Program keeps Gallery open late

Normally, the “Night Cafe” is one of the Yale University Art Gallery’s most prized paintings. But this week, it will be an event.

On Thursday, the gallery’s staff will offer an evening of tours, talks and music collectively known as the “Night Cafe.” Highlights of the evening will include a tour of “Myer Myers: Jewish Silversmith in Colonial New York” by David L. Barquist, the exhibition’s curator, and a brief talk, “How to Buy a Photograph,” given by Pamela Franks, the gallery’s fellow of prints, drawings and photographs.

In addition, student gallery guides will discuss individual objects within the Myer Myers exhibition, and the Yale Klezmer Band will provide music. Light refreshments will be available in the sculpture hall throughout the evening.

“The Night Cafe will be terrific,” said Marie Weltzien, the director of public information for the gallery. “It will be a splendid opportunity for the people of New Haven and students to mix.”

The art gallery, the oldest university art museum in the Western hemisphere, recently extended its Thursday hours from the standard 5 p.m. closing time until 8 p.m. This is intended to make the gallery more accessible to Yale students, who are often too busy with classes to tour the gallery before 5 p.m. The Night Cafe is aimed at these sorts of people.

“This is going to be lots of fun,” said Kathleen Derringer, the gallery’s associate director of information resources. “The Night Cafe is aimed at students and young professionals. Students, for example, will soon be earning, and Pamela Franks’ talk will help them when buying photographs.”

This will be the gallery’s second Night Cafe of the season. September’s Night Cafe included a tour by Joanna Weber of her exhibition, “A Gallery of Poems,” and a talk by Franks on what to consider when buying a print.

The art gallery features 100,000 objects of art. Its collections include ancient Egyptian artifacts, African sculpture, American decorative arts, Asian art and Italian Renaissance paintings. Also included are works by such 19th and 20th century artists as Van Gogh, Picasso, O’Keefe and Pollock.

But despite these attractions, and despite the gallery’s proximity to Old Campus — they’re only about 20 feet apart — it seems that surprisingly few students have time to visit the gallery, particularly during their first year.

The Night Cafe, which will run from 5:30 to 7:30 and cost $2 for students, is designed to overcome this problem, art gallery personnel said.

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