Bridge of art

Looking from the Kahn Art Gallery through the Street Hall Art GalleryMy bursary job at Yale was as a projectionist for the Audio Visual Center.  The assignments took me all over campus from the Medical School to the Law School Auditorium where I ran the slides for Vincent Scully’s famous course.  Often the work day began at the AV center in Street Hall with an assignment to carry equipment and the desired media (35 mm slides, glass lantern slides, film clips, and the like) to a class room for use. In inclement weather I sensibly sought out indoor routes to use to traverse the campus.

My preferred path to York Street venues started going up the stairs in Street Hall to the elegant arched upper level passage – our campus Rialto Bridge – that both spanned High Street below and offered handsome views north towards a variety of Yale landmarks. This bridge gave way to the upper level sculpture room of the Old Art Gallery where the warm stone finishes, groin vaulted ceiling, and expansive south windows provided an elegant setting for the art. This space, in turn, merged into the 1953 Kahn Art Gallery dominated by the honeycombed concrete ceiling that floated overhead and periodic views through floor-to-ceiling glass north toward the secluded courtyard of Weir Hall. Using Kahn’s elaborate, almost fussy, triangular staircase encased in a concrete cylinder got me back to grade and out into the weather I had skirted. Traversing this marvelous sequence of interior spaces remains a vivid memory of Yale.

Michael Stanton