museum in America, and houses 200,000 works of art from ancient times to the present day. For years, the Art Gallery was been undergoing a major renovation, and it reopened in 2012 so this was our first visit back in awhile. The renovation cost $135 million which was raised by the Gallery's indefatigable director, Jock Reynolds, who gathered that amount during a recession, no less. The expansion linked three buildings together, and the architects in charge, Ennead Architects in New York, did a brilliant job fusing the disparate buildings and departments seamlessly. "Gallery" is a misleading misnomer for this institution because it really is a major American art museum.

Within the three buildings, there is a lot to see including Asian, African, and Ancient art plus temporary exhibits. Throughout the exploration, there are wonderful things to discover around every corner. There also is a constant mix of old and new – old buildings, new renovation, old art, new design.
For example: A view down stairs to a nineteenth century John LaFarge stained glass window adjacent to a new elevator - going up!

There are secret nooks around every bend –

I am always drawn to nineteenth century European paintings, like this Vuillard – 

Tropical Gauguin always makes me happy

as does joyful Monet.

All of the galleries are painted different colors, but they all go together. Early Italian art is housed is rooms that are a deep midnight blue with light grey molding.

It really was quite striking. I've never seen gallery walls that color before.

The Yale Art Gallery is renowned for its collection of American art and decorative arts. The big windows in this decorative arts gallery reveal the buildings of Yale beyond.

Ancient art is found in a light-filled Gothic gallery. 

More treasures around every turn – 

A peak into a classroom – a nice place to go to school.

You can really wander for hours in this museum and not see everything. By the time we were done we were hungry so we repaired to Christie's Irish pub (thank you, Google search) for a proper pint and a hamburger lunch at the bar. It was a lovely afternoon in New Haven.


Sharron said...

Thanks so much for this post! I was unaware of this museum and if I ever get to that part of the country, would love to check it out!

Unknown said...


Bart Boehlert said...

Sharron - It is a must-see if you are in the neighborhood –
Abigail - Yes, our friend John!

Dean Farris said...

What a fantastic trip!

Reggie Darling said...

Hello Bart, Thanks for this terrific post! Boy and I visited the YAG last year and were blown away by it. A mini Metropolitan Museum. It is much improved and expanded from when I came to know it well as an undergraduate at Yale. And much more popular! It was very crowded the day we visited it. A minor detraction, indeed. What a marvelous job Mr. Reynolds has done in overseeing its transformation. Brovo! Reggie

Bart Boehlert said...

Hi Reggie,
I think I remember your visit - We had such a good time, and it was practically empty.
Hope you and Boy are well -

susan broderick said...

Thank you for this lovely overview of the Yale University Art Gallery. My husband and I plan to visit in July and very much appreciate this concise, visual, and informative blog post!