Courtney J. Martin, Paul Mellon Director, Yale Center for British Art, photo by Mara Lavitt
In July 2019, I returned to one of my favorite places in the world, the Yale Center for British Art, as the Paul Mellon Director. The museum’s impressive holdings, so perfectly displayed in the elegant, light-filled spaces designed by Louis I. Kahn, have never ceased to inspire me. As the year unfurled in unforeseeable ways, however, the dedication, fortitude, and resilience of my colleagues at the YCBA and across Yale University proved even more remarkable.
The initial months of the 2019–2020 fiscal year were filled with incredible energy. Before shuttering our doors in mid-March to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19, we opened six special exhibitions and published two catalogues; added more than three hundred fifty objects; hosted lectures, performances, symposia, and tours; and shared our collections with access program participants, schoolchildren, university classes, and visitors from all over the world.