Publications and Resources

The Yale Center for British Art Reference Library and Archives and Yale University Library provide access to numerous resources pertaining to all aspects of the Yale Center for British Art’s iconic architecture, designed by Louis I. Kahn. Scholars, students, faculty, staff, and the general public can access a wealth of materials, including original drawings, blueprints, photographs, and various books and articles on the building and its architect. For contact information, hours, and access, please visit individual department pages, or see Yale Library’s complete listings.

Publications

The following books have been published by the Yale Center for British Art in conjunction with Yale University Press to document and feature elements of the Center’s architecture and its world-renowned architect.

The Architecture of the Yale Center for British Art

Jules David Prown
New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Yale University Press, 2009.

First published in 1977 for the inauguration of the Yale Center for British Art, this book contains contemporaneous photographs of the Center. It is accompanied by an essay by Jules David Prown, the first director of the Yale Center for British Art, detailing the architecture, design, and circumstances of the commission and building of the Center. This third edition of Prown’s work includes a new foreword by the Center’s current director, Amy Meyers, bringing the celebration of the Center into the present day.

The Architecture of the Yale Center for British Art won a 2010 Connecticut Book Award in the category of design, given by the Connecticut Center for the Book.

 Louis I. Kahn and the Yale Center for British Art: A Conservation Plan

Peter Inskip and Stephen Gee, in association with Constance Clement
New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Yale University Press, 2011.

In this volume, conservation architects Peter Inskip and Stephen Gee offer the most thorough analysis to date of the Yale Center for British Art and present a plan for its proper stewardship. The authors describe the design, construction, and subsequent renovation of the Center; assess its cultural significance; analyze the building materials that comprise it; and discuss its evolution over the four decades since it opened to the public in 1977. Drawing on their extensive experience developing conservation plans for both important historic sites and modern buildings, they propose a series of policies to preserve the essence of the Center as a great architectural structure.

Louis I. Kahn in Conversation

Edited by Jules David Prown and Karen E. Denavit
New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Yale University Press, 2015

This publication provides the full transcript of Louis I. Kahn’s candid and enlightening interviews with Heinrich Klotz and John W. Cook. In 1969 and 1970, Klotz, an architectural historian and visiting professor at Yale, and Cook, a professor of architecture at the Yale Divinity School, sat down with the world-famous architect, gathering insights into Kahn’s philosophy of architecture. The conversations touch on many of his iconic works, including the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, his final building. Illustrated with dozens of plans, drawings and photographs, the book also features an introduction by Jules David Prown.

Archival Resources at Yale

Archival resources regarding the architecture of the Yale Center for British Art can be found in the Yale Center for British Art Institutional Archives and the Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives. These collections house important documents regarding the building’s original construction, as well as records of subsequent additions, renovations, and preservation plans. In addition, these collections hold historical materials on Louis I. Kahn and his practices and works.

Yale Center for British Art Institutional Archives

The Yale Center for British Art Institutional Archives holds several collections documenting the design and construction of the Center and its subsequent renovations. These include  architectural drawings—layout plans, sections, and elevations—along with other technical documents; they document Kahn’s contributions as well as those of several architecture and construction firms, including Pellecchia & Meyers; Wiss, Janney & Elster Associates, Inc.; Pfisterer, Tor & Associates; and Knight Architecture among others. The cataloguing of the Center’s archival collections is ongoing.

Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives

The Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives (MSSA) holds several collections pertaining to the Yale Center for British Art and Louis I. Kahn.

Louis Isadore Kahn Collection

This collection contains unprocessed publications on or by Louis I. Kahn dating mostly from 1962­­­­ to 1977. The Kahn Collection includes reproductions of drawings and photographs of models from the presentation of the first and second programs for the Yale Center for British Art in 1971, as well as a series of photos documenting the construction stages of the Center. Selected images from the Kahn Collection are available in the Manuscripts and Archives Digital Images Database (MADID).

Architectural Drawings and Maps of Yale University Buildings and Grounds

Among this collection of drawings are watercolors, pen-and-ink sketches, and blueprints that document the design of Yale University buildings. These include drawings documenting the conception and presentation of Kahn’s design for the Yale Center for British Art, as well as the final construction drawings for the building.  

Yale University Buildings and Grounds Photographs

The collection contains photographic reproductions of Kahn’s drawings of the interior of the Yale Center for British Art.

Library Resources at Yale

Researchers can search for materials on the Center through Yale University Library’s online catalog, Orbis. Highlights of these resources are listed below, as well as articles from periodicals that can be found at Yale or through your local library.