Search Hints

The Yale University Art Gallery’s online collection search provides access to approximately 130,000 database records and over 150,000 associated digital images. This information changes weekly as objects are added, updated, and enhanced with current research. The collection search uses the fixed terminology that the museum uses to catalogue its collection. Fine-tune the results of your search by entering more terms into the fields, or put terms in quotes to return exact phrases. To search the entire site, including publications or exhibitions, use the keyword search box, located in the upper-right corner of each of the Gallery’s website pages.

Search Field Descriptions


The curatorial department at the Gallery in which the object resides. Use the drop-down to select. For Art of the Ancient Americas, use Precolumbian. Example: African Art


The title of the object. Type the first words of the title in exact order (with or without any initial articles) and place the title in quotation marks. Punctuation and capitalization are not necessary. Examples: Declaration of Independence; first steps; Night Cafe


The place name in several contexts: place of production or manufacture, findspot or place of excavation, etc. Includes cities, states, countries, and regions. Avoid abbreviations. For Art of the Ancient Americas, use the Culture field instead. Examples: Boston; Rhode Island; France


The types of objects in the collection. Use the drop-down to select. Example: Works on Paper-Drawings and Watercolors


The materials with which the object is made. This field includes broader terms such as “wood” or “stone,” as well as more specific terms such as “oak” or “marble.” It also records secondary materials, so searching for “gold” will retrieve records for gilded objects as well as those made of gold.

For painting, this field includes the pigment and type of support, for instance “oil on canvas.” Likewise, for graphic art, the field includes the pigment and material of support, for instance “paper” (or distinct types of paper), “silk,” or “linen.” For drawings, the field uses terms such as “graphite” or “pencil,” “watercolor,” and “wash.”

This field also includes the techniques employed to make an object, such as “glazed” or “etching.” It also includes “cast” for bronzes and “carved” for many forms of sculpture.

The field also covers ceramic types, such as “mino ware” and “bizen ware.”

Accession Number

The Gallery’s internal registration number used to identify the object. In general, the accession number is composed of three elements, each separated by a period: year of accession (as four digits); number of gift during that year; number of object within that gift. Components are indicated with numbers or letters and are not necessary for searching purposes. Long-term loan objects are preceded by “ILE.” Examples: 1959.15.22; 2012.124.13.1–.2; ILE2008.14.4


The name of the person or organization related in various ways to the object: including artists, makers, manufacturers, publishers, printers, producers, etc.; authors of works illustrated or otherwise referenced; and authorities, such as rulers and others authorizing the issue of coins, banknotes, or tokens, including mints.

For a basic artist search, type the artist’s last name; for a more specific search, type the artist’s first and last name (in that order). Examples: van Gogh; David Smith; Tiffany and Company; Caracalla.


The cultural origin of the object. This includes nationalities, tribal affiliations, and other information. For Art of the Ancient Americas, use this field for geography. Examples: French; Baga; Mexico


The availability of an object for viewing. “On view” indicates that the object is on view in one of the museum’s exhibition galleries. “On view*” indicates that some part(s) of the object are on view but others are not. “Viewable by appointment” indicates that an object is available for viewing in one of the museum’s study rooms. For objects in the Department of American Decorative Arts that indicate this status, please contact 203.432.0632; for objects in the Department of Coins and Medals, please contact 203.432.1801; and for objects in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, please contact 203.432.0628. “Not on view” means that the object is not generally available to the public; if you are a researcher who would like to request access, please contact the appropriate curatorial department.

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Allows you to adjust the order of your search results. Use the drop-down to choose your sort preference.

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Artists, Photography
Collection Objects
American Paintings and Sculpture
Artists, Photography