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The First University Art School: 150 Years of the Yale School of Art

Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library

September 20, 2019 to January 18, 2020

This exhibition celebrates the first 150 years of the Yale School of Art. When the School of Fine Arts opened in Street Hall in 1869, Yale became the first university to create an art school. Standalone art academies, such as the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze (1563) and the Royal Academy of Arts, London (1768), existed since the late Renaissance. In America, the Yale School of Fine Arts— as it was originally called— was preceded by the New York Academy of Fine Arts (1802–41), the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts (1805), and The Cooper Union (1859). Since the very beginning, the Yale School of Art has educated women and men in contemporary artistic practices including drawing, painting, and sculpture. Over the last century, as Deans and Directors adapted to changing times and new artistic directions, the curriculum has expanded to include students in Drama, Architecture, and Design.

Through items from Manuscripts and Archives and Arts Library Special Collections such as early photographs, departmental records, and student work, this exhibition illustrates moments in the evolution of the Yale School of Art, the faculty and students who have shaped the school, and the spaces they have inhabited.

Curated by Miko McGinty (’93 BA, ’98 MFA) and Mar González Palacios, Associate Director, Arts Library Special Collections

Ensemble@Yale Fall Events

The Yale Digital Humanities Laboratory and Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library are excited to announce that we’ve made big changes to Ensemble@Yale, the project to collect actor and staff member names from over 900 Yale theater programs! Join us at one or more of our fall events to contribute to the project, enjoy snacks, and play Ensemble@Yale games! Read more…