Day Trip: Yale University Art Gallery

Way back in mid-December (doesn’t that feel as if it were a really long time ago?) my husband forwarded me an article from the NY Times about the reopening of the Yale University Art Gallery following renovations. I was hesitant, despite glowing articles (see end of this post for links). I didn’t know if I’d enjoy it. I’m picky about museums and find it easy to be overwhelmed because I try to absorb everything at once. I didn’t know if I wanted to process more stimulus right now with many projects also begging for brain space. However, we find ourselves in a small part of New Haven with disturbing frequency, so it wouldn’t be an out-of-the-way trek if it wasn’t all we wanted it to be and we didn’t need to spend the entire day visiting. We decided to let the idea stew a while and I continued to read about the revised space. When a visit was proposed for this Sunday, I agreed, eager for a change of scenery and the hope it would recharge my creativity.

Walking up I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, the lobby is modern and looks similar to many other museums, a palette cleanser leaving you wondering what will be discovered. You walk past the blink-and-you-miss-it bookstore and through the doors into the Ancient Art Gallery and enter a space unlike others.

It was what we needed and enjoyable even if I have yet to find the words to describe it. The articles linked at the end might assist you in the formal art critiques, I found the collection paced well and that the exhibits were laid out in a pleasing manner. The collection definitely is one of the University and not just a collection of a few pieces. It is a very delightful space the begs for exploration.

We began upstairs on the fourth level in the Special Exhibition, Société Anonyme: Modernism for America (on view through June), through Modern and Contemporary Art and Design, and into Indo-Pacific Art where I became lost in the textiles.

It was at this point we vowed to return again another day to discover the remainder of their collections. The photographs below are only a very small portion of the textiles lent and curated by Ruth Barnes in the Indo-Pacific collection. My camera phone could not begin to capture the detail and I plan to start here next time.

Boola Boola, Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, December 17, 2012, p. 84
Where Opposites Attract, Holland Cotter, The New York Times, December 13, 2012
Grand Opening of Reinstated Gallery follows mult-year Renovation and Expansion Uniting Three Historic Buildings (PDF)

Yale University Art Gallery
1111 Chapel Street, New Haven, Connecticut
Closed Mondays and major holidays
metered street parking nearby