Shakespearean paintings by an American artist are showcased in new installation

As part of the celebration Shakespeare at Yale, the Yale University Art Gallery is displaying works by Edwin Austin Abbey, an expatriate American painter who was awarded an honorary degree by Yale in 1897.

Preliminary sketch for "Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and the Lady Anne," 1895–1896. (Edwin Austin Abbey Collection, Yale University Art Gallery)

Abbey’s “The Play Scene in ‘Hamlet’” and “Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and the Lady Anne” are on view in the gallery through June 10.

Abbey became renowned in his adopted home of England for his paintings and illustrations of medieval classics. He was regarded as a master of narrative detail and was also lauded for his dedication to painstaking research and archeological accuracy.

Related Programs

Wednesday, March 28, 12:15 p.m.: “An American Artist Paints Shakespeare: Edwin Austin Abbey at Yale,” a gallery talk by Lucy Oakley, head of education and programs at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University.

Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, 2 p.m.: “Character Studies: Portraying Shakespeare’s ’Richard III’ in Word and Image,” a gallery talk by Helen A. Cooper, the Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, and Murray Biggs, adjunct associate professor of English and theater at Yale.

The gallery talks on April 20 and 21 will include a staging of the relevant scene from “Richard III.”

The Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (until 8 p.m. on Thursday), and Sunday, 1-6 p.m. It is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is free. For additional information, visit or call 203-432-0600.

Edwin Austin Abbey's "The Play Scene in 'Hamlet'" (Act III, Scene 2), 1897. (Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Collection, Yale University Art Gallery)
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