Paul Mellon (1907--1999) was an unparalleled collector of British art. His collection, now at Yale in the museum and study center he founded to house it, rivals those in Britain’s national museums and is unquestionably the most comprehensive representation of British art held outside of the United Kingdom. This book and the exhibition that it accompanies celebrate the centenary of his birth. Five introductory essays examine Mellon’s extraordinary collecting activity, as well as his role in creating both the Yale Center for British Art and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London as gifts to his alma mater (Yale 1929). A lavishly illustrated catalogue section showcases 148 of the most exquisite and important paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, sculpture, rare books, and manuscript material in the Yale Center’s collection, including major works by Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, George Stubbs, John Constable, and J. M. W. Turner.
This publication accompanies the exhibition Edwardian opulence: British art at the dawn of the twentieth century, organized by the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven and on view from February 28 to June 2, 2013.
The Yale Center for British Art stands as the final masterpiece of the great 20th-century American architect Louis I. Kahn (1901--1974). It received the 2005 American Institute of Architects Twenty-Five Year Award honoring "significant architectural landmarks . . . that have withstood the test of time." This handsome volume, originally published for the Center's grand opening in 1977, is a timely reminder of the Center's architectural distinction. Contemporaneous photographs and an enlightening essay by Jules David Prown provide an account of the architecture, design, and circumstances of its commission and building. A new foreword by its current director, Amy Meyers, brings the celebration of the Center into the present day. Distributed for the Yale Center for British Art
Paul Mellon (1907--1999) assembled one of the world’s greatest collections of British drawings and watercolors. In his memoirs he wrote of their “beauty and freshness… their immediacy and sureness of technique, their comprehensiveness of subject matter, their vital qualities, their Englishness.” This catalogue celebrating the centenary of Mellon's birth features eighty-eight outstanding watercolors from the fifty thousand works of art on paper with which he endowed the Yale Center for British Art. The selection spans the emergence of watercolor painting in the mid-18th century to its apogee in the mid-19th. These works highlight the diversity of British watercolors, showcasing both landscape and figurative works by some of the principal artists working in the medium, including Thomas Gainsborough, Thomas Rowlandson, William Blake, and J. M.W. Turner.
The standing of the Yale Center for British Art as one of the world's great museums and study centers finds expression in its remarkable building, designed by Louis I. Kahn (1901-1974). In this important and innovative volume, two architects offer a plan to ensure the proper stewardship of the building in order to preserve its essence as a great architectural structure. Peter Inskip and Stephen Gee describe the design, construction, and subsequent renovation of the building; assess its cultural significance; analyze the materials that comprise it (steel, concrete, glass, white oak, and travertine); and shed light on its evolution over the four decades since it was built. Drawing on their extensive experience developing conservation plans for both historic sites and modern buildings, they propse a series of policies for the Center's conservation into the future. Distributed for the Yale Center for British Art
The following lectures were really given, in substance, at a girls' school (far in the country); which, in the course of various experiments on the possibility of introducing some better practice of drawing into the modern scheme of female education, I visited frequently enough to enable the children to regard me as a friend. The Lectures always fell more or less into the form of fragmentary answers to questions; and they are allowed to retain that form, as, on the whole, likely to be more interesting than the symmetries of a continuous treatise. Many children (for the school was large) took part, at different times, in the conversations; but I have endeavored, without confusedly multiplying the number of imaginary speakers, to represent, as far as I could, the general tone of comment and inquiry among young people.