Visit a Yale Library exhibition

  • Row of display cases in Beinecke Library holding printed collection materials
September 5, 2021

With the beginning of a new school year and the return to on-campus learning, several library locations are offering new exhibitions that showcase the breadth of the library’s collections and resources.

At this time, physical exhibitions are only open to the campus community and a Yale ID is required for entry. However, anyone can explore the library’s resources through the online exhibitions page which features all past and current digital exhibitions.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

On September 1, the Beinecke Library’s exhibition hall on the ground floor and mezzanine re-opened to the Yale community unveiling a new exhibition that celebrates the American love of travel and adventure. Through literary works and real-life journeys that have inspired some of the most beloved books, Road Show: Travel Papers in American Literature explores literary archives and the various ways travel is recorded, marked, and documented in the Yale Collection of American Literature. It highlights the work and voyages of writers including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Bennett, Truman Capote, Annie Dillard, and many others. The exhibition is curated by Nancy Kuhl. The photo to the left is of Margaret Anderson, Louise Davidson, and Madame Georgette LeBlanc aboard the Ile de France (from the Elizabeth Jenks Clark Collection of Margaret C. Anderson, Beinecke Library).

A companion exhibition, Imaginary Voyages, curated by Timothy Young, displays works from a variety of storytellers with a range of destinations. Some are pure fantasy, such as the works of Jules Verne and Mark Twain; others communicate information about newly discovered lands on Earth while adding fictional components about talking animals and exotic beasts. All of these travel narratives offer humor and sociological commentary.

Yale visitors may also view the Beinecke’s permanent exhibitions and enjoy the building’s distinctive architecture.

Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library

Lux et Femina, Women in Graphic Design at Yale, opens at the Haas Family Arts Library on September 10. Continuing the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Women at Yale, it highlights works by women who have graduated from the graphic design program at Yale School of Art, the first of its kind in the United States. It represents 70 years of the program by pairing the thesis books of 20 remarkable designers with a sample of their professional work in the form of books, postage stamps, posters, business cards, and more.

Lux et Femina is curated by Miko McGinty ’93 BA, ’98 MFA, and Mar González Palacios, associate director of special collections in the Haas Library.

Sterling Memorial Library

Women at the Dawn of History, currently on display outside the Babylonian Collection on the third floor of Sterling, includes tens of thousands of cuneiform texts, monumental sculptures, images on terracotta reliefs, and cylinder seals that cast light on the fates of women at the dawn of history, from queens to female slaves.

Twelve Portraits: Studies of Woman at Yale is curated by Tanya Marcuse MFA ’90, a critically acclaimed photographer whose work can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as in many other major collections. The dozen portraits were drawn from a larger series of photographs taken by Marcuse for the university-wide 50 Women at Yale 150 celebration, which aimed “to showcase the depth of women’s contributions to Yale and to the world, to celebrate women at the university, and to inspire thoughtful conversation about the future of women at Yale and in the larger society.” The exhibition is on display in the Memorabilia Room on the ground floor of Sterling and there is also an online version of the Twelve Portraits exhibition.

Physical exhibitions In Sterling curated by students will resume later in the semester with the planned installation of Free the New Haven Panthers: The New Haven Nine, Yale, and the May Day 1970 Protests That Brought Them Together, introduced last year as an online exhibition.