Reframing the Canvas

Zebra, a 1763 painting by George Stubbs, serves as the mascot of the Yale Center for British Art on shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers. But to Linda Friedlaender, Senior Curator of Education, the Stubbs painting also embodies the YCBA’s recent shift toward a more critical perspective. “Before, we would talk about the story of how … Continue reading Reframing the Canvas

Zebra, a 1763 painting by George Stubbs, serves as the mascot of the Yale Center for British Art on shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers. But to Linda Friedlaender, Senior Curator of Education, the Stubbs painting also embodies the YCBA’s recent shift toward a more critical perspective. “Before, we would talk about the story of how Queen Charlotte received the zebra from explorers in Africa, and what a gifted painter Stubbs was, and we’d talk about the painterly qualities of the work,” she explained. “But really,. . . Read more
Sohum Pal
Remembrance Deferred

Guilford, a town of twenty-thousand half an hour north of New Haven, is a place that loves its past. There are three historical societies, and in the town center, by the chocolatier and tea shop, historical markers nearly outnumber street signs. A lone soldier stands at the center of the town green, looming over the … Continue reading Remembrance Deferred

Guilford, a town of twenty-thousand half an hour north of New Haven, is a place that loves its past. There are three historical societies, and in the town center, by the chocolatier and tea shop, historical markers nearly outnumber street signs. A lone soldier stands at the center of the town green, looming over the dog walkers and families. Tall and imposing, with a musket by his side, he is the centerpiece of an 1877 memorial dedicated to the town’s Civil War veterans. Until recently,. . . Read more
Yonatan Greenberg
Sign of the Times

On a recent Wednesday evening in a basement room of Yale University’s Dow Hall, four students attempted a translation of the song “I’ll Make a Man out of You,” from Disney’s Mulan. Hands, fingers, and arms jumped, fluttered, and glided their way through the lyrics. The class broke into a fit of giggles when the … Continue reading Sign of the Times

On a recent Wednesday evening in a basement room of Yale University’s Dow Hall, four students attempted a translation of the song “I’ll Make a Man out of You,” from Disney’s Mulan. Hands, fingers, and arms jumped, fluttered, and glided their way through the lyrics. The class broke into a fit of giggles when the professor, Jessica Tanner, forced them to re-sign the line, “Tranquil as the forest but on fire within.” Their signs for “fire,” she suggested, had been underwhelming. Her hands, fingers, and. . . Read more
Noah Macey
Much Ado About Mushrooms

It was raining steadily in the woods in Hurd State Park, an hour northeast of New Haven. I stooped down by the base of a dying tree. There wasn’t much to see except for damp leaves carpeting the ground. Then I spotted it: a few clusters of small tan caps. “Coprinellus micaceus, inky caps,” said … Continue reading Much Ado About Mushrooms

It was raining steadily in the woods in Hurd State Park, an hour northeast of New Haven. I stooped down by the base of a dying tree. There wasn’t much to see except for damp leaves carpeting the ground. Then I spotted it: a few clusters of small tan caps. “Coprinellus micaceus, inky caps,” said Beth Karwowski, without missing a beat. Karwowski, whose laugh carries through the forest, is the president of the Connecticut Valley Mycological Society (CVMS). She turned one of the mushrooms upside. . . Read more
Sarah Adams
Neighborhood Politics

On October 29, ninety-four years after the founding of the secular Republic of Turkey, a solemn Turkish-American man named Feray Gökçek stands before thirty people in his backyard on Middletown Avenue, across the Quinnipiac River from Fair Haven. A two-and-a-half-ton, thirteen-foot-tall bronze statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of Turkey, looms over him. … Continue reading Neighborhood Politics

On October 29, ninety-four years after the founding of the secular Republic of Turkey, a solemn Turkish-American man named Feray Gökçek stands before thirty people in his backyard on Middletown Avenue, across the Quinnipiac River from Fair Haven. A two-and-a-half-ton, thirteen-foot-tall bronze statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of Turkey, looms over him. “What we are doing here today,” Gökçek says in Turkish, “is contributing to world peace and protecting democracy and secularism.” Barely a smile crosses his lips. It is raining, and. . . Read more
Molly Montgomery
The Yale Heraldry

Hopper College’s coat of arms, featured on a plaque above the dining hall fireplace, is hard to miss. The marine emblem, striking in its yellow and blue, seems anachronistic; the coat of arms looks too new and polished to appear fully at home against the wood paneling, stained glass, and chandeliers. But this juxtaposition is … Continue reading The Yale Heraldry

Hopper College’s coat of arms, featured on a plaque above the dining hall fireplace, is hard to miss. The marine emblem, striking in its yellow and blue, seems anachronistic; the coat of arms looks too new and polished to appear fully at home against the wood paneling, stained glass, and chandeliers. But this juxtaposition is not incidental. After Yale University decided to rename Calhoun College in honor of Grace Hopper in February 2017 and to open up two new residential colleges, Benjamin Franklin and Pauli. . . Read more
Nicole Blackwood
What’s With That Painting?

The Head of College portraits in Yale dining halls don’t usually register as art. Nobody shows up looking for them. Nobody gazes at them, trancelike, for whole minutes at a time. They’re just there, ubiquitous and inevitable. Like midterms or Yale Granola™. As is the case with so much public art, they have become part … Continue reading What’s With That Painting?

The Head of College portraits in Yale dining halls don’t usually register as art. Nobody shows up looking for them. Nobody gazes at them, trancelike, for whole minutes at a time. They’re just there, ubiquitous and inevitable. Like midterms or Yale Granola™. As is the case with so much public art, they have become part of the landscape. One striking exception is the 2001 portrait of former Head of College Harry “Skip” Stout in the Berkeley College dining hall. By the admittedly staid standards of. . . Read more
Mariah Kreutter
Growth in the Greenhouse

It’s eight-thirty a.m. on a Monday in East Rock’s Edgerton Park and Steffen Moore is sweeping the greenhouse floor. Moore, who is 35, has already held more than seven jobs—at the Mary Wade Home, a New Haven-based home care agency, and various truck stops—but these stints were always short-lived. More often than not, he was … Continue reading Growth in the Greenhouse

It’s eight-thirty a.m. on a Monday in East Rock’s Edgerton Park and Steffen Moore is sweeping the greenhouse floor. Moore, who is 35, has already held more than seven jobs—at the Mary Wade Home, a New Haven-based home care agency, and various truck stops—but these stints were always short-lived. More often than not, he was among the 64.6 percent of workers with a disability who were unemployed in Connecticut. That is, until his caseworker at the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (DDS)—which serves individuals with. . . Read more
Elaine Wang
Art and Work in Auvillar

A group of thirteen students has gathered at an airport in Toulouse, France. We are en route to a small village called Auvillar for a month-long intensive studio art summer program led by the painter and Yale School of Art Professor Robert Reed ART ’62. At 75, Reed is smaller and frailer than I had … Continue reading Art and Work in Auvillar

A group of thirteen students has gathered at an airport in Toulouse, France. We are en route to a small village called Auvillar for a month-long intensive studio art summer program led by the painter and Yale School of Art Professor Robert Reed ART ’62. At 75, Reed is smaller and frailer than I had imagined, but he’s beaming. Most of us are meeting him for the first time, but he already knows our names. He speaks in a tender tone, as if catching up. . . Read more
Amra Saric
Noir Haven

For me, the word “noir” brings to mind quick-talking mid-century mobsters in black and white suits lingering in the back alleys of menacing, unnamed cities. But the stories from the anthology New Haven Noir (Akashic Books, 2017) fill the familiar streets of New Haven with shadows and populate its apartments and hotel rooms with sinister … Continue reading Noir Haven

For me, the word “noir” brings to mind quick-talking mid-century mobsters in black and white suits lingering in the back alleys of menacing, unnamed cities. But the stories from the anthology New Haven Noir (Akashic Books, 2017) fill the familiar streets of New Haven with shadows and populate its apartments and hotel rooms with sinister people. From the monstrous, anonymous guest in Michael Cunningham’s “The Man in Room Eleven” to the addled and violent widow in Karen E. Olson’s “The Boy,” New Haven Noir’s characters. . . Read more
Noah Macey