This summer and fall, the Yale Center for British Art will embark on the first phase of a major conservation project addressing some of the interior spaces of its landmark building by architect Louis I. Kahn. 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.
Throughout this website, the icon at left denotes information that relates to the Center’s building conservation project.
Visit the Permanent Collection and Museum Shop
During the renovations, the permanent collection will remain on view in the fourth-floor galleries. A special installation, Sculpture by Nicola Hicks, will also be installed on the fourth floor. Our hours will not change and the Museum Shop will be open. The Reference Library will remain open for its regular hours, though there will be periods of disruption.
Access to the Prints and Drawings and Rare Books and Manuscripts collections will be by appointment only through December 6, 2013. The Study Room will be closed from December 7, 2013 through January 13, 2014. Normal services will resume on January 14, 2014, with no appointment required.
The second- and third-floor galleries will be closed to the public. Regrettably, the Center will be unable to host Visiting Scholars during this period.
Programs and Tours
The Center’s schedule of programs will be limited and most lectures, concerts, and films will take place at alternate venues. Requests for private tours of the fourth-floor galleries will need to be made three weeks in advance.
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) by Peter Inskip and Stephen Gee, in association with Constance Clement, the Center’s deputy director. 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 identify significant features of the building that must be protected and others that might be changed.
Led by George Knight (Yale MArch 1995) of Knight Architecture LLC, Yale’s Office of Facilities, and Turner Construction Company, the 2013 project will replace worn carpeting and discolored wall linen and renew millwork that is soiled and bleached from the sun. In order to accommodate the Center’s growing collections, new storage units will be fabricated that replicate the original white oak cases. Additionally, some office spaces will be reconfigured to suit the needs of the expanded departments more effectively. Technological improvements will be undertaken, and code and life-safety issues will also be addressed.
The second phase of the project will take place during 2015 when the public galleries on the second, third, and fourth floors will be refurbished. Visitors will have limited access to the building and no special exhibitions will be mounted or visiting fellowships awarded. When the Center reopens in 2016, the permanent collection will be reinstalled completely on all floors, and the Lecture Hall will have been totally refurbished.
Prints and Drawings collections: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rare Books and Manuscripts collections: email@example.com
Study Room: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reference Library: email@example.com
Public Tours: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visiting Scholar Program: email@example.com
Search seamlessly across the Center’s art collections and reference library.
Yale’s online library catalog, including material from Rare Books and Manuscripts
Yale Finding Aid Database
Detailed descriptions of Rare Books and Manuscripts archival collections