Open House

Study Room Open House: J. M. W. Turner

Free admission

The Yale Center for British Art hosts a display of works by J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) in conjunction with Yale University’s 2022 Windham-Campbell Prizes Festival.

On Thursday, September 22, Windham-Campbell 2022 Prize recipient Winsome Pinnock will be in discussion with past prize recipient Branden-Jacob Jenkins in the YCBA Lecture Hall about Turner's practice and how theater can help us look more fully into history. To coincide with this event, twenty rarely displayed works on paper, including sketchbook drawings and color studies, finished watercolors, and prints, will be on view in the Study Room. The YCBA is home to the most extensive and important collection of works by Turner outside of the United Kingdom. 

Pinnock’s most recent play, Rockets and Blue Lights (2018), centers around Turner’s famous painting The Slave Ship (1840, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Her play explores the past and present implications of slavery in Britain, and how art and literature influence the telling of shared histories. During his lifetime, Turner witnessed a rapidly changing Britain, with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the upheaval of the Napoleonic Wars, and the abolition of slavery. The world around him informed the way he interpreted the landscape and conveyed contemporary events and issues.

Join us in the Study Room for this special display! Appointments are not needed. Please note that the Study Room will close from 4 to 5 pm during Pinnock's talk.


In 2025, the YCBA will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Turner’s birth with an exhibition showcasing the museum’s vast holdings of his work.

Learn more about the Study Room.

Learn more about the Windham-Campbell Prizes and the 2022 Festival.

Top image
J. M. W. Turner, The Channel Sketchbook (detail), ca. 1845, Graphite and watercolor on medium, slightly textured, white wove paper, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

Related events


Windham-Campbell Prize Talk | Close Looking: Turner Turned Inside Out

Thursday, September 22, 2022, 4–5 pm ET


Windham-Campbell Prize Talk | Sources of Poetry

Thursday, September 22, 2022, 12:30–1:30 pm ET


Windham-Campbell Prize Talk | Children of Migrations

Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 12–1 pm ET


Windham-Campbell Prize Talk | This Mournable Body

Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 12–1 pm ET

You may also like


at home: Artists in Conversation | An-My Lê

Friday, April 9, 2021, 12–1 pm ET