Celebrating the new Hanke Exhibition Gallery in Sterling Library
Lynn Hanke was honored at a University Library Council (ULC) ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the Hanke Exhibition Gallery in Sterling Memorial Library, a project she and her husband, Robert Hanke ’60, made possible. “For years, we have aspired to have a state-of-the-art exhibition gallery in the Sterling Memorial Library where we can share inspiring stories from across the library’s special collections in a central space,” Barbara Rockenbach, the Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian, told the assembled guests. “Thanks to the great generosity and vision to support our special collection mission, Lynn and Robert Hanke have encouraged us to finally open such a space.”
Council members and library staff gathered to hear guest speakers James Fullton III, the University’s senior planner; Michelle Light, associate university librarian for Special Collections and director of the Beinecke Library; and Christine McCarthy, director of Preservation and Conservation Services.
Rockenbach presented Hanke, who is a ULC member and incoming chair of the Yale Library Associates Trustees, with a framed reproduction of architect James Gamble Rogers’s signed rendering of the High Street facade of Sterling Memorial Library. The Hankes supported the gallery construction in memory and honor of Rogers, an 1889 Yale graduate. “The gallery is a perfect example of how the spaces of Sterling Library can and should evolve over time to meet the changing needs of teaching and research, while continuing to reflect the inspirational vision of James Gamble Rogers,” Rockenbach said.
The museum-quality gallery, formerly an administration and storage area, was transformed by Apicella+Bunton Architects, the firm that renovated Sterling’s first floor and nave, the Yale Film Archive, the Franke Family Digital Humanities Lab—and, soon, the Linonia & Brothers Reading Room. The Hanke Gallery, whose architectural elements mirror the nave’s gothic-revival-style woodwork, has state-of-the-art security, humidity controls, table and wall cases, and carefully calibrated lighting to accommodate fragile and rare primary-source materials.
“Architecture is a collaborative art,” Fullton said. “With the Hanke Gallery creation, I think we see the best of what a successful collaboration can offer.” The gallery’s opening exhibition, “Points of Contact, Points of View,” is likewise a collaboration—of curators, librarians, and archivists who selected more than 60 objects from the library’s diverse special collections to display in this gallery at the heart of the campus. “The exhibit is such a wonderful first exhibit for the Hanke Gallery,” Michelle Light said in her remarks. “It shows the kinds of new stories we can tell by bringing items that are housed in multiple places together in this beautiful space.”
“Points of Contact, Points of View” will run through August 14. For more about the exhibition, read the article, which includes links to a videotaped Curator Conversation and a PDF of the exhibition text and object labels.
Members of the public may access the Hanke Gallery through Sterling Memorial Library on weekdays until 6 pm. All visitors must be vaccinated and boosted when eligible. See Yale Library COVID-19 updates for details.
—By Deborah Cannarella
Photographs by Judy Sirota Rosenthal