Yale Indo-Pacific Art

Yale Indo-Pacific Art

“… .The major news… .is the debut of the Indo-Pacific gallery. If you need one irrefutable reason for a visit (to the YUAG), this is it. The collection, primarily promised gifts, is relatively new to the museum, as is its curator, Ruth Barnes, who comes from the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford. For this inaugural presentation, she seems to have brought out as much art as possible, and she’s absolutely right to have done so. The installation is enrapturing, as intricately patterned as the Indonesian textiles and Borneo carvings that fill it.” - Holland Cotter, New York Times Art Review 12/13/12 (photo credit: Bruce Buck for The New York Times)
“(This) initial installation, showcasing works from Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and coastal regions of mainland Southeast Asia, is a rare treat. Only a handful of U.S. museums devote space to the cultures of the Indian and Pacific Oceans—and they often scatter the works among different departments. Here they are kept together, inviting us to see connections and explore diverse cultural expressions, from refined court arts to the spiritually charged talismans of headhunters.” - Lee Lawrence, “Eastern Expansion,” Wall Street Journal 1/30/13


In March 2009, the Yale University Art Gallery announced the creation of a new curatorial department devoted to Indo-Pacific art, enabled by the generosity of Yale alumnus Thomas Jaffe. Mr. Jaffe also endowed the curatorial position to create a gallery of Indo-Pacific art, “establishing the Yale Art Gallery as one of the country’s leaders in the field.”

Internationally recognized scholar Ruth Barnes became the Thomas Jaffe Curator of Indo-Pacific Art in January 2010, as well as a member of the Council on Southeast Asia Studies. Dr. Barnes is an art historian in the field of South and Southeast Asian textiles, with a particular interest in the social history of material culture and its anthropological interpretation, and has studied textiles from South and Southeast Asia, as well as from the Islamic world, from this perspective. Dr. Barnes came to Yale with many years of field experience in Indonesia, primarily in the eastern part of the archipelago.

For detailed information and to view collection highlights, visit the INDO-PACIFIC COLLECTION website.

Inaugural Exhibition March 25 - August 14, 2011


•  YaleNews press release March 18, 2009
• “New Collection New Curator” -Yale Daily News - Jan 2010
• “Gallery forms Indo-Pacific dept.” -Yale Daily News - March 2009
• “New Gifts Enhance Yale University Art Gallery Collections” -Yale Office of Development - Jan 2009