On Thursday, April 20, the Yale Henry Koerner Center will open an art exhibition of works by the Center’s namesake, Henry Koerner, in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the dedication of the Center. Titled Henry Koerner: Memory and Motif, the exhibition features thirty-five works, twenty-nine of which were recently given to the Center by Joseph Koerner, the artist’s son. The exhibition, widely varied both in medium and subject, displays works from 1938 to 1991, spanning the entirety of Koerner’s career as an artist.
In the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition, essayist Jonathan Weinberg writes:
When I first heard about Joseph Koerner’s wonderful gift to the Koerner Center, I was a bit surprised. What does Henry Koerner’s art have to do with the mission of the Center other than its name? But in studying the works that make up this marvelous gift, I have come to realize it makes perfect sense. Joseph’s efforts to promote his father’s legacy reverberate with one of the most important tasks of scholarship, to preserve and remember… . if the work itself doesn’t survive—if it isn’t cared for and cherished, it does not live. So too with people: hence the Henry Koerner Center itself.
In his essay, Joseph Koerner writes:
My father imagined that his paintings would end up in museums, and some of them have. Yale University Art Gallery acquired an important early work, Tunnel of Love, from a Pittsburgh collector. But their first station was generally someone’s home. Like Dutch genre paintings, my father’s paintings and drawings were made for, and sometimes depict, a domestic setting. They are homely—sometimes in an unhomely way—paintings about the home… . The hope is that at Yale these pictures will give people at the Henry Koerner Center something to think about. They are ‘thought pictures’ deposited for posterity from someone’s winter journey and have found a home here.
The exhibition, on display from April 20, 2023, to June 20, 2023, is one of three exhibitions on show during the 2022–2023 academic year to mark the anniversary. To view the exhibition catalogue, click here.
Exhibition open by invitation or appointment; call (203) 432-8227.