Yale Center for British Art


Location: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Photographs: 132,000

The Yale Center for British Art is a public art museum and research institute for the study of British art and culture. Presented to Yale University by Paul Mellon (Yale College, Class of 1929), the Center holds the largest and most comprehensive collection of British art outside the United Kingdom, presenting the development of British art and culture from the Elizabethan period to the present day.

Photo Archive

The YCBA Photo Archive includes c 132,000 photographs (c 82,000 catalogued, c 50,000 uncatalogued). The Archive consists of black and white photographs after works by British artists or other artists working in the UK from c. 1500 until 1945. The vast majority of the works of art documented in the archive were created before 1900. British artists are the overwhelming focus of the archive but it also includes Irish, Scottish, and Australian artists. Included in the Archive are paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculpture, and a small percentage of prints. It does not include architecture, manuscript illumination or decorative arts. 

The photographs in the archive were acquired (from 1975 until 2000) from public and private collections, galleries, and auction houses in the UK and North America, often in conjunction with the Paul Mellon Centre in London. Catalogued photos are mounted on board with a basic text label and filed in boxes by the artist’s name. The boxes are arranged on the shelf by name and sub-arranged by medium and genre. The metadata records for these materials are searchable from a Microsoft Access database (no images have been scanned) available in the Library only.