Arts & Collections

Signature strengths

Yale’s strength in the arts is well known around the globe. No other private university has a full suite of professional schools in art, architecture, music, and drama of comparable distinction. From Maya Lin to Chuck Close, from Norman Foster to Willie Ruff, from Meryl Streep to David Henry Hwang, Yale’s contribution to the arts is unsurpassed.

World-class collections complement the schools. Yale University Library, Yale University Art Gallery, Yale Center for British Art, and the Peabody Museum of Natural History hold collections of extraordinary quality and breadth. And on West Campus, curators and scientists are breaking new ground in the study and conservation of our cultural heritage.

Investing in excellence

Investments in facilities and programs are essential to Yale’s ongoing eminence. Work is under way to renovate and expand University Commons and Memorial Hall to house the Schwarzman Center, which will serve as both a campus center and a venue for performances and cultural events. Major funding for the center and its endowment came from Stephen A. Schwarzman ’69; Yale aims to secure additional endowment funding to support programs.

Looking farther ahead, the university is seeking funds to build a new home for the School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre.

In the area of collections, Yale continues to focus attention on West Campus and its facilities for storage, preservation, and research. In 2017, the university opened the Margaret and Angus Wurtele Study Center on West Campus, an open-access storage facility where 37,000 three-dimensional art objects are housed in glass cases and easily accessible cabinets. And in 2019, the Yale University Art Gallery’s Hume Furniture Study moved to the same building, with its working library of over 1,300 examples of furniture, clocks, and wooden objects made in America or for the American market from the 17th century to the present. Additional funding will support West Campus staff and specialized facilities dedicated to the preservation and conservation of art and artifacts held in Yale’s libraries and museums.

Another major effort is the renovation and expansion of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, funded by a leadership gift of Edward P. Bass ’67 and other donor support. Set to open in 2022, the renewed Peabody will have 50 percent more exhibition space, new object study classrooms, and the flexibility to ensure that its exhibits are always state-of-the art. Numerous opportunities remain to fund the renovation and the Peabody’s endowment.

Reducing student debt

We also seek to raise additional endowed scholarship funds so that after they graduate, talented students can pursue careers in the arts without the constraint of excessive debt.