The Study of Things: George Kubler in Latin America

the study of things written in white text on blue background with repeating black jagged-line patterns

Monday, May 1, 2023 - 12:00am to Sunday, October 8, 2023 - 12:00am
Sterling Memorial Library, Exhibition Corridor
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Open to: 

The 1962 book “The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things” radically altered how we now think about the history of art. Studying and traveling through Latin America, the author George Kubler (1912–1996) developed a methodology that would expand the scope of art history—moving it away from the study of great works of art and biographies of makers toward a consideration of every intentionally made object. Kubler contested the rigid categorization of objects based solely on temporal and spatial origins, a superficial practice that obscures the true history of how things came to be.

Kubler studied and worked at Yale University for more than 50 years. His presence is felt across the institution—from the neo-Gothic library that houses this exhibition to the Olsen Collection of ancient American art at Yale University Art Gallery.

This exhibition is a collage of Kubler’s archival materials in the special collections of Yale Library. It explores the genesis of Kubler’s inquiries, the context that enabled his work, his cross-influences with contemporaries, the methodologies that he envisioned and those he contested, and, finally, the highly influential book The Shape of Time, which ties all his work together.
Curated by: Chucho Martínez Padres ’23

The curator’s talk and opening reception will be held on Wed., May 10 at 4:30 p.m. in Sterling Memorial Library Exhibition Corridor. Read more about the curator’s process.