Exhibition celebrates heyday of photography studios on Chapel Street

An exhibition showcasing the photography studios that lined Chapel Street in the late 19th-century will be on display through May 4 at the Institute Library, 847 Chapel St.

Titled “Little Ghosts,” and curated by photographer and Yale School of Art faculty member Lisa Kereszi, the show features a collection of formal studio photographs that were commonly used in cabinet cards and cartes de visite. “Little Ghosts” evokes a bygone era of New Haven history in the very location — Chapel St. between Church and Orange streets — where most of the studios were concentrated.

The Institute Library was founded by eight working men in 1826 as the “Young Apprentices’ Literary Association” to promote the “intellectual and moral improvement of its members.” The association opened its doors to women in 1835 and was the center of intellectual life and civil discourse in New Haven for most of the 19th century. In addition to serving as a lending library, it also offered adult education courses and hosted a popular lecture series, which counted among its notable speakers Frederick Douglass, Henry Ward Beecher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Charles Dickens. Housed in its present site since 1878, the Institute Library retains much of its original Victorian décor and furnishings.

The library is open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and Saturday, 11a.m.–2 p.m. For more information, call 203-562-4045.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345