What Would This Painting Sound Like If You Could Step Inside of It?

Look at this portrait of young Sarah Prince of Massachusetts, painted around 1801, as you listen to the Haven String Quartet perform “The Silver Moon.” That’s the piece of music Sarah holds in her right hand. Then consider these questions:

• Where is your eye drawn?
• What changes about the painting when you hear the music?
• Does it influence your perception of the painting to know that the artist, John Brewster, Jr., was deaf from birth?

As part of the Gallery’s “Playing Images: An Exploration of Music and Art” series, the Haven String Quartet played “The Silver Moon” alongside Sarah Prince’s portrait in June 2019. Learn more.


Shadow Puppets (Wayang Kulit) from a
Javanese Royal Court


Arjuna in Meditation

Ki Kertiwanda and Ki Bekel Prawirasucitra
Royal Court, Yogyakarta, Java, 1913
Water buffalo hide and horn, pigments, cotton, gold leaf

This puppet, shown in light (left) and in shadow (right), is of Arjuna, one of the five Pandawa brothers in the Mahabharata epic. Here he is engaged in meditation in a quest for spiritual power and clarity. The puppet is from the Kyai Nugroho
set, which was the product of artisans from a royal court. It dates to a peak of the puppet arts around the turn of the 20th century under the patronage of Sultan Hamengkubuwono VII of Yogyakarta and his family.
Search the Gallery’s collection of over 450 Indonesian shadow puppets from the Dr. Walter Angst and Sir Henry Angest Collection.



Puppet Drama:
The Magical Tale of a People’s Struggle

Watch highlights of this 2017 performance of “Barikan,” a traditional play using shadow puppets accompanied by the music of a gamelan ensemble and vocals, that is about the abduction of the people of Amarta by invisible spirits and their eventual rescue by magical means.


Reckoning with “The Incident”
Exhibition Extended

Reckoning with “The Incident”: John Wilson’s Studies for a Lynching Mural, an exhibition centered around a fresco (no longer extant) by American artist John Wilson that depicted a scene of a racial-terror lynching, has been extended through October 25, 2020.*



The Legacy of Lynching: Artistic Confrontations of Racial Terror

In February, Ken Gonzales-Day, W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Crystal Feimster, Jonathan Kubakundimana, and David W. Blight discussed representations of lynching and other racial violence, past and present, in this video.


The Music
of a
Honey Bear Whistle

Ocarina in the Shape of a Kinkajou
Costa Rica, 1200–1550
Incised ceramic with pigment, Castillo Engraved

This kinkajou (honey bear) is shown doing what it does best: hanging. It uses its tail here as it would the limb of a tree. The pose makes the figure easy to hold and use as an ocarina (whistle). Its hip and shoulder joints, as well as its flanks, have tone holes. The mouthpiece projects from the center of its back.


Support the Gallery’s Annual Fund

Gifts to the Annual Fund strengthen the Gallery’s ability to respond to uncertain times. To everyone who has a made a recent gift, we say thank you. The ability to gather our online resources and open them to a broad audience is made possible by our generous donors.
The Yale University Art Gallery is currently closed until further notice. The Gallery is working in close collaboration with Yale University leadership to safeguard against the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff. Please continue to check our website in the coming days and weeks for additional information or changes to the Gallery’s public services. Learn more.




Download our audio guide


Visit AAQ / Museum Architecture: Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 2012

Yale University Art Gallery


Image Credits Below


AAQ Resource: Apple Honda, Riverhead


Image Credits

John Brewster, Jr., Portrait of Sarah Prince (also known as Silver Moon or Girl at the Pianoforte), ca. 1801. Oil on canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, The Iola S. Haverstick Fund for American Art; John Hill Morgan, B.A. 1893, LL.B. 1896, Hon. 1929, Fund; Friends of American Arts Acquisition Fund; Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund; and bequest of John M. Schiff, B.A. 1925, by exchange |  Ki Kertiwanda and Ki Bekel Prawirasucitra, Shadow Puppet (Wayang Kulit) of Arjuna Bertapa or Ciptoning (Arjuna in Meditation), from the consecrated set Kyai Nugroho, 1913. Water buffalo hide and horn, pigments, cotton, gold leaf. The Dr. Walter Angst and Sir Henry Angest Collection, Yale University Art Gallery | Visitors in the Gallery’s lobby during the December 2017 performance of “Barikan: A Wayang Ritual Drama with Gamelan and Shadow Puppets” | View of the exhibition Reckoning with “The Incident”: John Wison’s Studies for a Lynching Mural, Yale University Art Gallery | “Legacy of Lynching: Artistic Confrontations of Racial Terror,” panel conversation with Ken Gonzales-Day, W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Crystal Feimster, Jonathan Kubakundimana, and David W. Blight, February 20, 2020, Yale University Art Gallery, YouTube video, 2:00:00 | Ocarina in the Shape of a Kinkajou, Carrillo, Nicoya, Costa Rica, 1200–1550. Incised ceramic with pigment, Castillo Engraved. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Bryce Appleton, B.A. 1965, Marc Appleton, M.Arch. 1972, Lynnie Appleton, and Lili Appleton in honor of their mother, Ariel Bryce Appleton, and her interest in Costa Rica, its people, and their art | Haven String Quartet September 2019 performance in the American paintings and sculpture galleries, Yale University Art Gallery, as part of the Gallery‘s ”Playing Images: An Exploration of Music and Art” series