From the Director

Director Amy Meyers, fourth-floor galleries overlooking the Library Court, photograph by Michael Marsland

Dear friends,

Warmest wishes for a very Happy New Year! I hope that you had the opportunity to visit our spectacular fall exhibition, George Shaw: A Corner of a Foreign Field. We were thrilled to host George, one of the most brilliant of Turner Prize nominees, for the opening festivities for his first solo show in the United States. In addition to a captivating public conversation with exhibition curator Mark Hallett, Director of Studies at the Paul Mellon Centre in London, George led a highly personal tour of the show for our members. He also joined students from the Yale School of Art for an insightful discussion that moved beyond the display in our galleries to their own studios.

Last September, a fascinating exhibition opened at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, marking the tercentenary of the birth of Dr. William Hunter, the Scottish-born physician who transformed the practice of obstetrics; served as the first professor of anatomy at the Royal Academy of Arts, London; and donated his massive global collection to the university upon his death in 1738. The culmination of a major collaboration between the Center and The Hunterian, William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum sheds light on the interdependent cultures of art and science over the course of the eighteenth century. In anticipation of the February opening of the exhibition at the Center, we engaged with colleagues from the Yale Faculty of Arts and Sciences, School of Medicine, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Medical Historical Library, Peabody Museum, University Art Gallery, and Artspace New Haven to discuss how we might activate the project to interrogate the complex and problematic dynamics of the Enlightenment most effectively. Throughout the spring, we will host a film series, scholarly colloquium, and evening lectures further addressing the intertwined and often fraught histories of collecting and museums, particularly in the context of the university.

Two special displays celebrating recent gifts to the Center also will be on view this semester. Exploring eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British culture through the lens of children’s books and games, the exhibition Instruction and Delight: Children’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection will be the focus of our Community Day on February 23. We hope that many of you will be able to join what promises to be splendid fun for children and adults alike! Comprised of works largely donated from the collection of the late Lee MacCormick Edwards, Victorian Idyll will open in January with a talk by Alex Potts, Max Loehr Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan. Additionally, Kim Sajet, Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, will address salient issues of exclusion and elitism in portraiture in an Andrew Carnduff Ritchie Lecture, sponsored jointly by the Center and the Yale University Art Gallery. As always, these and all of our programs are free and open to the public.

In advance of our extraordinarily robust spring program, we are delighted to announce the release of the Center’s new mobile application, a fresh and exciting way to explore highlights from our collection along with the history of our landmark building, designed by Louis I. Kahn. Developed in collaboration with the Yale University Art Gallery, which also has created an app for its collection and buildings, the Center’s app features an interactive map, audio tours, a digital calendar of events, and expert commentary to provide an augmented experience of the Center’s spectacular holdings and the magnificent building in which they are housed. Visit britishart.yale.edu/app and artgallery.yale.edu/app to access this exclusive content.

We are thrilled that our recent publication “Things of Beauty Growing”: British Studio Pottery was recognized by the American Ceramics Circle with their 2018 Book Award. Published by the Center and the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, in association with Yale University Press, the volume accompanied an exhibition of the same name that was on view at the Center in 2017. Acclaim is due to the editors and exhibition curators: Glenn Adamson, Senior Research Scholar at the Center; Martina Droth, Deputy Director of Research, Exhibitions and
Publications, and Curator of Sculpture at the Center; and Simon Olding, Director, Craft Study Center, University of the Creative Arts.

With pride, we announce that Michael Appleby, former Head of Information Technology at the Center, received a 2018 Linda Lorimer Award for Distinguished Service to the University, as a member of a team representing Yale’s museums, libraries, and information technology services. Michael and his partners migrated over one million digital assets to a modern, comprehensive platform showcasing Yale’s vast collections in a single, globally accessible, online venue. While we miss Michael, we are glad that he will remain a close colleague in his new position as Director of Software Engineering in the university’s Department of Library Information Technology.

We honor Mark Aronson, Chief Conservator at the Center, for his appointment as the new Chair of the Conservation Lab at Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH). Under Mark’s inspired leadership, this state-of-the-art conservation facility is bound to foster superb multidisciplinary collaborations among conservators, scientists, curators, and students working across Yale’s collections. We also are pleased that Chitra Ramalingam has been promoted to Associate Curator of Photography and Acting Head of Prints and Drawings, and Courtney Skipton Long to Acting Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings. We welcome new colleagues Isaac Bloodworth, Museum Technician; Carrie Bradford, Security Officer; Deborah Cannarella, Development Editor and Publications Manager; Molly Dotson, Assistant Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts; Andrzej Dutkanicz, Museum Technician; Burt Gifford, Security Officer; Amelia Giordano, Curatorial Assistant, Prints and Drawings; Jennifer Lahert, Security Officer; and Maryam Ohadi-Hamadani, Postdoctoral Research Associate. Sadly, we bid goodbye to Megan Czekaj, Curatorial Assistant, Prints and Drawings; Rick Omonte, Museum Technician; and Adam Raffone, Security Officer, and we wish them well in their new roles at the university and beyond.

As always, we thank you for your ongoing interest in the Center, and we hope that you will join us throughout the semester for all we have to offer!

Warmest regards,
Amy Meyers, Director