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YUAG renovation overcomes financial woes

Not even the financial crisis can stop the YUAG! (Calah Singleton/YH)

Not even the financial crisis can stop the YUAG! (Calah Singleton/YH)

Things seem bright and positive for the ambitious second phase of the renovation of the Yale University Art Gallery. After many hurdles and setbacks, including a nine-month long suspension of the project, the Yale University Art Gallery’s ambitious renovation is back on track and set to be completed in December 2012. The opening, originally scheduled for early 2011, was shifted to 2012 due to the many problems faced by the project over the past year.

When the recession hit, funding for the gallery’s much-needed renovations suddenly became an issue, forcing the YUAG to rethink its plans and ultimately scrap its original strategy in order to proceed with construction. The global financial crisis of 2008 shrunk Yale’s endowment by around 25 percent, leaving the gallery without a reliable source of funding. The project was saved from an early death, however, by a massive fundraising drive led by the gallery’s board of governors. The drive was a success, drawing generous contributions from numerous private donors, as well as the governors themselves. The Governing Board, donors, Henry J. Heinz II, Director Jock Reynolds, and University President Richard C. Levin, GRD ’74, are the primary agents behind the continuation of the vision of the gallery in these difficult financial times.

The project, designed by the architecture firm Ennead Architects (formerly Polshek Partnership Architects), marks a major step in Yale’s efforts to expand its arts base and develop increased art display and education at the University. The renovation aims to join the gallery’s 1953 Louis Kahn building to the adjacent 1928 building designed by Egerton Swartwout and to Street Hall designed by Peter Bonnett Wight and built in 1866.

According to Adrienne Webb, the public relations coordinator at the art gallery, “Due to the delay in construction, the gallery staff, the project architects, the construction team, and Yale facilities were able to further review the plans and make improvements, which have prevented the need for any major changes to the project.”

By the end of 2008, says Webb, Yale had received only 46 million dollars in donations for the project, well below the 76 million dollars that would be required. Between April and August 2009, however, the Gallery secured additional gifts and pledges totaling 30 million dollars, just enough to close the funding gap and enable the project to progress with Levin’s full support. In an effort to be as environmentally friendly as possible, the YUAG is also trying to use sustainable construction materials, such as recycled aluminum and steel.

The renovations will add many additional facilities to the gallery, providing numerous benefits to Yale students, faculty and the New Haven community in general. The purpose of the renovation is to extend the culture of art in the New Haven community and to inculcate the understanding and appreciation of art in youngsters. Towards this end, the YYUAG has been conducting academic courses for Yale undergraduate and graduate students. The key program of the Art gallery involves training Yale students as Yale educators. Yale graduate students are trained as gallery teachers through a competitive program that trains the students in various pedagogical methods. Another program involves training Yale undergraduates as gallery guides.

When asked to briefly describe the future vision of the gallery, Webb responded that “the purpose of the renovation is to make the collection more accessible for teaching and enjoyment; the expanded gallery spaces and addition of multiple object study classrooms will make this possible.”

The renovation will establish the Nolen Center for Arts and Education. Six members of the Nolen family, five of whom are Yale alums, donated a total of 20 million dollars to the gallery. When the renovations are complete, the three buildings of the YUAG will have eight classrooms divided between them. The expansion will help build upon what the gallery has already accomplished with students, faculty and the extended Yale community.

Said Kate Ezra, the Nolen Curator of Education and Academic Affairs, “The renovation will benefit the Yale community in an unprecedented way as far as the teaching and educational viewpoint of art is concerned. There will be tremendous expansion of gallery space and classrooms. There will be more viewing space, more teaching space; there will be increase in the collection on display by twice the area now, so there will be permanent and temporary exhibitions on display.”

After the renovation, rare aThings seem bright and positive for the ambitious second phase of the renovation of the Yale University Art Gallery. After many hurdles and setbacks, including a nine-month long suspension of the project, the Yale University Art Gallery’s ambitious renovation is back on track and set to be completed in December 2012. The opening, originally scheduled for early 2011, was shifted to 2012 due to the many problems faced by the project over the past year.

When the recession hit, funding for the gallery’s much-needed renovations suddenly became an issue, forcing the YUAG to rethink its plans and ultimately scrap its original strategy in order to proceed with construction. The global financial crisis of 2008 shrunk Yale’s endowment by around 25 percent, leaving the gallery without a reliable source of funding. The project was saved from an early death, however, by a massive fundraising drive led by the gallery’s board of governors. The drive was a success, drawing generous contributions from numerous private donors, as well as the governors themselves. The Governing Board, donors, Henry J. Heinz II, Director Jock Reynolds, and University President Richard C. Levin, GRD ’74, are the primary agents behind the continuation of the vision of the gallery in these difficult financial times.

The project, designed by the architecture firm Ennead Architects (formerly Polshek Partnership Architects), marks a major step in Yale’s efforts to expand its arts base and develop increased art display and education at the University. The renovation aims to join the gallery’s 1953 Louis Kahn building to the adjacent 1928 building designed by Egerton Swartwout and to Street Hall designed by Peter Bonnett Wight and built in 1866.

According to Adrienne Webb, the public relations coordinator at the art gallery, “Due to the delay in construction, the gallery staff, the project architects, the construction team, and Yale facilities were able to further review the plans and make improvements, which have prevented the need for any major changes to the project.”

By the end of 2008, says Webb, Yale had received only 46 million dollars in donations for the project, well below the 76 million dollars that would be required. Between April and August 2009, however, the Gallery secured additional gifts and pledges totaling 30 million dollars, just enough to close the funding gap and enable the project to progress with Levin’s full support. In an effort to be as environmentally friendly as possible, the YUAG is also trying to use sustainable construction materials, such as recycled aluminum and steel.

The renovations will add many additional facilities to the gallery, providing numerous benefits to Yale students, faculty and the New Haven community in general. The purpose of the renovation is to extend the culture of art in the New Haven community and to inculcate the understanding and appreciation of art in youngsters. Towards this end, the YYUAG has been conducting academic courses for Yale undergraduate and graduate students. The key program of the Art gallery involves training Yale students as Yale educators. Yale graduate students are trained as gallery teachers through a competitive program that trains the students in various pedagogical methods. Another program involves training Yale undergraduates as gallery guides.

When asked to briefly describe the future vision of the gallery, Webb responded that “the purpose of the renovation is to make the collection more accessible for teaching and enjoyment; the expanded gallery spaces and addition of multiple object study classrooms will make this possible.”

The renovation will establish the Nolen Center for Arts and Education. Six members of the Nolen family, five of whom are Yale alums, donated a total of 20 million dollars to the gallery. When the renovations are complete, the three buildings of the YUAG will have eight classrooms divided between them. The expansion will help build upon what the gallery has already accomplished with students, faculty and the extended Yale community.

Said Kate Ezra, the Nolen Curator of Education and Academic Affairs, “The renovation will benefit the Yale community in an unprecedented way as far as the teaching and educational viewpoint of art is concerned. There will be tremendous expansion of gallery space and classrooms. There will be more viewing space, more teaching space; there will be increase in the collection on display by twice the area now, so there will be permanent and temporary exhibitions on display.”

After the renovation, rare art will be on view in the gallery. There will be four object-study classrooms and two public-education classrooms for museum educators to be used for teaching local elementary and high school students about art history. The Yale University Art Gallery endeavors to make learning about art an interesting and engaging experience for both children and adults, as well as providing more opportunities for art enthusiasts. rt will be on view in the gallery. There will be four object-study classrooms and two public-education classrooms for museum educators to be used for teaching local elementary and high school students about art history. The Yale University Art Gallery endeavors to make learning about art an interesting and engaging experience for both children and adults, as well as providing more opportunities for art enthusiasts.

  • Mahendra Vikram Singh

    awesome

  • Dr Ashutosh

    Excellent research on art gallery and its upcoming centres.

  • Jagroop Yadav

    The article penned down by Abha Yadav on YUAG’s renovation is a bijou and it proves the fact that nothing wonderful can be had in a jiffy.