Feast Your Eyes

Feast Your Eyes

A photo essay. To view all 16 images, check out the email edition.

For six-plus months, the pandemic put the city’s most sumptuous visual spreads on ice. Today, after much preparation, the Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art invite us back to the buffet.

But it’s not quite the all-you-can-eat affair we used to know. To ensure safe conditions, visitor capacities have been reduced and free, timed-entry ticketing systems adopted, with the Gallery requiring reservations and the Center “strongly encourag” them. Hours have also been reduced, to less than half the norm.

sponsored by

2020 International Festival of Arts & Ideas

Once inside, access is limited in other ways. Viewing at the Gallery is restricted to three special exhibitions that predate the pandemic, with permanent displays remaining closed. Inversely, at the Center, just the large permanent exhibition Britain in the World, spanning several centuries of British art history as well as the second and fourth floors, is currently on view, though it’s soon to be supplemented. Meanwhile, to keep people from bumping into each other, both the Gallery and the Center say visitors will be asked to stick to specific routes.

Also limited, then, is a different kind of access: to the cherished feeling of freely wandering into and around these important institutions, nibbling here and gorging there, indulging too in their iconic architecture. Signaling, perhaps, the future plausibility of that pre-pandemic idyll, the reopening announcements of both the Gallery and the Center mention plans to open more widely, in phases.

Until then, I’ll be indulging in a mix of experiences from the more limited present and memories from the less restricted past, including, in the latter case, these scenes captured during the last several years.

Yale University Art Gallery
1111 Chapel St, New Haven (map)
Fri 3-7pm, Sat-Sun noon-4pm
Reserve Tickets

Yale Center for British Art
1080 Chapel St, New Haven (map)
Fri noon-7pm, Sat-Sun noon-4pm
Reserve Tickets

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Images 1, 3 and 5 feature scenes from the Yale University Art Gallery. Images 2, 4 and 6 feature scenes from the Yale Center for British Art.

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