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Does John Trumbull Haunt the Yale Art Gallery?


The Yale University Art Gallery, at the corner of chapel and High Street, is the oldest university art museum in the western hemisphere.  The gallery was founded in 1832, and designed by John Trumbull (1756-1843). He donated more than one hundred of paintings of the American Revolution to the gallery.  The original building was razed in 1867, the replacement building in 1901, and presently it is a new building and location that was built in 1953.  There were rumors that Trumbull was active as ghost between the destruction of his second home until his current home was constructed.

John Trumbull is noted for his historical paintings, especially his Declaration of Independence (1817), which was used on the reverse of the two-dollar bill:  The patriotic artist fought in the American Revolutionary War. As a result, Trumbull was an eye-witness to history at several battles that he depicted in his paintings.  He was a close friend of George Washington and several of his renderings of great general are on display.

Trumbull two dying wishes were to be buried with his wife and be next to his art work.  As a result, he and his wife are in a casket in the basement of the Yale Art Gallery How do we know he’s still there?   If he is removed from the gallery his art is to be transferred to Harvard. College.  He is sure to haunt the gallery if his wishes are ever frustrated.

Ghosts of New Haven Blog 8 Does John Trumbull Haunt the Yale Art Gallery? © 2017 by Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg, Ghost with a Blog # Ghost

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