Yale University Art Gallery

I don’t spend enough time around art.

I’m one of those people who would* visit an art museum and wander aimlessly, drinking in every piece as if it were the only work of art there.

*Keyword: would.
Number of times I’ve wandered aimlessly around a museum with no time schedule to keep = 0

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We stopped by Yale University Art Gallery our first day in Connecticut after stuffing ourselves on Frank Pepe’s Pizza. Of the many museums at Yale, the art gallery and the Peabody Museum were on our ‘to go to’ list. There were only a few hours left before closing time* and since the art gallery is free, we decided that was our best choice.

*We planned to save the Peabody Museum for President’s Day. However, on that day we met packed parking lots and sidewalks lined with backpacked students and briefcase bearing professors. We tabled going to the Peabody Museum and decided to go shopping instead.

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Even the ceiling was artistic

I didn’t know what to expect from a free art gallery. Maybe a small selection of art, possibly student made, and in and out in under an hour.

The room of African art conveyed that this was a real art gallery with pieces dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Still, I expected one or two more rooms of art, and nothing more.*

*Lance had the floor plan, otherwise I might have realized that the gallery holds four levels of art ranging from African to Indo-Pacific to Modern and Contemporary.

When we entered the ancient art collection, the mass of this place hit me.

And I decided I never wanted to leave.

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There was even more to be seen, but the ancient art was my favorite.

It reminded me of Paris and then I started planning a trip to Europe in my head…which is probably a dangerous thing to do while already on vacation.

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We ran into The Thinker and I was surprised to learn several casts exist, however, this one corresponds to Rodin’s originally conceived dimensions.

In the background is a sculpture titled, “Beethoven with Two Hands”.

It would look perfect in my music room.

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A view of Harkness Tower from the museum

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I’m a sucker for stained glass. It was my only criteria for the church I wanted to be married in.

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In the modern art collection, there were a lot of relics that seemed rather ordinary, however, I was excited to see one of the original Chemex coffeemakers.

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And then there was this.

Do you know how badly I wanted that orange laptop when I was a teenager?

Pretty darn bad.

And now it’s on display in a museum.

No. I don’t feel old. Not at all.

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These two pieces by Titus Kaphar need no description to convey the powerful message behind them. ‘Unfit Frame’ and ‘Enough About You’ highlight Yale’s namesake, Elihu Yale, and the role he played in slave trade. These pieces are mixed media works which, as its description states, ‘question the traditional historical narrative, recognize stereotypes and racism today, and reexamine our own heritage’.

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Even the stairs were beautiful.

All I want in life is to live in a house with stairs like these.

Please?

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Yale University Art Gallery
1111 Chapel Street (at York Street)
New Haven, Connecticut

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