Art in Focus: Blue

This exhibition used the color blue to trace a visual and material history of British exploration, trade, and colonialism. Starting from a consideration of Britain’s growing control over maritime trade, this display proceeded to examine how blue was used to depict the landscapes and peoples of the “Orient” in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and concluded with a consideration of the postcolonial interventions of Anish Kapoor.

Exhibition brochure

Download an illustrated booklet, including descriptive text and a list of works on display that accompanied this exhibition.

View works from the collection included in this exhibition here


Art in Focus is an annual initiative for members of the Center’s Student Guide Program, providing Yale undergraduates with curatorial experience and an introduction to all aspects of exhibition practice. The student guide curators for Art in Focus: Blue were Merritt Barnwell, SY ’21; Sunnie Liu, JE ’21; Sohum Pal, BR ’20; Jordan Schmolka, SM ’20; and Muriel Wang, TC ’20. In researching and presenting the exhibition, the students were led by Linda Friedlaender, Senior Curator of Education, and Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye, Curator of Education and Academic Outreach.

This exhibition and the accompanying brochure were generously supported by the Marlene Burston Fund and the Dr. Carolyn M. Kaelin Memorial Fund.

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Art in Focus: Blue installation, Yale Center for British Art, photo by Richard Caspole