The Yale Center for British Art is a public art museum and research institute for the study of British art and culture. Presented to Yale University by Paul Mellon (Yale College, Class of 1929), the Center houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom.
The collection of paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, rare books, and manuscripts reflects the development of British art and life from the Elizabethan period onward. Works on view include masterpieces by Joshua Reynolds, George Stubbs, Thomas Gainsborough, J. M. W. Turner, and John Constable, as well as major artists from Europe and America who lived and worked in Britain.
One of the Center’s greatest treasures is the building itself. Opened to the public in 1977, the Yale Center for British Art is the last building designed by the internationally acclaimed American architect Louis I. Kahn. The structure integrates the dual functions of study center and gallery, while providing an environment for works of art that is appropriately elegant and dignified. The building stands across the street from Kahn’s first major commission, the Yale University Art Gallery (1953). Located in downtown New Haven, the Center is near many of the city’s best restaurants, theaters, and shops.