Yale University Art Gallery Welcomes Visitors Back beginning May 14

Installation view of Highlights from the Modern European Art Collection.

View of the new installation Highlights from the Modern European Art Collection, Yale University Art Gallery

Projection of a pair of cows.

Projection of Pair of Cows, Tiberou, Tibesti Mountains, Chad, 5500-2000 B.C.E. (Pastoral period). Pigment on rock. British Museum, London, Trust for African Rock Art, inv. no. 2013,2034.7370. © TARA/David Coulson

View of Kline and Rothko installation, including wall with life-size photos of the two artists.

View of the new installation Kline and Rothko: Six Works from the Lang Collection, Yale University Art Gallery

The Gallery will be open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays

Having been closed to the public for an extended period in accordance with Yale University’s COVID-19 protocols, the Yale University Art Gallery reopens on May 14, welcoming visitors back to enjoy installations both old and new in its permanent-collection galleries. The Gallery also unveils six new artworks by Franz Kline and Mark Rothko that were a recent gift from the Friday Foundation.

The museum will be open on Fridays from 3:00 to 7:00 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. Visitors may reserve free timed tickets on the Gallery’s website. A limited number of walk-up tickets will be available daily on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The Gallery will require visitors to wear face masks and practice physical distancing. The museum has also implemented more frequent cleaning measures and adopted additional safety protocols for both visitors and staff. For full information on the safety measures in place, visit the Gallery’s website.

“This has been a challenging year for so many of us, and now, more than ever, museums can offer a respite—whether by fostering a sense of discovery and creativity or just by serving as a place to come together,” says Stephanie Wiles, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Gallery. “During the closure, we were overwhelmed by the number of people who shared how much they missed being in the permanent-collection galleries. We are thrilled to be able to invite our visitors back to the Gallery to experience our extraordinary collection and reconnect with their favorite artworks. I extend my gratitude to our dedicated staff and to all of our colleagues across the Yale University campus. Their hard work has allowed us to reactivate the galleries.”

Visitors will be able to view hundreds of artworks in the permanent-collection galleries from a wide range of cultures and time periods, including new installations of the collection such as:

African Art

Breaking from the previous thematic arrangement of objects, the reimagined installation of the Laura and James J. Ross Gallery of African Art on the first floor features works of art organized by culture. The gallery also showcases a number of newly acquired textiles.

A highlight of the new display is a series of photographs of African rock-art sites, which are being projected onto the convex exterior of the Gallery’s iconic, cylindrical Louis Kahn–designed stairwell, transforming a once-neglected corner of the African gallery into a space for viewing some of Africa’s most ancient cultural-heritage sites. Organized in partnership with Eric Lin, Assistant Professor Adjunct of Technical Design and Production and Yale Repertory Theatre Projection Supervisor at the Yale School of Drama, the projection consists of 40 images taken by Kenyan photographer and rock-art specialist David Coulson, who in the 1980s launched a mission to document this important tradition throughout the African continent, from Morocco to South Africa. 

Kline and Rothko: Six Works from the Lang Collection

This installation on the fourth floor of the Gallery celebrates a recent gift to the museum from the Friday Foundation, honoring the legacy of the late Seattle collectors Jane Lang Davis and Richard E. Lang. Exemplifying the Lang collection’s strength in mid-20th-century American art, the gift comprises six exceptional works on canvas and paper by Franz Kline and Mark Rothko. It includes some of the earliest examples of each artist’s mature style that bear subtle references to earlier, representational work, providing a nuanced view of Kline’s and Rothko’s gradual and iterative moves toward new practices. The installation showcases the Langs’ approach to collecting and their particular affinity for Abstract Expressionism, while bringing attention to the stylistic range of two influential contemporaries, who were among those most admired by the collectors.

Highlights from the Modern European Art Collection

Select works from the Gallery’s modern and contemporary art collection inhabit new spaces this spring. From May to July, highlights of modern European art, including work by artists such as Constantin Brancusi, Suzanne Duchamp, and Pablo Picasso, can be viewed on the museum’s fourth floor, before rejoining other favorites from the modern art collection—including some surprising additions—in the refreshed and reinstalled permanent-collection galleries this August. The fourth-floor installation also features the American artist James Prosek’s Bird Spectrum (2019) and Memory of Life (2019), which have remained on view from the previous exhibition James Prosek: Art, Artifact, Artifice.