The Yale Center for British Art at Yale University in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. The collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, rare books, and manuscripts reflects the development of British art and culture from the Elizabethan period onward.CreationThe Center was established by a gift
from Paul Mellon (Yale College Class of 1929) of his British art collection to Yale in 1966, together with an endowment for operations of the Center, and funds for a building to house the works of art. Kahn and constructed at the corner of York and Chapel Streets in New Haven, across the street from one of Kahn's earliest buildings, the Yale University Art Gallery, built in 1953. The exterior is made of matte steel and reflective glass; the interior is made of travertine marble, white oak, and Belgian linen. Kahn succeeded in creating intimate galleries where one can view objects in diffused natural light. He wanted to allow in as much daylight as possible, with artificial illumination used only on dark days or in the evening. The building’s design, materials, and sky-lit rooms combine to provide an environment for the works of art that is simple and dignified.