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Exhibitions in Sterling Memorial Library: What's Happening Now?

Online Exhibits

"Free the New Haven Panthers": The New Haven Nine, Yale, and the May Day 1970 Protests That Brought Them Together

Curated by Kathryn Schmechel '21 for the 2021 Senior Essay Exhibition

“Free the New Haven Panthers” explores the roles of the Black Panthers and Yale in creating a successful protest movement, representing the varying positions and perspectives that Yale affiliates and Black Panther organizers brought to the table in their disparate but related fights for justice and fairness. The exhibition serves as an attempt to grapple with just a small selection of critical archival holdings at Yale, in order to give some sense of what the Black Power movement involved, what May Day constituted, and what happened after the arrest of those known as the “New Haven Nine." Fifty-one years later, the events surrounding May Day 1970 still feel relevant, especially in the aftermath of last summer’s global protests for racial justice after the horrific murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many other Black Americans. Much work remains to be done, but the curator hopes that looking at the May Day Rally in a new light can be a part of this critical work.

"Jappalachia": Connections Between the Appalachian Trail and Japan’s Shinetsu Trail

Curated by Sarah Adams '20 for the 2020 Student Research at YUL Exhibition

"Jappalachia": Connections Between the Appalachian Trail and Japan’s Shinetsu Trail explores how the concept of a “long trail” has traveled through the world and evolved in changing relationships to the environment. The Shinetsu Trail and Appalachian Trail are both nationally funded long-distance trails established during times of increasing industrialization. This exhibit explores how social and environmental changes that followed in the areas helped spur the development of a long trail. Though the connections may be surprising, the relationships between the two trails reveal the manifold purposes and unique aspects of the places they serve. 

Watch a video interview with Sarah to learn more about her research process using Yale University Library collections, her work with her collaborators, and the development of her thesis into an exhibit.

Publication & Prejudice

Curated by Emma Brodey '21 for the 2020 Student Research at YUL Exhibition

Publication & Prejudice brings together more than twenty versions of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice based in the Yale collections. Every one of these books tells more or less the same story. The volumes, however, encompass a plethora of formats, editions, and re-imaginings. Some reinvent Austen’s text in bold and modern ways. Others use the tools of printing and publication to make claims about the original text itself. Even when they contain exactly the same words, many small choices by publishers combine to create a completely different reading experience. This exhibition tells a visual story of how a book can be changed by its publishers, and by its readers.

Watch a video interview with Emma to learn more about her course paper that inspired this exhibit, her curation process, and the versions of Pride and Prejudice that she included from the Yale collections.

Yale-Aided Design: The Work of Female Architecture Graduates

Curated by Mariana Melin-Corcoran for the 2019 Student Research at YUL Exhibition

Architecture at Yale University was born into the Yale School of the Fine Arts in 1879, but Yale did not have its first women graduates in architecture until the late 1940s. They have been few amongst their male peers and Yale leaders until recent years. This exhibition explores original contributions and experiences of some of the female pioneers of the Yale Architecture program; exhibited during the celebration of 50WomenAtYale150 commemorating the 50th anniversary of coeducation in Yale College and the 150th anniversary of women students at the university.

Edith Wharton: Designing the Drawing Room 

Curated by Julia Carabatsos '20 for the 2020 Senior Essay Exhibition

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) is best known today for her fiction, such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Age of Innocence (1920). Yet she also had a keen interest in architecture and interior design. Her first full-length publication was an interior design treatise The Decoration of Houses (1897) and she directed the design of many of her homes during her life. Edith Wharton: Designing the Drawing Room brings together both aspects of Wharton’s career. It explores the rules she defined in The Decoration of Houses and their application in her own homes, alongside her attention to design details in the handwritten manuscript of The Age of Innocence. This exhibit focuses on Wharton’s treatment of the drawing room, which provides a particularly rich context for understanding Wharton’s elite New York City society at the turn of the 20th century and the role of women within it.

Watch a video interview with Julia to learn more about her curation process and the Senior Essay that inspired this exhibition.

Twelve Portraits: Studies of Women at Yale

Curated by Tanya Marcuse '90 MFA and George Miles, Curator, Western Americana Collection, Beinecke Library

The portraits featured in this exhibit are drawn from a larger series of photographs by Tanya Marcuse (MFA '90). The project was commissioned by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in honor of the university-wide 50 Women at Yale 150 celebration, which aims "to showcase the depth of women's contributions to Yale and to the world, to celebrate women at the university, and to inspire thoughtful conversation about the future of women at Yale and in the larger society."

This online exhibit was created to complement the unique installation in the Sterling Library Memorabilia Room. The photographs are presented together with contact sheets and other traces of Marcuse's creative process. Exhibit text and images work together to illuminate Marcuse's process as well as the interpretive nature of the portrait.


Pass It On: Preserving our Collective and Personal Cultural Heritage

Curated by Christine McCarthy, Dir. of Preservation and Conservation Services for the Yale University Library

This exhibit showcases the artistic, surgical, scientific, and technological solutions executed by preservation specialists and conservation experts who accept the mission to preserve and conserve. Each look inside the Center’s laboratories and workrooms is paired with at-home strategies to inspire visitors to make it their mission to preserve their treasures or those of their families or communities.

The physical exhibition that inspired this online version was on view in the Sterling Library Memorabila Room from April 15 - July 15, 2019. 

Edith Wharton: Designing the Drawing Room

A Highlights Tour of the Online Exhibition:

Edith Wharton: Designing the Drawing Room

An Interview with Curator Julia Carabatsos '20: