Sunday, August 6, 2017

Today's Top Tip - The Yale Center for British Art!

Some might say "chocolate box" but I say "beauty."

Gentle readers - hello!

Sorry I've been away.  I have been working and writing and will have more to say about that soon (I just stopped myself from writing "anon" instead of "soon" - you're welcome).

I've been meaning to stop by here for weeks to tell you about a must-visit place that I finally visited this summer: The Yale Center for British Art. 

I bought a poster at auction years ago of a grave rubbing of a medieval knight. This poster, which came from the museum and so has "YALE CENTER FOR BRITISH ART" emblazoned along the bottom, has been hanging in my dining room for years.  After staring at "YALE CENTER FOR BRITISH ART"over uncounted plates of spaghetti, tacos, etc. for five years I  finally Googled it last year. I  have wanted to go ever since.

Wel, I went last month, at last and, friends, it is gorgeous.

Well, after a fashion. The building is a modernist icon by the famous architect Louis I. Kahn.  This is code for "it's an ugly cube."

Have a seat! I did. Note Turners in the background...
Is there a deeper meaning to this particular grouping? 
English people love dogs
(Sorry Louis, but from the street the museum does not look particularly promising).  Like so many books, however, you can't judge the building or its contents by its exterior. I have never been in a museum where the art was more beautifully displayed, or better lit, or that offers a more serene atmosphere. The place is a joy. I even loved the restrooms in the basement. I'm not making that up.

The floors are (mostly) carpeted, which much improved my stamina. What is it that makes museums so exhausting? I've decided hard floors have something to do with it.

And what a collection! Here's the logline from the website:

The Yale Center for British Art houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. Presented to the university by Paul Mellon (Yale College, Class of 1929), the collection reflects the development of British art and culture from the Elizabethan period onward.

"I say!"
Lots of dogs, if you look
Mr. Mellon was not your average son and heir of a banking fortune. He was a philanthropist with taste. He was good to Yale, and Yale has been pretty good to us. Admission is FREE. The Turners, the Constables, the Freuds - all await.

I live nearly five hours from New Haven. I couldn't find one friend or family member who was up for the trip.  I went by myself. About three hours in, as the Connecticut traffic mayhem surrounded me, I thought I had made a mistake.


Here's another one!

And another! Did I mention horses? Lots of those too.
For example...

It was well worth the trip - even worth the $100 I had to pay to get my cell phone returned to me by the hotel where I had dropped it (more than the room rental itself).

The writing that has taken my energy lately is a story inspired by other art made available to the public by the New York Public Library.  Watch this space! In the meantime, I hope some of you will head to New Haven and let me know what you think of this beautiful temple to the best things in life. Ta for now.

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