Art historians, curators, and connoisseurs often pose the question, Is it any good? evoking a sense of quality manifest in canonical works of art. By contrast, when building a collection of eighteenth-century prints that would become a cornerstone for research at the Lewis Walpole Library, W.S. and Annie Burr Lewis envisioned a visual collection that is essentially archival. Prints were valued foremost as documents that would improve their library dedicated to the life and times of Horace Walpole and to 18th-century studies. The Lewises’ iconographic approach, however, does not preclude the importance of assessing what is good. Aesthetic, material, and technical attributes are integral to understanding the power of visual art and artifacts to communicate the eighteenth-century histories they document. Asking Is it any good? this exhibition presents a selection of prints, drawings, and paintings at the Lewis Walpole Library to explore the intersections of quality and documentary value.
“Anne Boleyn: Life and Legend” explores the story of Anne Boleyn (1501 or 1507?–1536), one that has captured audiences for 500 years. Anne Boleyn, second wife to Henry VIII (1491–1547), is often remembered as the instigator of English Reformation and thus the Church of England, mother to the legendary Elizabeth I (1533–1603), and of course, the first wife that Henry VIII beheaded. This exhibition hopes to center Anne in her own narrative and to explore the relationship between gender and power in the Tudor era. The first part of the exhibit explores her life and world, while the second half traces Anne’s legacy in popular memory.
This exhibit features objects representing OHAM's early years such as recording media over time, carbon copies of typed transcripts with corrections in Aaron Copland's hand, and the Ives LP boxed set.
Characterized by comically grotesque figures performing lewd and vulgar actions, bawdy humor provided a poignant vehicle to target a variety of political and social issues in eighteenth-century Britain. Bawdy Bodies: Satires of Unruly Women explores the deployment of this humorous but derisive strategy toward the regulation of female behavior. The exhibition presents satirical images of women from a range of subject categories including the royal family, aging members of fashionable society, disparaged mothers, political activists, gamblers, medical wonders, artists, performers, and intellectuals.
This exhibit celebrates 50 years of Women's Varsity Athletics at Yale through photographs, archival records, and audiovisual recordings.
As an aesthetic object, the lyric is paradoxical in scope. Unique and particular, lyric speaks in the first-person voice and it is deeply rooted in personal contexts; often difficult to translate, its nuances are sometimes near-impossible to grasp across deep cultural divides. And yet, at the same time, lyric also makes claims to the universal, speaking of timeless themes that defy historical contingencies as it seeks, repeatedly, to engage our most fundamental human feelings. This online exhibition, and Yale University Library Model Research Collection associated with it, explore a multifaceted understanding of the lyric—from the material cultures of lyric production and dissemination and its performance and transmission across different audiences, to its cultural functions and political impacts, its philosophic claims and ethical aspirations.
This online exhibition showcases examples of the natural history book as an active work of art shaped by different hands. Drawing primarily from the rich collections of the Medical Historical Library, it displays how elite collectors, interested laymen, artists, and naturalists alike colored and annotated their respective copies of natural history books and albums, how they hid, preserved, and pasted plant specimens in these books, and folded pages in them.
We are Everywhere explores the relationship between lesbians, archives, and lesbian objects in archives. Beginning in the archives of the Harlem Renaissance and ending in the archives of the AIDS crisis, this exhibition asks the question: What does it mean to catalog an object as “lesbian” –or to not? In particular, the exhibition highlights moments where lesbians deliberately introduce themselves into the mainstream historical record with younger generations in mind: creating their own archives so, as Lisbet Tellefsen said, young lesbians of the future “trying to organize and do work will have it a little easier.” The objects in this show are a small sample of the material traces left by our vast, continually discovered queer history. We are everywhere. We write, we love, we care, we see. We name ourselves.
This online exhibition explores William Hogarth’s engagement with topography, an important, if lesser-known aspect of his art. Topography is understood for this project in the broad definition provided in Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (1755): “Description of particular places.” Drawing primarily from the extensive collections of Hogarth’s graphic work at the Lewis Walpole Library and other Yale collections, Hogarth’s Topographies seeks to contribute to recent historiographic efforts that re-read Hogarth’s work in a more international perspective, most notably the “Hogarth and Europe” retrospective at Tate Britain (November 2022-March 2023), which stresses the necessity of approaching the artist’s work in the light of a broader European and global context that resonates in his production.