Galleries kick off year with a cappella

John Trumbull would have smiled last night. Buried in the art gallery he helped found in 1831, he was within earshot of the many a cappella groups that alternately parodied and celebrated art last night on High Street.

Although the Yale University Art Gallery and the Center for British Art hold open houses every year, this is the first year the galleries have co-hosted the open house, and only the second year in which a cappella groups have performed at the event.

Short but spirited student tours were also given, featuring objects such as the Mary Magdalene statue in the YUAG lobby and Edwin Austin Abbey’s painting “Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and the Lady Anne.”

“The thematic tours are a great way to approach the art in an overwhelming museum,” Allegra Asplundh-Smith ’08 said.

The open house was advertised both on and off the Yale campus, reaching as far as the Fair Haven area, where Spanish language posters were hung, and a number of New Haven residents attended the event. While many cited the YUAG and BAC’s collections as their reason for attending, others said the singing was also a draw.

The blending of art forms was most evident in the YUAG’s Trumbull Gallery, where Proof of the Pudding performed their take on the classic song “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” in celebration of the gallery.

“The version of the song was fun and smart,” William Hennessey ’09 said.

The YUAG and BAC typically host three or four events together a year, but starting with this year’s open house, the galleries are considering introducing more extensive joint programs.

“Yale has phenomenal collections, it is a shame to separate them, as well as internal resources,” Catherine Sellers, the education intern who coordinated the event, said.

Sellers said the open house served to remind the community that the galleries remain active even though the Louis Kahn building, which will house a much larger collection of works of art than are currently housed in the YUAG, has not yet been reopened. Another celebration is planned following the completion of renovations.

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