Acquisitions, Renovation and Expansion
View of the American Paintings and Sculpture galleries, Yale University Art Gallery. © Elizabeth Felicella, 2012
View of Modern and Contemporary art galleries, Yale University Art Gallery. © Elizabeth Felicella, 2012.
View of Modern and Contemporary art galleries, Yale University Art Gallery. © Elizabeth Felicella, 2012
View of European art galleries, Yale University Art Gallery. © Elizabeth Felicella, 2012
View of ancient art sculpture hall, Yale University Art Gallery. © Elizabeth Felicella, 2012
October 19, 2012

Grand Celebration of Renovated and Expanded Art Gallery Set for December 12; Collection Galleries Open as Installation Progresses, Featuring Many New Acquisitions

PDF icon Press Release (PDF)

On December 12, 2012, the Yale University Art Gallery will celebrate the grand opening of its multiyear renovation and expansion project

This important initiative, which has been accompanied by parallel growth in the museum’s holdings, will enable the Gallery not only to enhance its role as one of the nation’s most prominent teaching institutions, but also to join the ranks of the country’s leading public art museums. Moreover, in keeping with its mission of making its collections broadly accessible, the Gallery will open individual galleries as they are installed, enabling faculty and students to use the objects in coursework and allowing public access to the art on view (see page two).

Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale University Art Gallery, notes, “The reinstallation of the Gallery following its renovation and expansion is a stunning testament to the transformation that this project has achieved. The new galleries are superb places for viewing art, providing space for generous installations in which recently acquired works enable new perspectives on longtime favorites. As we near completion of the project, we are able to see anew the remarkable depth and sweep of the Gallery’s holdings.”

The expansion and renovation have been designed and led by Duncan Hazard and Richard Olcott, partners in the New York City-based Ennead Architects (formerly Polshek Partnership). Mr. Hazard is also the lead architectural planner for the University’s Master Plan for the Yale Arts Area, of which the Gallery renovation is a key element. The $135 million* project has increased the space occupied by the museum from one-and-a-half buildings—the 1953 modernist structure designed by Louis Kahn and approximately half of the 1928 “Old Yale Art Gallery,” designed by Egerton Swartwout—to three, encompassing the Kahn building, the entire Old Yale Art Gallery, and the contiguous 1866 Street Hall, designed by Peter Bonnett Wight (and home to the Gallery from 1867 to 1928). The project has united the three buildings into a cohesive whole while maintaining the distinctive architectural identity of each.

Mr. Reynolds continues, “We are deeply grateful to all of the Yale alumni and friends—including our Board of Governors—who have made this initiative possible, and especially for the visionary leadership of Yale President Richard C. Levin, who has supported the project from its inception.”

The expanded and renovated Gallery contains 69,975 square feet of exhibition space, compared to 40,266 square feet prior to the expansion, and occupies the length of one-and-a-half city blocks. Collection galleries currently open to visitors include those devoted to African, Asian, and Pre-Columbian art, located in the Louis Kahn building; and the galleries of ancient art, European art, coins and medals, and contemporary art, all located in the Old Yale Art Gallery. (In the newly installed galleries, work on such components as lighting, labels, and wall text continue in the coming months, perhaps limiting access to or even closing some of them.)

Installation of the new galleries of Indo-Pacific art, American paintings and sculpture, American decorative arts, modern art, and photography, and a number of study galleries including one on the art of Islam, will be completed during the fall.

The formal opening of the expanded Yale University Art Gallery will be celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at noon, with remarks by Mr. Reynolds, Yale’s Deputy Provost Peter Salovey and Dean of Yale College Mary Miller; Mr. Hazard and Mr. Olcott; and New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr.

Highlights of Recent Acquisitions

Visitors to the expanded and renovated Art Gallery will encounter not only long-celebrated treasures, such as Frans Hals’s double portrait De Heer Bodolphe and Mevrouw Bodolphe (1643), John Trumbull’s The Declaration of Independence (1786–1820), Vincent van Gogh’s The Night Café (1888), Marcel Duchamp’s Tu m’ (1918), and early-American period rooms, among many others, but also some 1,100 new acquisitions. These have been selected from among approximately 57,000 works generously donated to the Gallery since 1998, when plans for the expansion began.

Recent acquisitions range from paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, and prints, to decorative arts and design objects, and they encompass a broad range of cultures and historic eras.

Download the press release for highlights of new works on view in each curatorial department.



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