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From the Director
I hope that you enjoyed our exciting spring exhibition, The Paston Treasure: Microcosm of the Known World, which remains on view through May 27. A splendid collaboration between the Center and the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, UK, involving more than forty students and scholars, this beautiful and illuminating exhibition will travel to Norwich in June. In our galleries, for the first time in over three centuries, the painting that serves as the subject of the project is displayed with five of the extraordinary objects depicted, gathered from collections around the world. A short film, The Paston Treasure: A Painting Like No Other, narrated by the incomparable Stephen Fry, is on view, as well. If you miss the film in the exhibition, you will find it on our website and YouTube channel. Additionally, an important accompanying book, bearing the same title as the exhibition, has been published by the Center and the Norwich Castle Museum, in association with Yale University Press.
In April, we were thrilled to have the British artist Celia Paul with us for the opening of an exhibition of her works curated by Hilton Als, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who serves as theater critic for the New Yorker. Celia and Hilton, who delivered an Andrew Carnduff Ritchie lecture to open the exhibition, were here for several days, giving students the opportunity to talk with them about forging careers in the arts.
We are delighted once again to participate in New Haven’s annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas, from June 9 through 23. The Center will sponsor The Merchant of Venice at the Yale Law School and the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Pepperland at the Shubert Theatre, among other programs. To complement Pepperland, a display of works related to the Beatles, from the Center’s collection, will be on view in the Study Room prior to Scott Freiman’s talk Deconstructing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” on June 20 and 21. To coincide with the festival, the Center will present its thirteenth annual Children’s Film Festival on June 16.
Recently, the Center has augmented its photographic collections through a series of magnificent gifts and purchases. We are particularly grateful to Graham Howe, Claire and James Hyman, Charles Isaacs and Carol Nigro, and Hans P. Kraus Jr. for their generosity in helping us to enhance our holdings. To complement our focus on photography, we will present the exhibition Salt and Silver: Early Photography, 1840–1860, drawn from the distinguished collection of the Wilson Centre for Photography in London. Exhibition highlights include haunting images by the pioneering photographer, scientist, and scholar William Henry Fox Talbot, as well as fellow practitioners of his groundbreaking salted paper process—the first used to print photographic images on paper.
This year, the Royal Academy of Arts in London will celebrate its 250th anniversary with the exhibition The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition, on view at the Royal Academy from June 12 through August 19. Our colleagues Mark Hallett and Sarah V. Turner, of the Paul Mellon Centre in London, have curated this project. Here at the Center, we will highlight paintings in our collection that made their debut in the RA’s summer exhibitions. You can find these works in Britain in the World, on the second and fourth floors, and in the Long Gallery.