Undergraduate Courses

ART 212 A Alsdorf
ART 212

Neoclassicism through Impressionism

Bridget Alsdorf

A broad study of European painting and sculpture from the French revolution to 1900 with special attention to art’s relationship to social, economic and cultural changes. Lectures will explore a range of themes including art and revolution, the rise of landscape, shifting conceptions of realism, and the birth of “modernism” and the avant-garde. Emphasis on major figures including David, Canova, Goya, Ingres, Turner, Courbet, Manet, Monet, Degas, Rodin, Van Gogh, and Cézanne.

T Th 10:00-10:50
ART 248 A
ART 248

Photography's History from Analog to Digital

Elizabeth Anne McCauley

A survey of photography from its multiple inventions in the early 19th century to its digital omnipresence in the present day. Themes will include photography’s power to define the “real”; its emulation and eventual transformation of the traditional fine arts; and its role in the construction of personal and collective memories. Precepts meet in the Princeton University Art Museum and Firestone Library to study original images.

W 7:30-9:20
ART 269LAS 269

Objects of Andean Art

Andrew J. Hamilton

This course provides an overview of Pre-Columbian Andean art, taught from objects in the University’s art museum and nearby collections. Particular attention will be paid to textiles, organic materials, and their biological origins. Students will have weekly opportunities to examine objects firsthand. Assignments will develop broad art historical research skills of object study, writing about objects, and visual documentation of objects (photography, analytical illustration, etc.). Excursions and demonstrations of materials and techniques, generously supported by the Program in Latin American Studies, will make the course ideal for hands-on and experiential learners.

M W 10:00-10:50
ART 315 A
ART 315ARC 315 / HLS 315

Medieval Architecture

Mailan Doquang

A survey of medieval architecture and urban design from ca. 300 to ca. 1500 A.D. The aim will be to explore the major developments in religious and secular architecture in the West from Early Christian times to the Renaissance. Various aspects of architecture will be considered (patronage, functional requirements, planning, form, structure, construction techniques, symbolism, decoration) with the aim of attaining as complete an understanding as possible of architectural developments and urban design in their historical context.

T Th 12:30-1:20
ART 333 A
ART 333ARC 333

Renaissance and Baroque Architecture

Carolyn Yerkes

European architecture from 1420 to the mid-18th century with particular emphasis on its historical and social background. Various architectural styles—Renaissance, baroque, and rococo—are studied in terms of important architects and buildings especially of Italy, France, and England.

M W 12:30-1:20
Art 344
ART 344LAS 334

Topics in 20th-Century Art: Exhibiting Experimentalism

Irene Small

Experimental art by definition involves process, discovery, contingency, and the possibility of failure. Museums, by contrast, are institutions traditionally dedicated to the care and preservation of artifacts with permanent value. What then are the possibilities for experiencing experimental work within a museum? Using recent acquisitions of contemporary art by the Princeton University Art Museum as case studies, students will investigate questions of historiography, pedagogy, transgression, critical exhibition practices, and curatorial ethics, culminating in the organization of an exhibition at the museum.

T 1:30-4:20
ART 350
ART 350EAS 356

Chinese Cinema

Jerome Silbergeld

Thematic studies in Chinese film (Republic, People’s Republic, Taiwan, Hong Kong), 1930s to the present with emphasis on recent years, viewed in relation to traditional and modern Chinese visual arts and literature, colonialism and globalism, Communist politics, gender and family values, ethnicity and regionalism, melodrama and the avant-garde, the cinematic market, artistic censorship, and other social issues.

M 7:30-10:20, T 1:30-4:20
ART 351 B reduced
ART 351ARC 351 / EAS 357

Traditional Chinese Architecture

Jerome Silbergeld

Thematic introduction to traditional Chinese architecture, urban design and garden building, with attention to principles and symbolism of siting and design; building techniques; modularity of structures and interchangeability of palace, temple, tomb, and domestic design; regional variation.

W 7:30-10:20
ART 372
ART 372GER 372 / ECS 372 (LA)

Writing about Art (Rilke, Freud, Benjamin)

Brigid Doherty

Seminar addresses significance of works of art, and of practices of writing about visual art, in the work of three great writers of German in the early 20th century: poet Rainer Maria Rilke; founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud; and philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin. Emphasis on close reading and critical analysis. Readings drawn from variety of fields and genres, including: lyric poetry, experimental prose, psychoanalytic theory, cultural analysis, aesthetic theory, criticism. Topics include: situation of the work of art in modernity; art and the unconscious; the work of art and the historical transmission of culture in modern Europe.

Th 1:30-4:20
ART 374 A
ART 374AAS 372 / AMS 372

Postblack - Contemporary African American Art

Chika Okeke-Agulu

As articulated by Thelma Golden, postblack refers to the work of African American artists who emerged in the 1990s with ambitious, irreverent, and sassy work. Though hard to define, postblack suggested the emergence of a generation of artists removed from the long tradition of black affirmation of the Harlem Renaissance, black empowerment of the Black Arts movement, and identity politics of the 1980s and early ’90s. This seminar provides an opportunity for a deep engagement with the work of African American artists of the past decade. It will involve critical and theoretical readings on multiculturalism, race, identity, and contemporary art.

W 7:30-10:20
ART 376
ART 376AMS 376

American Images

Rachael Z. DeLue

This course examines America through the lens of its images. Pictures created by Americans of all stripes in all periods have been integral to the shaping of American history, culture, and identity. By examining a wide range of image types—from the fine arts and photography to the built environment, scientific illustration, film, and digital media—and by considering these images in terms of their historical, political, social, intellectual, and global contexts, “American Images” will offer both a sweeping and a detailed portrait of America through the rich, sometimes strange history of its art and visual culture.

T Th 10:00-10:50
ART 400

Junior Seminar

Rachael Z. DeLue

An introduction to a range of art-historical approaches and to the writings of key figures in the history of the discipline. Attention is also given to research and writing skills specific to the history of art.

W 1:30-4:20
ART 422EAS 422

Tea, Large Jars, Warriors, and Merchants in Sixteenth-Century Japan

Andrew Watsky

The seminar is taught in conjunction with a special exhibition at the Princeton University Art Museum, “Chigusa and the Art of Tea in Japan,” and examines the diverse arts employed in the pre-modern Japanese practice of chanoyu (tea ceremony), including ceramics, paintings, and architecture. Among the topics considered are the physical and conceptual adaptations of objects for chanoyu, the practice of bestowing proper names on inanimate things, tea men’s invention of a new aesthetic ideal, and their creation of multimedia ensembles. The seminar emphasizes the study (and use) of actual tea objects, and readings include translations of pre-modern chanoyu texts.

W 1:30-4:20
Franz Theobold Horny, Two Figures in a Landscape
ART 442

Master Drawings

Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann
An introduction to the study of drawings taught entirely from original works of art. Intensive use will be made of the Princeton University Art Museum, with trips to an auction house, dealer, and museums in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Of interest to all planning a career in the arts, collecting, or training their powers of visual analysis. For 2014 the focus will be Central European (German, Austrian, etc.) drawings from the late 18th to the early 20th century.
T 1:30-4:20
ART 445 C
ART 445ARC 445

Topics in the History and Theory of Architecture in Early Modern Europe: The Rome of Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Carolyn Yerkes

The focus of the seminar will be G. B. Piranesi (1720–1778) as architect, antiquarian, polemicist, dealer, and graphic artist. We will endeavor to see Piranesi in context, to understand his accomplishment against the background of his adopted city and the learned culture that flourished there. Piranesi's publications are well represented in Princeton collections, providing opportunities for those who wish to work closely with original sources.

Th 1:30-4:20
ART 450
ART 450FRE 408

Seminar in 19th-Century European Art: Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: New Approaches

Bridget Alsdorf

This course will consider a range of recent scholarship—both from the academy and museum—that has shifted understandings of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting. By reading these texts against canonical ones, students will gain a deep and critical perspective on the state of the field. Special attention will be paid to methodology and changing approaches to the blockbuster exhibition. Artists discussed will include Cézanne, Degas, Monet, the Nabis, Pissarro, and Seurat. Field trips to museums in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington.

T 1:30-4:20
ART 459ARC 459 / EAS 459

Anxious Megalopolis: Shanghai's Urban Cultures (1842 to the Present)

Esther da Costa Meyer
Cary Liu

In the 19th century, Shanghai grew to become a bustling port, colonialist beachhead, hub of international commerce in the '30s, and a major testing ground for contemporary architecture today. As a crucial interface between East and West, this city was a place where national and transnational cultures fought and flourished, and stereotypes were forged and discarded. This seminar will cover the emergence of Shanghai's vibrant urban culture as it evolved into the complex megalopolis of today. There will be a trip to Shanghai over fall break, funded by the department.

Th 1:30-4:20
ART 470
ART 470HUM 470 / AMS 470 / ENV 471

Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities: Revisiting Nature's Nation - An Ecocritical History of American Art

Karl Kusserow
Alan C. Braddock

This course critically explores the interface of American art and environmental history while laying the basis for a groundbreaking traveling exhibition on the subject being organized by the Princeton University Art Museum. Using emerging interpretive strategies of "ecocriticism," we will approach American art as creative material that has imagined and embodied environmental issues concerning land use, species extinction, pollution, climate change, sustainability, and justice in a variety of historical contexts since the 18th century - when the foundations of "ecology" as an idea first began to materialize.

W 1:30-4:20
ART 473AAS 473 / AFS 473

Kongo Art

Chika Okeke-Agulu

Easily recognized as among the most important examples of canonical African art, Kongo sculpture, textiles, and ritual design are famous for their conceptual density, stylistic variety, and rigorous abstraction. The course examines the role of art in the life of the Kongo Kingdom and related peoples, from the arrival of Spanish explorers and missionaries in the 15th century, through the era of Belgian colonization from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, to the period since political independence in 1960. The seminar coincides with and will explore the "Kongo across the Waters" exhibition at the Princeton University Art Museum.

T 7:30-10:20