Announcing "Art in Focus: Women From the Center"
The Yale Center for British Art opens a student-curated exhibition that features the work of women artists from the museum’s collection.
NEW HAVEN, CT (March 3, 2021)—The Yale Center for British Art presents an exhibition that celebrates women artists in the museum’s collection. Inspired by Yale University’s celebration of 50 years of coeducation in Yale college and 150 years of coeducation in Yale graduate programs, Art in Focus: Women From the Center highlights women artists whose inventive art practices have enabled them to stake out space in the art world. The title for this exhibition references both the use of the Center’s collection and Lucy Lippard’s influential collection of feminist essays, From the Center (1976).
"Although the Center remains closed to the public, we are eager to bring more of our collections into view. This exhibition, foregrounding women artists and curated by Yale undergraduates, was originally planned for last spring. More than a year in the making, the display is now presented online for remote audiences from New Haven and beyond,” said Director Courtney J. Martin.
The artists featured in this display work across a broad spectrum of media, styles, and techniques and span a similar time range to the coeducation of the graduate programs at Yale—the nineteenth century to the present day. In addition to works from the Center’s collections, the exhibition includes loans from the artist Rina Banerjee (Yale MFA 1995), an alumna of the School of Art, which in 1869 became the first coeducational school at Yale.
As the Center remains closed to the public, the exhibition is on view in an online presentation that explores the display’s four different themes: “Women and Institutions” looks at artists who challenge bodies of knowledge and control that have historically marginalized or oppressed women. “Space and Place” showcases women artists who reimagine urban and pastoral environments and imprint their own subjectivity on these spaces. “Women as Muses” challenges traditional understandings of artist and muse—namely that of an active male artist and a passive female muse—for in this display, women play both roles. Finally, “Beyond the Figure” examines the role that women have played in breaking free from the politics of figuration.
“This unique experience introduces Yale undergraduates to all aspects of creating an exhibition. The student curators mine the Center’s collection for objects that support their thesis, create a clear narrative with these objects through installation design, and write explanatory text that complements the works of art while being accessible to a wider audience.” said Linda Friedlaender, Head of Education at the Center.
Art in Focus is the annual exhibition curated by members of the Center’s Student Guide Program. The exhibition introduces Yale undergraduates to museology by providing them with curatorial experience.
Art in Focus: Women From the Center was curated by Emma Gray, SY ’21; Sunnie Liu, JE ’21; Annie Roberts, SY ’21; Christina Robertson, SM ’22; and Olivia Thomas, MC ’20. The students were led by Linda Friedlaender, Head of Education; Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye, former Educator, School and Community Outreach; and Rachel Stratton, former Postdoctoral Research Associate.
The exhibition and accompanying online presentation were generously supported by the Marlene Burston Fund and the Dr. Carolyn M. Kaelin Memorial Fund.
at home: Opening Program | Art in Focus: Women From the Center
Friday, March 5, 12:30–1:30 pm
Join us for an online conversation with student guides as they discuss the exhibition Art in Focus: Women From the Center. Register for free today.
About the Yale Center for British Art
The Center is a museum that houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom, encompassing works in a range of media from the fifteenth century to the present. It offers exhibitions and programs year-round, including lectures, concerts, films, symposia, tours, and family events. Opened to the public in 1977, the Center’s core collection and landmark building—designed by architect Louis I. Kahn—were a gift to Yale University from the collector and philanthropist Paul Mellon. While the building is currently closed due to the pandemic, the museum offers a vibrant program of activities, events, and exhibitions online. Visit the Center at britishart.yale.edu, and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @yalebritishart. #YCBAwomen
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