To mark the launch of the Center’s online catalogue, Connections, a companion exhibition, replicated the experience of searching across the Center’s extraordinary collections. With more than two hundred paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, rare books, and manuscripts from the early seventeenth to the early twentieth century, Connections presented familiar works as well as some surprises. Alongside popular collection highlights such as Rubens’s bravura oil sketch Peace Embracing Plenty were rarely exhibited works, including outstanding prints and drawings by Thomas Gainsborough. The exhibition revealed the depth and breadth of material in the Center’s physical collections, which is now accessible in a single searchable catalogue. Among the themes explored in the exhibition were: British Art in the 1630s; Hogarth and History; Sporting Art; the Academy and the Human Body; Egypt; British Modernism in the 1930s; Paul Sandby; George Stubbs; Thomas Gainsborough; and Samuel Palmer. The section devoted to George Stubbs (1724–1806) was representative of the exhibition in its span of different genres, as it showcased Stubbs’s extraordinary artistic range and some of the Center’s great treasures: paintings on canvas, copper, and earthenware; Wedgwood plaques and enamels; a selection of his technically innovative prints and drawings; anatomical studies; and books and manuscripts of midwifery and anatomy.
The Center’s online cataloguing project was undertaken by Matthew Hargraves, Associate Curator and Head of Collections Information and Access; Lec Maj, Manager of Computing for Collections and Research; Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, Collections Catalogue Specialist and Data Standards Administrator; David Parsell, Systems Manager; Elena Grossman, Graphic Designer; and Melissa Fournier, Manager of Imaging Services, in concert with the Center’s curatorial departments. The group was advised by consultant Ken Hamma, an expert in digital research in the field of art history, and was supported by the staff of Yale’s Office of Digital Assets and Infrastructure. The overarching project to catalogue and digitize the Center’s collections was overseen by Scott Wilcox, the Center’s Chief Curator of Art Collections and Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings.
This exhibition was organized by Matthew Hargraves, Associate Curator and Head of Collections Information and Access, and Imogen Hart, Assistant Curator, Exhibitions and Publications, Yale Center for British Art.