Yale Center for British Art, New Haven

4.6
#3 of 6 in Museums in New Haven
The Yale Center for British Art at Yale University in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. The collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, rare books, and manuscripts reflects the development of British art and culture from the Elizabethan period onward.CreationThe Center was established by a gift from Paul Mellon (Yale College Class of 1929) of his British art collection to Yale in 1966, together with an endowment for operations of the Center, and funds for a building to house the works of art. The building was designed by Louis I. Kahn and constructed at the corner of York and Chapel Streets in New Haven, across the street from one of Kahn's earliest buildings, the Yale University Art Gallery, built in 1953. The Yale Center for British Art was completed after Kahn's death in 1974, and opened to the public on April 19, 1977. The exterior is made of matte steel and reflective glass; the interior is made of travertine marble, white oak, and Belgian linen. Kahn succeeded in creating intimate galleries where one can view objects in diffused natural light. He wanted to allow in as much daylight as possible, with artificial illumination used only on dark days or in the evening. The building’s design, materials, and sky-lit rooms combine to provide an environment for the works of art that is simple and dignified.The Center is affiliated with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London, which awards grants and fellowships, publishes academic titles, and sponsors Yale’s first credit-granting undergraduate study abroad program, Yale-in-London.
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Yale Center for British Art Reviews
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4.6
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  • We visited both the Yale Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art today. Both were excellent, but I give this museum one more star because of the size of the collection for being outside of Bri...  more »
  • I was fortunate enough to be at the museum for an avant- guard dance performance which took up throughout the museum to watch the dancers perform in various galleries and interact with the art. It was...  more »
  • The Yale Center for British Art is a lovely space to view collections of British art. We visited the center several years ago to view The Grand Tour exhibition and recently stopped by to view the Brit...  more »
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  • Visiting the gallery have always been inspirational. My mind was entertained with beautiful and amazing paintings. To be surrounded by those paintings in Long Gallery was unbelievable. That's why it is always a pleasure to visit here again and again.
  • Informative and organized exhibition of British paintings in chronological order. No decorative arts (if you exclude sculptures). They do have other things such as prints and drawings but most of which are not on view.
  • What a wonderful gift from the Mellon family to share with the community for no cost! How can you not get at least something from the experience? ART DEGREE not required but be sure to talk to the docent when you walk in the door.
  • Beautiful space. Friendly greeters. Took a full 2 hours just to explore one floor. I recommend lunch at Olea's as a break if you want to return later in the afternoon. Free parking nearby in Yale lots if you're lucky. :)
  • I've never seen so much British art in one place before! It's easily interpreted as the presentation is chronological from the top down (4th floor has the oldest art). It starts with mostly Dutch artists working in Britain, but soon progresses to the great 18th Century British artists such as Gainsborough, Reynolds, and Turner. The portraits are fantastic, as are the 19th Century landscapes. There are even modern artists occupying a fair space of the museum, most of which I didn't understand, but I did like the David Hockley stuff. A number of wonderful busts were also presented, mostly of antiquity or the 18th Century. Staff was helpful, the building is interesting, and the gift shop is good, too. All of this is free due to the largess of Paul Mellon, who also bequeathed money to the Yale University Art Museum across the street.

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