Yale Center for British Art ranked among world’s greatest galleries

The Yale Center for British Art is #15 on the list of “The World’s 50 Greatest Galleries” published on May 4 by The Times of London.

The Times of London article praised the architecture of the Yale Center for British Art, which was designed by Louis I. Kahn,

The Yale gallery ranks between the Musée d’Orsay, Paris (#14) and Tate Modern, London (#16) on the list, which was created by a panel of five critics. All of the galleries chosen by The Times were recognized for their capacity to “surprise, please, and provoke.”

In particular, the article praised the center’s architectural design by Louis I. Kahn, and the depth and quality of its collections, which were presented to the University by the late Paul Mellon (Yale College Class of 1929). The entry ended with a special call recommending that visitors see the center’s painting “A Lion Attacking a Horse” (1762) by George Stubbs. Read the article here.

The May 4 article was the first of a two-part series in The Times on the world’s best galleries and museums. For the purposes of the lists, they defined a gallery as a place “where artworks alone are displayed, while museums house a wider variety of objects that relate to our past and the way we live now.” A list of the 50 greatest museums in the world will be published on May 11.

(A side-note: The center’s across-the-street neighbor, the Yale University Art Gallery, has also garnered critical acclaim since the new and expanded building, also designed by Kahn, reopened in December.)

In other news …

This summer and fall, the Yale Center for British Art will embark on the first phase of a major conservation project to refurbish some of the interior spaces of Kahn’s landmark building.

The Times article noted that one “must see” in the center’s collections is George Stubbs’ “A Lion Attacking a Horse” (1762).
Beginning in June and continuing through early January 2014, the center will restore its Study Room and areas used by the Departments of Prints and Drawings and Rare Books and Manuscripts, which have not been refurbished since the building opened to the public in April 1977. During the renovations, the permanent collection will remain on view in the fourth-floor galleries. However, there will be limited access to some services ,and the second- and third-floor galleries will be closed.

This project is the first to be undertaken since the publication of “Louis I. Kahn and the Yale Center for British Art: A Conservation Plan” (2011). The conservation plan — the first of its kind in the United States — was the result of nearly a decade of research and sets forth a series of policies that will guide the conservation project.

More details can be found here.

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