NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – It’s a rare happening on the Yale campus the Yale University Art Gallery is opening two new exhibits at the same time. One takes you back thousands of years, the other was put together by students who graduated just last week.
One floor of the Yale University Art Gallery can transport you to 16th century France. with a look at what happened when the King of France brought artists from the Italian Renaissance to his castle Fontainebleau to kick of the French renaissance.
“The people in charge of the floorplan of the Yale University Art Gallery is supposed to imitate what the gallery of Francis the first would have looked like,” said Cordélia de Brosses. She is one of three curators of the exhibit. All three are women who just graduated from Yale on Monday.
They spent the past year and a half researching the subject both at Yale and in Europe. The exhibit covers portraits, statuary, even a very rare embroidered tapestry. However, this is just one of the exhibits just opening.
The other is about a very different kind of textile. This floor takes you back not just centuries, but millennia. There is one that goes back 2,500 years to the Andes mountain in South America.
“Most of these textiles were in burials in dry, coastal deserts on the Pacific side of South America, or in burials in the Andean Mountains,” explained Dicey Taylor, the exhibit curator. The thin, dry air at that altitude helped preserve them.
These were actually clothes, and they were mostly buried with their owners. Garments like these would have taken months of labor to weave in complicated patterns. One whole wall is of textiles that were then covered in feathers. These clothes were meant to let people know you were important.
“When you wore them, it told everybody one, where you were from, what your job was, and that you were wealthy,” Taylor said.
If you want to learn more about either of these exhibits, you can do so and it won’t cost you a dime. That’s because the Yale University Art Gallery is open to the public and it is always free.