Holiday Hours: Closed Thanksgiving Day, Open Friday–Sunday

Gallery Archives

The Gallery Archives include personal papers, administrative records, and photographs from 1925 to the present that document the history of the museum. 

From the Archives

Today, educational programs at the Yale University Art Gallery are led by a wide range of teachers, from staff educators and curators to visiting artists and scholars to Yale undergraduate and graduate students. The Gallery Archives reveal that the Gallery’s first docent was Alice Elizabeth Chase, who was hired in 1931 and remained in the position until her retirement in 1970. She was probably the first docent of her kind in an American museum. As an ambassador for the Gallery, she welcomed local teachers eager to learn about the Gallery’s collections; initiated weekend activities for children, programs for schools, and lectures for adults; and was frequently invited to speak to community organizations. The overwhelming success of her programs expanded the role of the University in the cultural life of New Haven, forging an important link between the Gallery and the city. You can learn more about Chase and her contributions to the Gallery in the 2013 volume of the Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin.

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Alice Elizabeth Chase teaching from the Gallery’s collection of Egyptian art, ca. 1949


The Gallery Archives are open by appointment. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Elise Kenney, Archivist, at 203.432.0610 or

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