Table Piece CII, 1970, painted stainless steel, 29 1⁄2 x 80 x 34 inches, Yale University Art Gallery, Katharine Ordway Fund

The Yale Center for British Art, Louis Kahn’s last project, completed after his death in 1974, is one of the great modernist buildings, both lean and sumptuous, a paradigm of sensitive proportions and luxurious minimalism. With its sequence of “rooms” around an atrium, its sky-lit “great room” hung with enormous Stubbses, its exquisite orchestration of suave concrete, steel, and pale oak, and, above all, its floods of light, the building feels less like a museum than a wholly contemporary, remarkably splendid English country house. It was this domestic quality that prompted a visiting British scholar, Ju ...