To the Editor:
Recently, there has been a lot of confusion regarding the status of the Yale University Art Gallery as it prepares to undergo one of the most extensive renovation projects in its history (“YUAG to close for two-year renovations,” 9/20). Like all renovation schedules, plans for the gallery have always been subject to change, making it difficult to say definitively which areas will be open to students, faculty, staff and the public. However, certain issues do need to be cleared up.
First and foremost, the recently-renovated American Wing of the gallery, housed in the second floor of the Swartout building, will remain open throughout the renovation period. The collection of American paintings and decorative arts housed there, one of the most extensive in the country, will continue to be on view. As mentioned in the article, the Swartout building adjacent to the Kahn building will contain selections from all the collections after the Kahn building closes. Contrary to what the article suggests, “The Night Cafe” by Vincent van Gogh and other master works will still be accessible.
Above all, administrators and staff are committed to keeping as many of the gallery’s resources available as possible over the next few years. Professors will not have to teach “exclusively from slides,” and students will be more than welcome to visit and enjoy the gallery during this period of transition. Curators will still be very busy during this period, with traveling exhibitions and programming currently being developed.
In the meantime, there are plenty of special exhibitions both on view and scheduled for later this year, so all Yale students, staff and faculty should make an effort to stop by and see all that the gallery has to offer.
Luke Habberstad ’03
September 30, 2002
The writer is Student Coordinator for the Yale University Gallery Guide Program.