Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the Yale University Art Gallery was originally founded in 1832, and is home to an encyclopaedic collection of art, spread out across multiple buildings. While the collections here do encompass just about every period and culture, there are several war-related works of art here that definitely should not be missed.
The Trumbull Gallery
Built in 1832, the Trumbull Gallery was one of the museum’s very first, and can be found on the second floor. This exhibit consists of a number of valuable paintings by John Trumbull, the majority of which depict historical events, including a number of war scenes. Some of the artist’s most famous pieces that you will see here include the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, and the Declaration of Independence, many of which you are likely to recognize as soon as you see them, as they are quite iconic.
Before the Event/After the Fact: Contemporary Perspectives on War
Before the Event/After the Fact: Contemporary Perspectives on War is a temporary exhibition that will be running until the 31st of December, so you still have a few months to catch it. This exhibition explores the way in which war is represented when it comes to contemporary photography, displaying pieces that feature everything from combat zones to training sites to forensic reconstruction. It also examines the visual differences between staged images and real events, with some of the pieces playing on the relationship between the ambiguity of both of these elements. From video installations to digital animations to interactive pieces, the artwork on display in this exhibition really takes an imaginative look at the connection between art and war, while making use of plenty of modern day technology.
Artists in Exile: Expressions of Loss and Hope
Artists in Exile: Expressions of Loss and Hope is another temporary exhibition at the museum that begins on the 1st of September, and will be running until the end of December. This exhibition is based around the theme of exile, but examines this in quite an innovative way, by featuring artists who have been forced to leave their home country, either due to war or genocide. In addition to exploring how exile affected these artists, both mentally and physically, the exhibition also takes a look at the way in which the exile resulted in said artists being even more innovative when it comes to their work. There are several well-known European artists featured in the exhibition, including Gustave Courbet, Paul Gaugin and Marcel Duchamp, as well as a number of international artists, such as Elizabeth Catlett, Mu Xin and Ana Mendieta, with particular emphasis placed on female artists.
The oldest college art museum in the country, the Yale University Art Gallery is home to over 200,000 objects, ranging from ancient times to the modern day. For those who are looking to explore the relationship between art and war, this is a great museum to visit, as there are so many pieces here that relate to this topic.