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January 17, 2023

Art museum to close for building upgrades

Photo | Richard Caspole Yale Center for British Art

The Yale Center for British Art will be closed to the public for several months for a renovation project.

The closure starts Feb. 27, and the museum is expected to reopen in 2024. The building will undergo multiple improvements, including the replacement of its roof and skylights, and upgrades to the gallery lighting system, according to an announcement.

The museum’s iconic modernist building, at 1080 Chapel St., New Haven, was designed by the late Louis I. Kahn. It originally opened to the public in 1977. Several features, such as the 200 domed skylights and gallery lighting, are original to the building.

Courtney J. Martin, the Paul Mellon director of the museum, said the improvements will help safeguard its collections for future generations.

“As the museum approaches its fiftieth anniversary in 2027, we have begun to consider how to address the building’s aging infrastructure and overall sustainability,” Martin said. 

The new lighting system will be more energy-efficient, allowing for the use of LED bulbs instead of the current halogen lights, for example. 

While the museum is closed, about 60 paintings from its collection will be on display at the Yale University Art Gallery, located across Chapel Street, between March 24 and Dec. 3. 

Other works from the collection will be on loan to museums in Baltimore, Los Angeles, London, New York and Santa Fe.

During the closure, the museum will continue to offer online programming such as artist conversations, book discussions and lectures.

Back in 2015-16, the museum did a series of interior improvements, including a gallery reconfiguration, addition of a seminar room, and accessibility and fire prevention upgrades.

The Yale Center for British Art houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom, and it includes artwork from the 15th century to the present.

Contact Michelle Tuccitto Sullo at

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