Undergraduate Courses

ART 100 C
ART 100

Meanings in the Visual Arts: An Introduction to the History of Art

Irene Small
Introduction to the history of art and the discipline of art history. Not a comprehensive survey but a sampling of arts—painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, and prints—and artistic practices from diverse historical periods, regions, and cultures. The course balances historical development with various ways art historians and other observers interpret art, and with attention to individual works of art. Lectures by various faculty of the Department of Art and Archaeology in their fields of expertise; precepts facilitate direct engagement with works of art in the Princeton University Art Museum.
M W 10:00-10:50
FFR 129
FRS 126Barrett Family Freshman Seminar

Contact: The Archaeology of Interaction in the Ancient Mediterranean

Nathan Arrington

The Mediterranean in the Early Iron Age (11th to 7th centuries B.C.E.) was a dynamic setting for commerce, migration, exploration, and innovation. Traders plied the seas selling goods and spreading ideas, urban centers developed, colonies appeared, and emerging kingdoms waged wars. From Spain to Assyria, Carthage to Thrace, people encountered one another in a variety of political, social, and economic contexts. The aim of this seminar is to use archaeological evidence to explore how people interacted in the ancient Mediterranean, and with what results. Our goal is to use objects and sites to assess the intensity, the quality, and the importance of contacts during this period of complex cultural development.

W 1:30-4:20
ART 209 B
ART 209 HUM 208

Between Renaissance and Revolution: Baroque Art in Europe

Susanna Berger

This course surveys the painting, sculpture, and architecture of 17th-century Europe. Lectures introduce important works in relation to developments in religion, politics, science, and culture throughout this period. The course addresses the artistic achievements of Caravaggio, Poussin, Bernini, Borromini, Rubens, Vélazquez, and other major artists and architects. We will explore questions such as why Caravaggio's contemporaries referred to him as an "evil genius," and how Galileo's early artistic training proved to be integral to his scientific discoveries. We will examine artworks in Princeton, Philadelphia, and New York museums.

M W 12:30-1:20
ART214
ART 214

Contemporary Art: 1950 to the Present

AnnMarie Perl

A survey of postwar art from an international perspective, focusing on the period’s major artistic movements in the various historical contexts of their creation and reception, including the Second World War, the Cold War, decolonization, the civil rights movement, feminism, globalization, and economic boom and recession. Lectures will explore several themes including the relationships of art to popular culture, the mass media, consumer society, historical memory, and political and social activism. Throughout, we will try to account for the startling formal metamorphoses of art itself, as it is transformed from traditional painting and sculpture into new forms, ultimately challenging the very nature and limits of art. 

T Th 12:30-1:20
ART 250 B
ART 250ARC 250 / ENV 250

Architecture, Globalization, and the Environment

Esther da Costa Meyer

This course analyzes contemporary architecture and its relation to climate change and to social problems having to do with urbanism. Special attention will be paid to the erosion of public space, whether it is due to gentrification, gated communities, outright segregation, or to the devastating impact of war in urban zones in many parts of the world. We will study issues of sustainability, as well as climate justice and environmental racism. Architecture's complicities with regard to global warming and its squandering of fossil fuels are central to our approach.

M W 12:30-1:20
ART 251 new
ART 251ARC 251

Architecture of Princeton University

W. Barksdale Maynard

Listed by Forbes magazine as one of the World's Most Beautiful Campuses, Princeton has long been an architectural paragon, much-admired and copied. Its astonishingly varied buildings can help tell the story of American architectural history from the 1750s on. This course will examine Princeton's fascinating relationship to ever-changing architectural trends in America and Britain. Controversies will be emphasized, from 19th-century fights about Gothic Revival to current debates about Neo-modernist designs by world-famous architects. Walking tours and a field trip will enhance your understanding of America's fourth-oldest campus.

T 1:30-4:20
Art 261
ART 261AAS 261

Art and Politics in Postcolonial Africa

Chika Okeke-Agulu

This seminar examines the impact of the IMF's Structural Adjustment Program, military dictatorships, and political crises on artistic production in the 1980s, and the dramatic movement of African artists from the margins of the international art world to its very center since the 1990s. How familiar or different are the works and concerns of African artists? What are the consequences, in Africa and the West, of the international success of a few African artists? And what does the work of these Africans at home and in the West tell us about the sociopolitical conditions of our world today?

Th 1:30-4:20
ARt 292 Ahmes-Nefertari
ART 292CLA 292

Ancient Egyptian Art

Kate Liszka

Art in ancient Egypt is a window into its society, religion, and history. In this class, students will survey major themes and debates in Egyptian art, such as composition, portraiture, artists, and the integration of art and writing. Students will also investigate ancient Egyptian art as a reflection of its culture from ca. 5000 BCE, when it was a series of disconnected polities, to ca. 200 CE, when it was a province of the Roman Empire. They will examine major pieces of art, private tombs, temples, pyramids, and the Sphinx. During the precepts, students will interact with objects in the Princeton University Art Museum.

T Th 10:00-10:50
ART 307 B crop 2
ART 307HLS 307 / CLA 307

Hellenistic Art

Michael Koortbojian

Survey of the transformations in Greek art beginning with the decline of the Classical period (5th century BCE) and continuing through the period of Alexander the Great's unification of the Mediterranean world, up to and including the Roman conquest of the east. Emphasis on sculpture, painting, and mosaic.

T Th 1:30-2:20
ART 314 C cropped
ART 314FRE 316 / ARC 314

The Gothic Cathedral

Mailan Doquang

This course surveys the great trans-European architectural movement called Gothic, from its origins in the Paris basin in the 1130s until around 1500. Lectures will range from close examinations of specific monuments to broader engagements with architectural forms as they cut across time. Issues include urbanism, regionalism, patronage, the role of the "architect," structure and engineering, the multi-media ensemble, and cultural identity.

M W 1:30-2:50
ART 335 A
ART 335ECS 335

Art, Science, and Magic

Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann

This class considers interactions of art, science and magic during the Early Modern Period (15th to 17th centuries) in Europe. Topics include nature studies and natural history, collecting, art and magic, art and astrology, art and alchemy, and art and witchcraft. Students will also have the opportunity to pursue their own special interests.

T Th 1:30-2:50
ART 336
ART 336ARC 336

Architecture Without Antiquity

Carolyn Yerkes

The rediscovery of classical antiquity has been the central narrative of Renaissance art history. This class takes the opposite tack to consider how early modern architects reacted to challenges when ancient architecture offered no precedents. How have architectural responses to particular conditions shaped the modern world? We will examine a set of institutional types that developed in the Renaissance and Baroque periods—including libraries, hospitals, orphanages, city halls, observatories, and fortifications—to consider how the absence of historical models prompted structural and stylistic experiments in building form.

M W 11:00-12:20
ART 348
ART 348

Masters and Movements of 20th-Century Photography

Elizabeth Anne McCauley

By focusing on six major figures, this course examines the ways that photography was transformed from a poor stepchild of the fine arts to a staple of museum exhibitions. Students will consider such topics as the impact of abstraction on photography; the interactions between art photography and the new print and cinematic mass media; and development of photographic collections and criticism. The careers of Stieglitz, Moholy-Nagy, Weston, Walker Evans, Frank, and Jeff Wall will form springboards for broader discussions of photography's critical importance for 20th-century thinking about the real and the imaginary.

M W 11:00-12:20
ART 349
ART 349HUM 349 / VIS 345

The Artist at Work

Irene Small

What are the environments, fictions, fantasies, and ideologies that condition the artist at work? This course takes as its investigative locus the artist's studio, a space of experimentation and inspiration, but also of boredom, sociability, exhaustion, and critique. Structured around visits to the studios of multiple practicing artists in New York City, the course tracks the trope of "the studio" from the Renaissance to the present, with emphasis on the concept's reconfiguration and reanimation in contemporary art. Lecture with discussion and field trips.

M W 7:30-8:50 pm
ART 352
ART 352EAS 353

Chinese Art in the Century of Revolution

Jerome Silbergeld

Chinese art in the 20th century, considered in terms of international influence and domestic struggles, cultural exhaustion and alternative modernities, state-dominated art and censorship, the Chinese cultural disapora, and the international success of Chinese art today.

T 1:30-4:20
ART 365
ART 365 LAS 370 / ANT 365

Olmec Art

Bryan R. Just

This course surveys Olmec and related material culture spanning roughly 2000-500 BCE, including architecture and monumental sculpture, ceramic vessels and figurines, and exquisite small-scale sculpture in jade and other precious materials. Of central theoretical importance is the question of how we understand and interpret art from a distant past, especially without the aid of contemporaneous written records. We will focus on original works of art, including works in the Princeton University Art Museum and in regional collections. Issues of authenticity, quality, and provenance related to these works will also be considered.

T Th 11:00-12:20
ART 353
ART 383ECS 353 / LAS 340

Size Matters: Crossed-Cultural Perspectives on Scale

Andrew J. Hamilton

When the Spanish conquered the Inca Empire, they became immersed in a civilization with its own age-old intellectual tradition that they often did not understand. Scale, or relative size, was a relational property that Andean people long employed to convey meaning between objects, individuals, and features of the experienced world. This course will juxtapose the way scale was conceptualized and utilized in the Andes with a variety of readings on scale from European sources—including architecture, cartography, literature, and other realms—to better understand the oceans that separate the cognitive orientations of these equally Old Worlds.

M W 3:00-4:20
ART 388
ART 388SOC 388 / AMS 388 / ARC 388

Photo, Urbanism, and Civic Change between 1960 and 1980

Katherine Bussard
Aaron Shkuda

In conjunction with the concurrent exhibition "The City Lost and Found," this course focuses on an extraordinary period of visual responses to the changing fabric of America's three largest cities: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. We explore their seismic transformations, from political protests to urban renewal projects. Students assess original artworks, films, texts, photographs, and a variety of print media (all on view in the Princeton University Art Museum) and analyze readings from disciplines as diverse as cultural geography, urban planning, urban theory, and art history.

T Th 11:00-12:20
ART 401
ART 401

Introduction to Archaeology

Nathan Arrington

An introduction to the history, methodologies, and theories of archaeology. The seminar discusses topics and problems drawn from a wide range of cultures and periods. Issues include trade and exchange; the origins of agriculture; cognitive archaeology (the study of the mind); biblical archaeology (the use of texts); artifacts in their cultural contexts; and the politics of the past. Emphasis on what constitutes archaeological evidence, and how it may be used. Required for majors concentrating in archaeology; open to all. No prerequisites.

M 1:30-4:20
ART 425
ART 425EAS 425

The Japanese Print

Andrew Watsky

This seminar examines Japanese woodblock prints from the 17th through the 19th century. We will consider the formal and technical aspects of prints, the varied subject matter, including the "floating world" of the brothel districts and theatre, the Japanese landscape and urban centers, and the links between literature and prints, especially the re-working of classical literary themes in popular prints. The seminar will emphasize the study of prints in the Princeton University Art Museum; students will also research Japanese prints at an art gallery in New York and recommend one to be purchased and added to the collection of the Museum.

M 1:30-4:20
Art 435
ART 435

Devotional Objects in Medieval and Early Modern Christianity

Caroline Walker Bynum

Religious objects from ca. 1200 to ca. 1600, mostly in northern Europe: what religious "charge" they carried and what responses they met during the Reformation. Examples of what we would today call "art"—panel paintings, miniatures, statues—will be studied in the context of other sorts of things (e.g., saints' relics, the Eucharist) that also expressed divine power through their materiality. The course will raise theoretical questions about what "art" is; its relation to "craft;" what iconoclasm or resistance to images means; differences between museum display and sacred space; responses to images (universal or local and temporal).

M 1:30-4:20
ART 437
ART 437

The Multimedia Architect

Carolyn Yerkes

Architects did not describe themselves as architects in the Renaissance. Sculptors, painters, writers, and engineers all designed buildings while simultaneously—and often primarily—focusing on other arts. What happens when a goldsmith builds a dome or an artillery engineer constructs a staircase? How does an artist's work across various media inform an architectural project, and vice-versa? Using artists including Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Rubens as case studies, this course explores the concept of the early modern multimedia architect to ask: what is architectural about architecture?

Th 1:30-4:20
ART 443 A
ART 443LAS 443

Global Exchange in Art and Architecture

Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann
Serge M. Gruzinski

The course will explore the origins of the globalizing process in the field of European arts. It will insist upon the beginnings of the phenomenon in the 16th century using Europe, Asia, and the Americas as laboratories to describe and investigate the circulation of art objects between Europe and the rest of the world, and their meanings. Linking past and present globalization, the course will study how images (Guadalupe, Virgem de Nazaré) are still powerful components of contemporary societies in the Western Hemisphere (Brazil, Mexico).

W 1:30-4:20
ART 457 A
ART 457

The Culture of Art Deco: Paris, 1920-1939

Esther da Costa Meyer

This seminar covers the emergence of Art Deco in Paris between the wars and its connection to the visual arts, architecture, film, and fashion. We will analyze the ways in which its sophisticated forms and materials responded to new conditions of urban living, the mobility of modern life through speed and travel, the rise of the film industry as a mass medium, and the appearance of women as producers of decorative art. Special emphasis will be given to the multiple and conflicting concepts of the modern object in an age that both embraced and rejected mass production.

T 1:30-4:20