Collections Overview

The Yale Center for British Art holds the largest and most comprehensive collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. Learn more about the museum's collections departments and explore select works through the scholarship of art historians, curators, staff, and students affiliated with the museum. 

Collections Departments

The museum's collections of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, rare books, and manuscripts present the story of British art and culture, and its global contexts, from the fifteenth century to today. Together with the Reference Library and Archives, the collections are an exceptional resource for anyone interested in British art and its histories. 

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New light on the group portrait of Elihu Yale, his family, and an enslaved child

The Elihu Yale Portrait Research team analyzes, questions, and provides historical context for an eighteenth-century painting on display, and explains why it was replaced by Titus Kaphar’s "Enough About You" (2016) from October 2020 through May 2021.

Naming Marcus

Victoria Hepburn discusses the retitling of Sir Joshua Reynold's portrait of Charles Stanhope to include the identity of the child now known to be Marcus Richard Fitzroy Thomas.

Whose View? The Limitations of Labels

While describing two distinct, but similar paintings by William Hodges, Manon Gaudet poses important questions about object labels and how they can impact viewers’ understanding and learning.

Printmaking with Precision

Charlotte Lefland discusses Bridget Riley's intricate printmaking process.

Explore the YCBA’s Collections

Over 100,000 records from the Paintings and Sculpture, Prints and Drawings, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Reference Library, and Archives collections are searchable online, along with nearly all of the YCBA's historic frames.

Begin your search

Philippe Mercier, The Sense of Sight (detail), 1744 to 1747