Yale Bulletin
and Calendar


Discover the Arts at Yale

With two major art museums, celebrated professional schools of art, architecture, music and drama and world-renowned collections of manuscripts, archives and historic memorabilia, Yale University is a cultural mecca.

On any given day Yale extends to the public a rich array of exhibitions, performances, concerts and lectures -- most of them at no cost. Indeed, we have randomly selected one day, October 24, 2003, to prove the point. Take this journey through the arts at Yale, and surely you will agree that one day is not enough to take in all the cultural treasures it offers.

Yale's Museums of the Written Word
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Sterling Memorial Library

The first stop on our tour is the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, one of the largest libraries in the world devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts. Before entering, stop to admire the imposing marble building that holds the remarkable collection. Designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft and completed in 1963, the Beinecke is one of many landmark 20th-century buildings by celebrated architects that dot the Yale campus. The windowless rectangular structure, which receives natural light through its translucent marble walls, houses about 800,000 volumes, several million manuscripts and growing collections of documents in other formats. It serves as a research center not only for Yale students and faculty, but for scholars the world over.

A copy of the Gutenberg Bible, the first book ever created on a moveable-type press, is on permanent view on the mezzanine of the Beinecke Library.

Throughout the year, the Beinecke organizes special exhibitions to showcase holdings from its collections. The life and work of poet Langston Hughes, the photographs of Carl Van Vechten and children's books with a legal theme are among the subjects of exhibitions the Beinecke has mounted in recent years. Two of the library's most prized holdings, the Gutenberg Bible and James Audubon's "Birds of America," are on permanent display on the mezzanine.

The main exhibition at the Beinecke now through December is of manuscripts, photographs and artifacts documenting the rich cultural heritage of St. Petersburg, Russia. The Beinecke exhibition is coordinated with other campus events on the same subject, which typifies the creative integration of disparate disciplines and interests at Yale. Thus, during the time that the St. Petersburg exhibition is on display at the Beinecke, an international conference of scholars will meet at Yale to discuss Peter the Great's "window on Europe," and Russian music will be performed in various venues.

Just down the street, Sterling Memorial Library -- the University's main library -- is running two other exhibitions on a Russian theme, one paying tribute to the acclaimed Yale Russian Chorus and the other, "Coins, Medals and Maps of Imperial Russia," featuring artifacts from the Sterling Library and Yale University Art Gallery collections. On the same weekend that the symposium on St. Petersburg is underway, the Yale School of Music's Philharmonia Orchestra will perform a concert devoted exclusively to the music of Russian composers, and the Yale Russian Chorus will celebrate its 50th year in song.

Before you walk in to the main entrance of the Sterling Library, on High Street, be sure to take note of the Women's Table, the granite fountain Yale alumna Maya Lin designed to commemorate the women who have attended Yale since they first were admitted to the School of Fine Arts in 1873. Lin is one of several premier artists -- Isamu Noguchi, Alexander Calder and Roy Lichtenstein among them -- whose work has become part of the Yale landscape.

Oldest University Art Museum in the New World
Yale University Art Gallery

The next stop is the Yale University Art Gallery, the oldest university art museum in the western hemisphere and, as the precursor to Yale's famed professional Schools of Art, Drama and Architecture, the cradle of the arts at Yale. The Yale Art Gallery was founded in 1832 as a museum to house the work of patriot-artist John Trumbull. From Trumbull's roughly 100 portraits and history paintings, the collections have grown to number close to 90,000 objects.

Docents at the Yale University Art Gallery present talks about the works in the museum's collections several times weekly.

In 1864, construction began on a new building, Street Hall. Serving as classroom and studio space as well as museum, Street Hall exemplifies another Yale innovation: the incorporation of works of art into the academic curriculum. An exhibition and related lecture series held at the Yale Art Gallery in 1858 introduced the idea of using collections to teach drawing, painting, sculpture and art history and led to the establishment of the School of Fine Arts -- today known as the Yale School of Art, and still the museum's close partner.

By the 1920s, ground was broken for the Yale Art Gallery's third home. Designed by architect Egerton Swartwout, the new gallery was completed in 1928. The architect intended to extend the gallery to York Street, but as the brick and glass building on the corner indicates, he never realized his ambition. In fact, this exemplar of late 20th-century modernism is the work of the celebrated architect Louis I. Kahn. Erected between 1951 and 1953, during Kahn's tenure on the Yale faculty, the Yale Art Gallery is the first of the architect's designs ever to be built and the first modern building on a campus that has since become a veritable museum of modern architecture.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw vast additions to the gallery's holdings, among them the Jarves Collection, considered one of the great collections of early Renaissance art outside Europe; 150 Old Master prints, which led to the establishment of the print room, now containing about 30,000 works on paper; the Garvan Collection, one of the nation's finest collections of American decorative arts; the Société Anonyme Collection of nearly 1,000 early modernist works; a broad representation of Old Master, Impressionist and American paintings; and archaeological treasures, including a notable collection of Etruscan and Greek vases.

Late-20th-century acquisitions that significantly enhanced the ethnic and global diversity of the Yale Art Gallery's holdings include African art objects; Mesoamerican antiquities; and a growing body of Asian paintings, porcelains, bronzes and textiles. A sampling of old and modern artists whose works were added to the gallery's collections since 1960 include such masters as Hals, Copley, Eakins, Picasso, Rothko, Renoir, Delacroix, Monet, Cézanne, Pollock and de Kooning.

For the next two years, while Kahn's 50-year-old landmark building is undergoing a major restoration, the gallery's activities will be centered in the Swartwout building. You can still see Yale's renowned collections of American art and a selection from each of the museum's curatorial departments. You can also visit the current special exhibition "Curule: Ancient Design in American Federal Furniture," which explores an unusual inspiration for classical revival furniture of the early 19th-century, and was the subject of a symposium that took place earlier in the fall. If you want to learn more about this or any other special exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery, you may purchase a catalog at the museum store.

Largest Collection of British Art Outside of the United Kingdom
Yale Center for British Art

Opened in 1977, the world-renowned Yale Center for British Art is a public museum and research institute, housing the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom.

Through the museum's extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, watercolors, prints and rare books, both scholars and casual visitors can explore British art, life and thought from the Elizabethan period onward. On view are works from the "Golden Age" of British art (1697­1851), featuring masters such as John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, Sir Joshua Reynolds, William Hogarth and William Blake, as well as major figures from Europe and America who lived and worked in Britain. The center also contains a reference library, photograph archive, conservation laboratory and study room for examining works on paper.

A partnership between the Yale Center for British Art and theYale School of Medicine helps future doctors sharpen their observational skills by having them study and discuss works from the museum's collections

The Yale Center for British Art also offers a year-round schedule of exhibitions and programs for adults and children, including concerts, film series, tours, lectures, symposia, workshops and family events. The center's Museum Shop features gift items and books from the United Kingdom.

The center was created through the generosity of philanthropist and lifelong patron of the arts, Paul Mellon (1907­1999), who devoted much of his time and resources to bringing great works of art and literature to the American public. Mellon, a 1929 graduate of Yale College, was an avid collector of British art. In 1966, he donated his acquisitions to Yale and provided funds for a building to house the works of art and an endowment to sustain its operations.

One of the center's greatest treasures is the building itself, the final project of internationally acclaimed architect Louis I. Kahn. The building's exterior of matte steel and reflective glass has become a New Haven landmark, and it was the first museum in the United States to incorporate retail shops in its design. The four-floor interior is designed around two courtyards and comprised of a rich palette of natural materials (travertine marble, white oak and natural linen walls). The artworks in the intimate, comfortably scaled galleries are designed to be viewed by natural light as much as possible, with artificial illumination reserved for dark days and evenings.

This fall, the center is hosting a rich array of exhibitions and programs. Currently on view is "Traces of India: Photography, Architecture and the Politics of Representation." The center is the first U.S. venue for this new exhibition of 19th-century photographs of India's monuments. Organized by the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, "Traces of India" weaves various narratives around major sites of Indian history to explore the colonial context of photography in British India.

A related exhibition, "Company Culture: British Artists and the East India Company, 1770-1830," features works from the center's permanent collection. This exhibition highlights the visual production of British artists working in India and the subcontinent as a result of the East India Company's domination.

Building the Next Generation of Master Designers
Yale School of Architecture

Within a short walk from the original School of Fine Arts are the three professional schools that evolved from it. Directly across the street from the Yale Art Gallery, on York Street, is the imposing Art & Architecture Building designed by Paul Rudolph, which now houses the Yale School of Architecture.

The Yale School of Architecture hosts exhibits and talks throughout the year featuring renowned designers who come to the school as visiting faculty, such as Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry (seated, far right).

The Department of Architecture was established in 1916 as part of the Yale School of Art. It moved several times before it took up residence in the new Art & Architecture building in 1963. It wasn't until 1972 that Architecture became a professional school independent from the School of Art.

Many of the world's most famous architects and designers have been affiliated with the school. Graduates include Eero Saarinen, Lord Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, David Childs, Charles Gwathmey, Maya Lin and the present dean, Robert A.M. Stern. Its faculty is equally renowned: In addition to Rudolph and Stern, the school has been led by George Howe, Charles Moore, Cesar Pelli, Thomas Beeby and Fred Koetter. Its faculty has included top practitioners, from Philip Johnson, Louis Kahn and Robert Venturi to Frank Gehry, Peter Eisenman, Zaha Hadid and Rafael Vinoly, who are currently teaching.

Renowned for its humanist approach to teaching, its incorporation of many disciplines into its curriculum and such programs as the First Year Building Project and the Urban Design Workshop, the Yale School of Architecture is far more than a training ground for the top-tier architects of the future. It has long served as a forum where ideas are exchanged and some of the basic tenets and far-reaching applications of architecture are both honored and challenged.

At least once a week during the school year, and often more than that, the School of Architecture opens its doors to the public for lectures and symposia. Maya Lin, Norman Foster, Daniel Libeskind and Glenn Murcutt have spoken at the school in recent years, and such distinguished guests as Moshe Safdie, Gregg Pasquarelli, Sheila Kennedy and Kenneth Frampton have lectured here this fall.

One of the exciting developments at the School of Architecture in the past few years has been the creation of an exhibition space at the ground floor of the Art & Architecture building. Created as the result of an ambitious renovation of the interior of the building, the gallery has become a major cultural resource both locally and nationally.

October 24 is a typically stimulating day at the Yale School of Architecture. You can take in the exhibition "Intricacy," curated by Davenport Visiting Professor Greg Lynn, which explores the brave new visual world digital technology has spawned. If you're intrigued by this show and would like insight into the mind of the architect, consider attending the symposium "Architecture and Psychoanalysis," which is taking place this weekend at the School of Architecture.

Shining the Spotlight on Today's and Tomorrow's Stars
Yale School of Drama
Yale Repertory Theatre

Directly across the street from the Yale Art Gallery and diagonally across from the School of Architecture is the remodeled Baptist church that has been the home and stage of Yale Repertory Theatre from the time it was founded in 1966. Envisioned by its founder, Robert Brustein, as the "Master Teacher" of the Yale School of Drama, the Yale Rep is downtown New Haven's Tony Award-winning professional theater company and a training ground for students in all disciplines of the theatre.

The Yale Repertory Theatre is renowned for its innovative dramatic productions, such as last season's all-male, Latin-themed version of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew."

Ever since Yale School of Drama was created from the School of Fine Arts in 1925, it has been training actors, directors, set designers, playwrights and master technicians who dominate stages and screens across the nation and around the globe.

Through the decades, Yale Rep has been home to a diverse group of distinguished artists, both on and off stage. Acting luminaries such as Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Angela Bassett, John Turturro, Frances McDormand and Charles S. Dutton made their professional debuts on the Yale Rep stage while they were students at the School of Drama. Countless other leading American actors and actresses have also appeared at the Yale Rep, including Colleen Dewhurst, Jason Robards, James Earl Jones, Glenn Close, Danny Glover, Amy Brenneman and William Hurt.

From 1979 to 1991, under the directorship of Drama School Dean Lloyd Richards, the Yale Rep produced premieres of four plays by the award-winning South African playwright Athol Fugard. Yale Rep also fostered a dynamic artistic relationship with playwright August Wilson, which began with "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," and continued with "Fences," "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," "The Piano Lesson" and "Two Trains Running," all of which had their world premieres at Yale Rep before moving to Broadway.

During the tenure of Stan Wojewodski Jr., dean and artistic director from 1991 to 2002, Yale Rep enjoyed a long association with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. Her works "The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World," "The America Play" and "Venus" all had their world premieres at Yale Rep.

James Bundy succeeded Wojewodski as dean and artistic director in 2002. His first season, celebrated by critics and audiences, included "Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella"; "The Taming of the Shrew," directed by Mark Lamos, featuring an all-male cast; and the world premiere of "The Black Monk" by David Rabe, with Yale alumnus Sam Waterston playing a lead role.

The 2003­2004 season, running through May, has just opened with the North American premiere of "The Black Dahlia," a crime saga based on the novel by James Ellroy (author of "L.A. Confidential"), which runs through Nov. 8. The season also includes the world premieres of "Rothschild's Fiddle" and "The Mystery Plays," which will transfer to New York City in the spring.

Throughout the academic year, students at Yale School of Drama present a season of their own productions, giving the public an opportunity to see the work of the American theater's most gifted young professionals -- before they are discovered. This season includes "Orpheus Descending" by Tennessee Williams, "The Skin of Our Teeth" by Thornton Wilder, "The Lonesome West" by Martin McDonagh, and "Uncle Vanya" by Anton Chekhov.

Another theatergoer's delight is the Yale Cabaret, an entirely student-run theater that presents a series of 20 shows during the academic year in an intimate, club-like setting. Founded in 1968, the Yale Cabaret presents two performances nightly, Thursday through Saturday, and serves pre-show dinners, snacks and desserts.

Inspiring Artistic Visions in the Digital Age
Yale School of Art

Also in the arts area of the University are the new buildings of the Yale School of Art, one of the oldest and most influential art schools in the country.

The first art school in the nation to be associated with an institution of higher learning, the Yale School of Art was established in 1864 as an outgrowth of what is now the Yale University Art Gallery and funded in its inception by August Russell Street (for whom Street Hall is named). For two centuries, it was connected both physically and through its academic curriculum with other departments at the University (drama, art history and architecture).

The multi-media production "Ankle Diver," a project sponsored by the Digital Media Center for the Arts, was staged in the New Theater in the Yale School of Art.

An independent professional school since 1972, the Yale School of Art is now housed in the old Jewish Community Center at 1156 Chapel St. An additional new building at 353 Crown St., which was designed by Yale School of Architecture faculty member Deborah Berke, opened in 2000.

The school is known both for its legendary faculty members such as Josef Albers, Paul Rand, Walker Evans and Andrew Forge, as well as for its alumni -- such as Chuck Close, Richard Serra, Eva Hesse, William Bailey and Ivan Chermayeff -- who continue to be leaders in the artistic field More recent alumni have included graphic designers Kyle Cooper and Garry Trudeau, photographers Philip Lorca DiCorcia and Gregory Crewdson and sculptors Jessica Stockholder and Sean Landers.

Facilities in the School of Art's new home, Holcombe T. Green Jr. Hall, include a black box state-of-the-art theater used by the School of Drama, as well as digital labs for graphic design, painting, photography and sculpture. The hall also houses the departments of the two-year M.F.A. program and the Yale College undergraduate major in art, which involves as many as 700 course enrollments each year. The school's strong interdisciplinary curriculum includes connections both to the other arts area programs, such as the new Yale Digital Media Center for the Arts, as well as a roster of over 150 visiting artists, writers, filmmakers and critics.

A new three-story gallery mounts exhibitions throughout the year of work by students, faculty and alumni. Through Oct. 30, an exhibition of summer work by Yale College majors, including those who were fellows at the renowned Yale-Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art, is on view. In November, the University will celebrate the Walker Evans centennial with seminars and a major exhibition of digital prints of his work in the gallery at Green Hall.

Performing and Creating Music for the Ages
Yale School of Music
Yale Institute of Sacred Music
Yale Collection of Musical Instruments

For those who are more musically inclined, Yale offers a broad range of performances by some of today's newest and most celebrated musicians.

Music at Yale enjoys a level of participation and excellence that is unequaled among American universities. There are many undergraduate organizations, each with its own unique repertoire. While the most famous of these may be the Yale Whiffenpoofs, these groups also include the celebrated Yale Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Concert Band, the Yale Glee Club, Whim 'n Rhythm, the Yale Slavic chorus, the Yale Bach Society Orchestra and the Department of Music's Opera Theater of Yale College, among many others.

Emmanuel Ax, who opened this year's Horowitz Piano Series with a concert in the newly refurbished Sprague Memorial Hall, leads a master class with a Yale School of Music student. Many of these classes are open to the public.

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music -- a program focusing on the history and practice of sacred music, and on worship and the arts -- presents exhibitions and film series throughout the year, as well as concerts by its two choral groups. The institute, whose organ program attracts many of the nation's most gifted students of the instrument, also sponsors the Great Organ Music at Yale series. Artists in the series generally perform on the renowned Newbury Organ in Woolsey Hall, Yale's largest concert venue. Woolsey is also the site of talks and performances by campus groups and community organizations, most notably the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

Yale's Collection of Musical Instruments, which contains more than 1,000 rare instruments documenting the Western European music tradition, presents an annual series of concerts featuring performances on historic instruments from its holdings. On Oct. 26, the featured artists will be cellist Tanya Tomkins and pianist Eric Zivian.

Over 400 concerts and recitals are presented each year by faculty and students at the Yale School of Music, a professional school offering programs in performance and composition. All of these performances are open to the public, many of them free of charge.

The School of Music had its beginnings in 1855 when Gustave Jacob Stoeckel was appointed as Yale's first music teacher. A Department of Music was created in 1890, and in 1894, this department became the Yale School of Music. A building for the school, the Albert Arnold Sprague Memorial Hall, was constructed in 1917.

The School of Music lists many of the most honored composers of the past century among its faculty and alumni, including Charles Ives, Paul Hindemith, Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis and Ezra Laderman. Its alumni also include renowned concert artists, conductors and chamber musicians.

This fall, the School of Music marked the re-opening of its main concert venue, Sprague Memorial Hall, following a year of renovations. The renovated hall was outfitted with state-of-the-art acoustics, theatrical lighting, supertitles and removable seats to accommodate a small orchestra.

Sprague Hall is the venue for productions by the Yale Opera program of the School of Music (which also stages an annual production in New Haven's Shubert Theatre); the New Music New Haven, Chamber Music Society and Faculty Artist series, a yearly Guitar Festival; and the Duke Ellington Fellowship, which has sponsored performances by such famed jazz musicians as Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck.

The School of Music also hosts master classes by visiting celebrity performers, which are also frequently open to the public. This year, pianist Laredo, Metropolitan Opera baritone Alan Held and the world-famous soprano Renata Scotto will be featured master teachers.

Yale became an "all Steinway School" this year, and the most prestigious addition to its Steinway collection is the piano that Vladimir Horowitz willed to the school. The School of Music has a Horowitz Piano Series in honor of the virtuoso, which began this season with a concert by Emanuel Ax. Ruth Laredo will be the next guest artist in the series, on Nov. 5.

Tonight, you can round out your day at Yale with a free concert by the School of Music's Philharmonia Orchestra. The Oct. 24 performance in Woolsey Hall includes works by Russian composers Shostakovich, Kabalesvsky, Mussorgsky and others. The concert is tied in to the theme of St. Petersburg, and complements the exhibition at the Beinecke Library, where you began the day's journey.

As you can see, the variety of events you can take in just this one day at Yale is vast -- perhaps too vast for such a brief visit. We hope this taste of the arts will whet your appetite for more, and you will return time and again.


Discover the Arts at Yale

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