Undergraduate Handbook

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Professor Basile Baudez
2S-6A Green Hall
[email protected]
Office hours: Tuesday 2:00–5:00 pm by appointment (email for alternative times, if necessary)

Undergraduate Coordinator

Jonathan Finnerty
3S-18 Green Hall
[email protected]
Office hours: Monday to Friday
8:00 am–4:15 pm

 

 

Director of the Program in Visual Arts

Professor Jeffrey Whetstone
185 Nassau Street, Room 316
[email protected]

 

 

 

 

Director of Program in Archaeology

Professor Nathan Arrington, Acting Chair
2N-9 Green Hall
[email protected]

 

 

 

Introduction

The Department of Art and Archaeology is devoted to the study of the visual arts and the investigation of material artifacts from a wide range of cultures and periods. Students may pursue a major in the History of Art or the Practice of Art; information on both the Certificate in Archaeology and the Minor in Visual Arts is also included in the handbook. Studio art courses are taught by faculty in the Program in Visual Arts; History of Art courses also frequently include practical components. Working closely with faculty members in small classes and often dealing directly with original objects and primary sources, students can explore subjects as diverse as Roman or modern city planning, arts of printing and book-making in East Asia or Europe, ancient or medieval archaeology, architectural history, 19th–21st century photography, and contemporary arts of Africa, Latin America, and the United States.

Students in the Department of Art and Archaeology learn techniques for analyzing and interpreting the visual and material world. They also investigate the factors that influence artistic change (e.g., religious beliefs, economic constraints, patronage demands, and technological changes). Like any humanist or social scientist, they must evaluate evidence, form hypotheses, test data, and draw conclusions. Successful majors learn to translate visual perceptions into linguistic expression, develop visual memory, and make connections among a wide array of historical evidence.

A major in the Department of Art & Archaeology prepares students for a variety of careers and a range of graduate programs. Our majors have earned graduate degrees in art history, fine arts, art education, museum studies, architecture, archaeology, comparative literature, area studies (such as Classics, Asian Studies, African American Studies, Women and Gender Studies, European Studies), languages, and history. Majors regularly enter medical, law, public policy, and business schools. The skills developed in the Department can form the bases for careers in teaching, journalism, publishing, communication and media, museum work, not-for-profit organizations, architecture, design, advertising, and marketing.

Students discuss their works-in-progress at the annual majors coloquium

Declaring the Major

In this section

General Information for Prospective Majors

Students interested in majoring in the Department of Art & Archaeology must choose one of two tracks. Each track has its own specific course requirements for admission (see below). Students must also submit the Department of Art & Archaeology Declaration of Major Form in the spring of the sophomore year.

History of Art Track

A concentration in art history that demands broad exposure to the visual arts produced in different time periods and cultures. The major culminates in a written thesis.

Practice of Art Track

A concentration combining art history with studio practice. The major culminates in a senior thesis exhibition and portfolio of short writing. Students must have at least a C- average based on courses and independent work in order to graduate from the department.

Advanced Placement

No advanced placement credit is granted for the Art History Advanced Placement Examination.

Foreign Languages

Although there are no formal requirements for foreign language proficiency beyond the University requirements, all majors are encouraged to achieve reading facility in one or more languages determined by the areas that interest them. Students are highly encouraged to acquire proficiency in languages integral to their senior independent work; senior thesis research funding may be directed to language study. Students intending to pursue graduate studies in the history of art or archaeology should know that most M.A. programs require facility in one language, and most Ph.D. programs require at least two languages (in many cases German in addition to the language[s] of the student’s intended area of study).

Courses Taken at another Institution

While enrolled at Princeton, students may take up to two departmental courses at other institutions and obtain Princeton credit with prior approval from the Office of the Dean of the College and the DUS. To apply for course credit, a student must submit to the DUS the university form (Approval for a Course Taken at Another Institution); a course syllabus, including readings and assignments; a list of the number of class hours (and lab hours) per week; and an official schedule showing the first and last days of the course session. Forms are due by Dean’s Date of the preceding term. Broad introductory courses (cognates to the Department's ART100) will only be approved in exceptional circumstances.

Academic Integrity

As a matter of course, all students enrolled in Art & Archaeology courses are expected to abide by the University's Honor Code. All students are also expected to abide by the academic rules and regulations set forth in Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities. Should a student be found guilty by the Faculty/Student Committee on Discipline of violating any of these rules and regulations in departmental courses or departmental independent work, faculty in the Department of Art & Archaeology reserve the right, as stipulated by the Faculty/Student Committee on Discipline, to determine the grade assigned to the course or assignment in question. The general recommendation by the department for such instances is for the student to receive an "F" grade as the final grade for the course.

Programs of Study

In this section

Requirement Groups

Consult Undergraduate Requirement Groups for current courses that meet requirements.

History of Art Track

The History of Art Track explores the history of art in connection with a general program of humanistic education. It demands broad exposure to the visual arts produced in different periods and cultures. It trains majors to understand works of art as intimately related to the historical, intellectual, social, and political fabrics of which they were a part. Students in the History of Art Track are encouraged to explore a range of media, including architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, film, and new media.

Prerequisites

Any two courses offered by the Department of Art and Archaeology.

Course Requirements

A total of 10 courses in the Department of Art and Archaeology, including:

  • ART 400 (Junior Seminar)
  • an additional two seminars at the 400- or 500-level.
  • 7 of the 10 courses must be taught by Art and Archaeology faculty.
  • Students must take at least one course in each of the following three distribution areas: Group 1 (ancient), Group 2 (medieval/early modern), and Group 3 (19th century to the present).
  • ART 100, ART 102, ART 400, and ART 401 count as departmentals but not as distribution courses.

In choosing courses to satisfy requirements, students are encouraged to explore a range of geographies and a range of media, e.g., architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, works on paper, film. Some courses carry more than one group designation; in this case the student should determine with the DUS which group requirement the course will fulfill in their progress to degree (one course will not be counted toward two groups).

Cognates

No more than two cognate courses taken in other departments (including VIS courses in the Program in Visual Arts) may be counted toward the 10 departmentals. This includes summer courses. Students participating in the Study Abroad Program may be allowed to count more than two courses taken overseas as departmentals. All cognate courses must be approved prior to enrollment by the DUS based on the submission of a syllabus and course description. Courses cross-listed with the Department of Art & Archaeology automatically count as departmentals, but do not count towards the departmental honors GPA unless taught by core A&A faculty. Please note the requirement that 7 of the 10 departmentals must be taught by Art and Archaeology faculty.

Junior Seminar

During the fall of the junior year, all majors must take the junior seminar (ART 400). The course introduces students to various methods used by art historians and archaeologists, and many assignments relate directly to their junior independent work. Students who are abroad during the fall of the junior year can complete the junior seminar during the fall term of their senior year. In exceptional circumstances, students may take the course in their sophomore year.

Junior Independent Work

Junior independent work begins in the fall, in the context of the junior seminar (ART 400), and continues into the spring with a faculty adviser whom the student selects in consultation with the DUS. The student and adviser must sign the JP/Senior Thesis Adviser Form by December 8, 2023, and return it to DUS for approval. The JP consists of a research paper of approximately 30–40 pages (7,500–10,000 words) on any topic related to visual and material culture. Assignments in ART 400 help students conceptualize and implement their research agendas. JPs are due by April 30.

The Junior Independent Work requirement in History of Art includes two colloquia with the Practice of Art cohort, one in the fall and one in the spring. Colloquia are scheduled on the first day of Reading Period. Attendance is mandatory unless you are studying abroad; colloquium attendance counts toward your honors standing.

Senior Independent Work

The senior independent work consists of a year-long research project of approximately 60–80 pages (15,000–20,000 words). The JP and thesis topics need not be related, but the Department encourages students to develop expertise. The student selects a faculty adviser in the spring of the junior year and submits a progress report to the director of undergraduate studies by mid-November of the senior year. The thesis grade is the average of the grades given by the faculty adviser and a second faculty reader.

JUNIORS: you will approach faculty members about advising your thesis in March, and submit the JP/Senior Thesis Adviser Form by April 1, 2024 for DUS approval (or forward an email confirming the advising arrangement to the DUS and Undergraduate Coordinator by the same date).

See the Senior Thesis section for further calendar information and details on the presentation and writing of the thesis. Consult the Independent Work Guide in History of Art as you prepare your thesis. Submissions of the thesis later than the departmental deadline (Friday, April 26, 2024, 3pm) without prior consultation with the DUS and appropriate Deans will carry a grade penalty of 1/3 grade per day late (an averaged grade of A becomes A–, etc.). Theses submitted past the University deadline all receive a grade of F on the transcript. Submission for readers' grades remains possible in consultation with the Deans; both the original failing grade and the readers' grade will appear on the transcript.

The Senior Independent Work requirement in History of Art includes two colloquia with the Practice of Art cohort, one in the fall and one in the spring. Colloquia are scheduled on the first day of Reading Period.

For more detailed information on the nature of independent work in HoA, see the Guide to HoA Independent Work.

Senior Departmental Examination

The senior departmental examination consists of a one-hour oral examination discussing the senior thesis and also covering material from departmental courses. It is attended by three faculty members, consisting of the adviser of the senior thesis, the second reader, and one additional faculty member. The exam grade is the average of the grades given by the three examiners.

The exams are scheduled for May 8 and 9, 2024. Students will be assigned a time and date. Please refer to the Senior Comprehensive Exam section of the Handbook for details about the form of the exam and how to prepare.

Practice of Art Track

Concentrators in this track explore the traditions, thought processes, and methods of making visual art in connection with a liberal arts education. Studio courses are offered in painting, drawing, printmaking, graphic design, media, sculpture, photography, film and video production. Students also study art history and theory.

Prerequisites and Admission

Two courses in the Program in Visual Arts and one course in the Department of Art and Archaeology. By the first Wednesday following spring break, sophomores submit an application and a portfolio of creative work to the Lewis Center for the Arts administrative office. The admissions committee for the Program in Visual Arts will notify students accepted into the program by early April. No AP credit is accepted toward the Practice of Art concentration.

Course Requirements

A total of 10 courses, of which at least six must be from the Program in Visual Arts and four must be from the Department of Art and Archaeology and taught by Art and Archaeology faculty.

The visual arts courses must include:

  • two studio courses in at least two different media;
  • two studio courses at the 300 or 400 level;
  • VIS 392 Issues in Contemporary Art;
  • and VIS 416 Exhibition Issues and Methods
  • or VIS 419 Film Seminar.

The Department of Art and Archaeology courses must include"

  • one course from Group 1 (ancient) or Group 2 (medieval/early modern)
  • and one course from Group 3 (19th century to the present).
  • The remaining two courses may come from any group.

When multiple courses are selected from the same group, breadth in chronological and geographic focus among them is encouraged. Some courses carry more than one group designation; in this case the student should determine with the DUS which group requirement the course will fulfill in their progress to degree (one course will not be counted toward two groups).

Courses for film students must include:

  • two studio courses at any level in two different media (screenwriting courses are accepted as a different medium from film production courses);
  • two studio courses at the 300 or 400 level;
  • VIS 392;
  • VIS 419 (taken in the spring of junior year).

The Department of Art and Archaeology courses must include:

  • one course from Group 1 (ancient) or Group 2 (medieval/early modern);
  • one course from Group 3 (19th century to the present);
  • and two from any group.
  • For two ART courses, film students may substitute film courses cross-listed with ART.

Practice of Art students are strongly encouraged to enroll in ART 400. The course does not carry a Group designation, but counts towards the total of four ART courses for Practice of Art students.

Cognates

Up to two courses in studio art or art history may be taken at other institutions during the summers with prior approval by the director of undergraduate studies (for History of Art courses; i.e., ART substitutes) or the director of the Program in Visual Arts (for Practice of Art courses; i.e., VIS substitutes). Courses taken as part of the Study Abroad Program may be allowed to count as departmentals with prior approval from the director of undergraduate studies and the director of the Program in Visual Arts.

Junior Seminar

During the fall of the junior year, all concentrators must take the junior seminar, VIS 392: Issues in Contemporary Art. The course coincides with admission to the junior studios and investigates the history, challenges, and rewards of studio practice. Through readings, discussions, studio critiques, and a culminating exhibition of works in progress, VIS 392 provides the foundation for students' independent creative development, as well as the impetus for beginning to be able to articulate the historical precedents and ambitions of their work.

Practice of Art Independent Work Guide

Junior Independent Work

Junior independent work begins in the context of the junior seminar. In partnership with two faculty advisers, one from VIS and one from ART, it continues into the spring. ART advisers are selected in December, in consultation with the DUS. Students are provided with studio space and prepare independent work over the course of the year culminating in an exhibition as part of the Spring Junior Group Thesis Show. Film students work throughout their junior year to create a junior film.

All Practice of Art juniors assemble a writing portfolio consisting of multiple short essays amounting to approximately 10 pages (2,500 words). The essays reflect on the making process and discuss the relation of the work to the student’s broader studies, especially in art history. The portfolio includes an appended bibliography. The grade for independent work is a weighted average of the studio grade from the VIS adviser and the portfolio grade from the ART adviser.

ART advisers work with PoA students in the spring semester to establish a plan for the written portfolio that is best suited to the student's goals in developing their artistic practice. Portfolio entries are submitted to both ART and VIS advisers (for mutual information); they are graded only by ART advisers. April 30 is the deadline for full portfolio submission to ART and VIS advisers.

Junior Portfolio writing might include:

  • An account of the formation of the concept for a work, and reflection on the project's primary aims.
  • Writing that may take flexible forms to generate ideas for work, or form a statement on finished work/work-in-progress.
  • Critical analysis of works seen in classes or exhibits, etc., that the student has learned from, and/or wishes to explore further.
  • Critical analysis of work made by the student that relates it to other work (by the student or by someone else).
  • Responses to reading (takeaways from an article or book; questions prompted by a reading; analysis of an argument; reflections on the relevance of a reading to a studio project).
  • Research reports on topics integral to a studio project (e.g., gathering information to support part of the work, exploring related work by other artists).

See the Senior Portfolio section for grading criteria; the same standards apply.

The Junior Independent Work requirement in Practice of Art includes two colloquia with the History of Art cohort, one in the fall and one in the spring. Colloquia are scheduled on the first day of Reading Period. Attendance is mandatory unless you are studying abroad; colloquium attendance counts toward your honors standing

Senior Independent Work

The senior independent work is a major studio project completed by the end of the spring term, which is done in consultation with the student’s advisers (1–2 from VIS; 1 from ART), and a writing portfolio consisting of multiple short essays amounting to approximately 20 pages (5,000 words). The essays reflect on the making process and discuss the relation of the work to the student's broader studies, especially in art history. The portfolio includes an appended bibliography. See the Senior Portfolio in Practice of Art section.

By the end of the second week of the fall term of the senior year, students will have been matched with advisers from VIS and from ART. Students are encouraged to confer with faculty about advising and submit their PoA Thesis Advising forms as early as the spring of their junior year (April 1, 2024); if the project is still too much in development the forms may be submitted in August before the senior year for a DUS match. Students are assigned semiprivate studios on the second floor of 185 Nassau. Students present their work in an exhibition at the end of the year at the Lewis Center. An “Advisers' Thesis Critique” is performed by the ART and VIS advisers in the presence of the exhibit. The grade for the senior independent work is the average of the grade given by the ART and VIS advisers for their evaluations of the exhibition and the written portfolio.

The Senior Independent Work requirement in Practice of Art includes two colloquia with the History of Art cohort, one in the fall and one in the spring. Colloquia are scheduled on the first day of Reading Period. Attendance is mandatory unless you are studying abroad; colloquium attendance counts toward your honors standing

PoA students should work with their ART adviser to determine the nature and schedule of portfolio submissions throughout the year. It is recommended that much of the writing be completed in the fall, as part of the developing conceptualization for the thesis work. Based on your work to date, your adviser will submit a fall semester Senior Thesis Progress Report to the Department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) by November 17th. This form will be provided to your adviser by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. At least 2 portfolio entries should be completed by then.

Final portfolios are submitted directly to ART and VIS advisers, cc Jonathan Finnerty, by 3:00 pm, April 26, 2024 (the University thesis deadline).

Senior Departmental Examination

The senior departmental examination in the Practice of Art has two parts. (1) A one-hour critical discussion (the open “Crit”) of the senior thesis exhibition in the latter half of the spring term, in the presence of each student’s exhibition. The discussion is open to all Program in Visual Arts faculty and Practice of Art/Certificate students. All Visual Arts faculty who attend the Crit will grade it, and those grades will be averaged. (2) Practice of Art students participate in the same comprehensive exam (“Comps”) as the History of Art students. The exams are scheduled for May 8 and 9, 2024. Students will be assigned a time and date. Please refer to the Senior Comprehensive Exam Format section of the Handbook for details about the form of the exam and how to prepare.

The VIS primary adviser and the ART adviser will be two of three faculty present at the comprehensive exam; the three grades will be averaged for the Comps grade. The final grade on the transcript for the departmental examination is the average of the Crit grade and the Comps grade.

Minor in Art History

Goals for Student Learning

Students engaged in the Minor in the History of Art will learn strategies and skills in visual and spatial literacy. Thanks to the Minor in the History of Art, students majoring in a variety of fields can formally train in the study of visual and material culture. The discipline furnishes students with strong means to understand how material-visual cultures both have history and shape history—all around the globe, in the present and past alike. Art history’s subjects include drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, architecture and the built environment, ceramics, lacquer, metalwork, glass, and textiles, along with a wide range of images and phenomena or experiences shaped by artistic craft, including cinema, performance, print culture, urbanism, scientific illustration, and mass media. Students of art history learn to translate observations into linguistic expression, develop visual and experiential memory, and make connections among a wide array of historical evidence. They practice techniques for analyzing and interpreting the visual and material world by actively engaging primary sources—often through the direct study of original works in Princeton’s collections and local museums.

Prerequisites

One course with a primary ART subject code (cross-listed courses taught by core faculty count as primary, even if ART is not the first listed code).

Admission

The program is open to all majors. A minor in the History of Art may be declared at any time between spring of the sophomore year and the end of the junior year. They may apply by submitting the Minor in Art History Application.

Course requirements

Minors may consult with Art & Archaeology’s Director of Undergraduate Studies about their course planning, but are not required to do so.

Five ART courses; none to be taken P/D/F.

  • Except for cross-listed courses taught by core Art & Archaeology faculty, no cross-lists or cognates will count toward the minor (i.e., unless taught by core faculty, all courses must carry ART as the first or only subject code).
  • Within the five courses, the following distribution requirements must be met:
    • All minors must take ART100, the Department’s introductory course
    • One of the five courses must be at 200-level
    • One of the five courses must be at 400-level
    •  Minors must take one course in each of the Department’s three distribution areas: Ancient (Group 1), Medieval and Early Modern (Group 2), Modern (Group 3). This distribution requirement may be met through courses at any level, and in any geographic area. Group designations are included in the Registrar’s course listings, and will also be communicated to students through a Department announcement when course registration opens.
  • Minors may double-count one course toward their major, or toward a Minor in Archaeology.

 

Certificate in Archaeology

The Program in Archaeology is designed to provide students with an interdisciplinary foundation in archaeology—the study of the material remains of the past—and to equip students to use archaeological evidence in other fields of inquiry. The program offers courses that cover many cultures and periods, including Egypt, the Near East, Greece, Rome, and the Americas. It encourages a deep integration of the humanities and the sciences and promotes the awareness of issues of cultural heritage.

Once a sub-field of ancient art or ancient history, archaeology today embraces anthropological approaches as well as the physical and social sciences. Technology has transformed the practice of archaeology, with tools such as ground-penetrating radar (GPR), geographic information system (GIS), and photogrammetry offering new insights. Yet archaeology is not just concerned with uncovering and understanding the past; it is also devoted to protecting it. Rampant looting and the destruction of sites have placed archaeologists at the forefront of discussions on cultural heritage. Many of the program courses, therefore, including the required methods course (ART 401), highlight ethical and political dimensions of archaeology.

Director of the Program in Archaeology, '23–'24:
Professor Nathan Arrington
Office: 2-N-9 Green Hall
[email protected]

Admission

The program is open to all majors. Students should ideally apply to the program during their sophomore year but may join it at any time during their undergraduate career. They may apply by submitting the Program in Archaeology application.

To gain admission, a student must have taken any one of the courses offered by the program. Appropriate freshman seminars or writing seminars may fulfill the requirement, with the program director's approval.

Program of Study

The program aims to provide a broad introduction to the field of archaeology and to allow students to pursue archaeological interests that complement their research in other disciplines. The core course and fieldwork requirements ensure breadth and provide a theoretical and methodological foundation for further study. The remaining courses should be selected in consultation with the program director and students' department advisers, so that students may tailor their study.

Course Requirements

The plan of study consists of four elements: one core course, fieldwork or its equivalent, four additional courses, and independent research. One course may be taken PDF, with the exception of ART 401. Students can double-count up to two courses toward the certificate and their major.

Students take one core course: ART 401: Introduction to Archaeology.

Students participate in fieldwork (ART 304: Archaeology in the Field or its equivalent).

“Fieldwork” is not limited to excavation. Sustained engagement in any aspect of an archaeological project fulfills the obligation. Students may, for example, assist in a geophysical survey, participate in a surface survey, work in archaeological archives, or intern for a zoologist. Fieldwork must be approved by the program director ahead of time and last at least a month. Financial support for fieldwork is available. There is also financial support for internships with non-profits that count towards the fieldwork requirement.

Students take a further four courses. At least two must be offered in the Department of Art & Archaeology in the ancient area (the “Group 1” for the History of Art majors), and at least one must be a course outside of the Department of Art & Archaeology (see the Undergraduate Announcement for a complete list). Approved freshman seminars may count toward the four courses. A freshman seminar taught by a faculty member in the Department of Art & Archaeology may not count for the required course outside of the department. ART 100 may substitute for one of the two courses in the ancient area.

Independent Work

Students undertake independent research, which may take one of three forms:

  1. a senior thesis with a substantial archaeological component;
  2. a junior paper on an archaeological topic;
  3. a 25-page research paper on an archaeological topic.

Only theses are eligible for the Frederick Barnard White Prize in Archaeology.

Languages

The acquisition of languages that may assist in research (e.g., German or French) or in fieldwork is strongly recommended, but not required.

Study Abroad

The fieldwork requirement offers an ideal opportunity for students to participate in summer study abroad, and the executive committee can recommend many summer study opportunities.

Minor in Visual Arts

A Minor in Visual Arts will be awarded to students concentrating in another academic department who successfully complete a substantial program of studio work in art or film production and a minimal supplement of seminars and art history courses. Students interested in applying for the Visual Arts minor should submit a portfolio in the spring term of sophomore year. Students must have completed at least one visual arts studio or film production course before being admitted to the program. One course in the program of Art and Archaeology is also highly recommended. The Minor in Visual Arts is administered by the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Course Requirements

Visit Lewis Center's Minor in Visual Arts program page for information about the requirements and prerequisites for the minor.

The Hedgehog and the Fox
Practice of Art
Archaeology Workshop
Certificate in Visual Arts

Course Selection

Bear in mind when selecting your courses:

  • Only courses taught by ART and VIS faculty count towards honors. Check the A&A website for the faculty listings; look under "Professors," "Lecturers," and "Associated Faculty." A cross-listed course taught by core faculty counts as a departmental course (e.g.: MUS432/ART433 taught by Prof. Kitzinger and AAS245/ART245 taught by Prof. Okeke-Agulu both count as honors courses, but do not count toward the “Rule of 12” departmental course limit).
  • Freshman seminars may count toward departmental courses if taught by ART or VIS faculty, but they must be approved. Consult with the DUS.
  • Study abroad courses may count toward fulfillment of the major requirements but they do not count for honors.
  • The University “Rule of 12.” Per the Undergraduate Announcement:

A student in the A.B. program is limited to 12 one-term courses (plus independent work) in a given department, plus up to two departmental prerequisites taken during first year or sophomore year. Students concentrating in departments without specific prerequisites may add up to two departmental courses taken during first year or sophomore year to their total of 12 departmental courses. Any student who exceeds the 31 courses required for graduation will be permitted to take extra departmentals. Exceptions to departmental course limits will be made on a case-by-case basis for students studying abroad, with the approval of the associate dean for international programs. Please note that for accounting purposes, cross-listed courses should be identified with the home department, which is the first department listed in the course identification number.

NB: A&A does not have specific pre-requisites, so you may add the two ART courses taken in your first or second year (i.e., your required two courses taken before declaring the major) to the full count of allowable courses in the department (i.e., up to 14 if two are taken before your junior year).

Funding

In this section

Departmental funding is available to support students’ independent work (I.W.) and engagement with the field. All requests concerning funding for the acquisition of art material must be addressed to the director and the manager of the Visual Arts Program and not to the DUS.

Junior IW Funding

A limited amount of funding is available to students to support spring JIW work. There must exist a pressing need for such funding (e.g., essential travel for archival research), and the JIW project must be original and significant. Applications should be made to the DUS in consultation with one’s JIW adviser; the application consists of a 1–2-page rationale and budget and an adviser’s note of support. Awards will be decided on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the quality of the proposal and project and funding availability from year to year.

Museum Travel Fund

Each A&A student has $400 available to them over the two years of the major to underwrite travel to local institutions to see exhibitions or collections, attend artists’ events, or conduct research for projects related to the major. Funds may cover ground transportation, admission fees, and up to $30 for food per trip. Students may not tap the fund more than twice per semester. Please register trips with Jonathan Finnerty at least one week in advance of the trip by providing an itinerary and estimation of the costs. Jonathan will issue you funds in advance through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE) and provide train tickets if the trip is to New York. Save all receipts for submission after the trip; if costs exceed the original award, a secondary award will be issued to cover the balance. Contact Jonathan if you need help planning an excursion: he can help purchase advance tickets at a discounted rate and advise you on travel arrangements. If you wish to use a more significant portion of the funding (over $100) for one excursion (e.g., to Washington DC or Boston), please consult in advance with the DUS to receive approval.

Senior Thesis Research

The Department of Art & Archaeology awards grants competitively to support research for the Senior Thesis. Students applying for funds for research during the January break or the summer before the senior year should complete the Senior Thesis Travel Grant Application. You should run your project description by your adviser before submitting the application.

The application includes:

  • a cover sheet with basic applicant information
  • a project description of about 1 page with detailed justification
  • a budget and itinerary if you are applying to travel
  • one letter of recommendation.

Grants are generally limited to $2000 and are for books, air and ground transport, and lodging only (not meals); the number of awards given each year will depend on the availability of funds and the quality of the applications. Students apply for funding (Art and Archaeology Senior Thesis Travel Funding; Senior Thesis Funding) through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE). Travel monies typically are only payable upon presenting receipts, including boarding passes for air travel. Students are required to travel coach class and to make their own travel arrangements.

Applications for funding to support travel over fall break or in January will be accepted through December 15, 2023. The deadline for applying for summer funding in 2024 is Friday, May 3. Applications may be accepted through the end of the semester.

Funding applications should also be made to the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) Senior Thesis Research Funding Program. Those funds are extremely limited and competitive. OUR distributes information about these programs every year.

PoA students receive a materials budget from VIS. Students may apply to A&A in consultation with the DUS to meet project expenses above this budget.

Support for Graduate School Applications

Funding is available to underwrite the application fees of A&A students to graduate programs (e.g., M.A., MFA, Ph.D., MPhil, DPhil, MLS, MBA, MD, J.D.). You must apply in your senior year; the fund is capped at $500 per student. The fund cannot cover the expenses associated with graduate entrance exams; it is solely for the filing fees. Please inform the DUS and Undergraduate Coordinator in advance of your intention to use these funds. Compile all documentation of fees paid in one submission for reimbursement by April 1.

History of Art Senior Thesis

In this section

Selecting an Adviser

Senior thesis advisers are selected in the spring of the junior year (the JP/Senior Thesis Form is normally due in late March/early April). Students who have not selected their adviser by the deadline are ineligible for summer thesis research funding. If you have not submitted this form or if you are changing your adviser, you must notify the DUS by September 16, 2023 (the end of Fall semester's Week 2). Department of Art & Archaeology faculty normally do not direct more than two senior theses, so you may need to consult more than one faculty member to find a supervisor. The DUS will circulate a list of qualified advisers from which seniors may choose. Normally faculty members in the Program in Visual Arts do not serve as advisers for History of Art theses. Full-time lecturers and visiting faculty in the Department of Art & Archaeology may serve as senior thesis advisers, but part-time faculty (teaching only one course) do not. It is not always possible or necessary to have an adviser whose area of expertise coincides with your proposed thesis topic. More important is that you find an adviser who is interested in you and your topic.

Senior Thesis Workshop

The senior thesis workshop is a series of meetings throughout the year designed to provide guidance and support to seniors in the process of researching, outlining, writing, formatting, and polishing their theses. The instructor can also provide one-on-one help during these meetings, as time allows. The workshop, although optional, is highly recommended, and offers a convivial atmosphere in which to ask questions, share ideas, and write. The workshop generally includes an intensive “Spring Break Bootcamp” for students to advance their writing at this critical stage.

Workshop Leader 2023–24: Sofia Hernandez ([email protected])

Senior Thesis Requirements

To help support and facilitate your senior thesis work, the Department of Art & Archaeology has devised a timeline of requirements for the senior thesis. These milestones aim to encourage you to begin formulating your thesis topic prior to the start of the fall semester. This in turn will allow sufficient time for you to conduct your thesis research during the fall semester and dedicate the bulk of the intersession and the spring semester to writing your thesis.

What follows supplements information about the senior thesis available in the Department’s History of Art Independent Work Guide and the Department Style Sheet. Please be sure to consult both of these sources as you undertake your thesis work.

During the fall semester of your senior year, you must complete most of the research for your thesis, produce a chapter outline, gather the illustrations, and write your first chapter (or more, if possible). This means you have about two months to identify and digest the relevant literature on your topic and digest it. You will need to do bibliographical searches for articles and in some cases request interlibrary loans or visit museum collections. In short, you should count on spending about ten hours per week just on your thesis, probably more time than you would spend on a normal course. Remember that Marquand Library's temporary location in Firestone necessitates more lead time on book requests from ReCap.

Students can request study shelves at Marquand Library. The shelves are located in the West Atrium reading room on C Floor, although some books can only be consulted in the Scribner Reading Room. Shelf assignments are space permitting; priority is given to book-intensive History of Art thesis writers.

Thesis Milestone Schedule

Refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for Important Dates and Deadlines

September 22nd [Friday of Fall Week 3] Senior thesis topic and brief abstract (approx. ½ page) due to your thesis adviser. Your abstract should identify and describe the subject and scope of your research, the questions raised by your topic that you will address in your research, an explanation of why this research is interesting and important, and the contribution this research might make to the field of art history and/or archaeology. You will need to be in touch with your thesis adviser via e-mail before the start of the fall semester to discuss your ideas and solicit their advice as you select and develop your topic prior to the deadline. You should also plan to meet with your adviser in person at least once after the start of the fall semester, before the Week 3 deadline, to discuss your topic. For additional help formulating your topic, please also consult the Guide to HoA Independent Work, available on the Department’s website in the Undergraduate section—this is a very useful and important resource for you. Bear in mind that the more thinking and reading you do in the summer and the first half of September, the more prepared you will be for the fall semester, and the more successful your thesis research and writing ultimately will be.

September 25th–29th [Fall Week 4] During this week you must schedule a meeting with your thesis adviser to discuss and, if necessary, revise your topic. During this meeting, you will also create in consultation with your adviser a plan and timeline for research and meetings. Additionally, this is the time to discuss the possibility of traveling for research, if you haven’t already, as funding applications for support from the Department and from the Office of the Dean of the College are due in early November. Typically, a student meets with their adviser approximately every two weeks throughout the research and writing process, but this may vary. It is a good idea to schedule these meetings in advance, perhaps even selecting a regular day and time for the entire fall semester.

November 3rd [Friday of Fall Week 8] Senior thesis outline and annotated bibliography due to your thesis adviser. This consists of a detailed outline of your thesis chapters (normally 2–3 pages total) as well as a list of sources you have consulted, each accompanied by a brief summary of the contents of that source, how it has contributed to your research and your thinking about your topic, and how it relates to other scholarship on the topic (approximately 5 pages total). Prior to this deadline, you should of course be in regular conversation with your adviser about your work in progress, including your sources, your ongoing reading, and the organization of your thesis. Please note: Most likely you will not have completed all of your research by this date, but you should have done enough to enable you to draft a detailed outline of what the thesis will look like, and you should aim to have the bulk of your research done prior to the start of the spring semester. This is also a good point at which to consider making use of other campus resources, such as the Writing Center, as well as the Department’s senior thesis workshop.

November 6th–10th [Fall Week 9] During this week you must schedule a meeting with your thesis adviser to discuss your outline, your remaining research plans, and your plans going forward, including your plans for writing. This includes setting a timeline for writing chapters and the reviewing of drafts by your adviser as well as a timeline for spring semester meetings. Typically, advisers review a draft of each thesis chapter, including the introduction and conclusion, prior to your completion of the final version submitted to the Department. It is essential that you establish this timeline in advance so that both you and your adviser know what to expect for the spring semester and so that you allow a reasonable amount of time for your adviser to read and comment on your drafts.

November 17th [Friday of Fall Week 10] Based on your thesis outline and annotated bibliography, your adviser will submit a fall semester Senior Thesis Progress Report to the Department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) by this date. This form will be provided to your adviser by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Concentrated writing of the thesis should continue during intersession and into February. In addition, you may need to travel to collections and libraries during the winter recess or intersession. By the beginning of the spring semester, you should have submitted at least one chapter to your adviser, and by the end of February, you should have largely completed your main text. Remember that your adviser needs at least a week (and in some cases two weeks) to read and comment on any text you submit. If you know that you have difficulties with writing and organizing, then you need to complete a draft even earlier so that you can substantially rewrite. All theses will benefit from going through more than one draft.

December reading period Meet with your adviser to check in and review plans and expectations for the spring semester, including your timeline for writing and meetings. This is another good point at which to consider making use of campus resources such as the Writing Center and the residential college thesis workshops, in addition to the Department’s senior thesis workshop.

January A good time to meet with Julie Angarone about formatting the thesis (table of contents, captions and lists of illustrations, page numbering). Julie Angarone is the Department’s Computing Support Specialist ([email protected]). Julie will provide essential help as you ready your thesis for submission, especially if you meet with her several weeks prior to the thesis deadline.

The month of February should be spent editing and completing the footnotes, bibliography, and illustrations for your thesis. Please see the Department Style Sheet for details on the required style and mode of presentation.

March 22th[Spring Week 7] A full draft should be complete and with your adviser by this time. Schedule time to meet with Julie Angarone about formatting.

April 26th One unbound copy of the thesis secured by a folder or a binder clip is due in the Department office by 3:00 p.m. You must also upload an electronic copy, via Thesis Central, by this deadline. This electronic copy will be transmitted to the University Archives.

Thesis Evaluation

Your thesis is read and graded by your adviser and a second reader assigned by the department (the list of second readers is not made public until after the thesis due date). The final thesis grade is the average of the two readers’ grades (except when their grades are more than ten points apart, in which case the department assigns a third reader and the final grade is the average of the three grades). The two readers’ reports and the final thesis grade are given to the student at the senior Comprehensive Exam.

The following standards for thesis evaluation are given to both students and faculty:

A: A thesis in the A range advances a convincing and original argument, well supported by robust research. This thesis demonstrates well developed research methods in art history and effective academic writing. It is thoughtfully and effectively composed; adopting a logical structure throughout. It clearly articulates the significance and contribution of a study that is supported by substantial analysis of well chosen primary and secondary sources. This thesis analyzes primary evidence in depth and with great insight; productively draws on but does not overuse or recycle the arguments of the secondary literature; and convinces the reader that the argument and conclusions of the thesis advance the understanding of a particular area in the discipline of art history.

B: A thesis in the B range resembles an A-range thesis in certain ways, but exhibits shortcomings such as the following: a promising or potentially interesting but ill-defined, unclear, or inconsistently articulated main argument; a functional but elusive or insignificant focus or motive (it is clear why the thesis author chose their topic and main argument but the importance or significance of the topic and argument is less clear); a logical but somewhat disorganized or unsystematic structure; well-chosen but under- analyzed evidence; interesting but unsubstantiated claims; a secure grasp of but also an over-reliance on secondary literature; ungrammatical or clumsy prose in places or throughout.

C: A thesis in the C range resembles a B-range thesis in certain ways, but exhibits shortcomings such as the following: a confusing or overly simple main argument; more description and summary than analysis; a trivial or nonexistent focus or motive (it is unclear why the thesis author chose their topic and main argument and why the thesis is important or significant); lacks a coherent and logical, progressive structure; fails to present substantial or adequate evidence to support the author’s claims; the evidence  that is presented is insufficiently analyzed or not analyzed at all; uses secondary sources illogically without explaining why they are necessary or relevant, or uses the arguments of other scholars as evidence; writing is unclear, ungrammatical and/or technically flawed.

D: A D thesis (there is no D+ or D- at Princeton) resembles a C-range thesis but exhibits shortcomings such as the following: the thesis is purely descriptive in its approach; there is no argument or the argument is so obvious as to be simply descriptive, e.g. “Manet painted modern life” or “Gothic cathedrals symbolize the religious beliefs of their builders”; displays an unfocused, confusing, or rambling structure; utilizes little or no evidence to support claims and relies mainly or solely on secondary sources; reflects little understanding of the task of researching and writing a thesis; reflects little awareness of the nature of art-historical research and writing or the basic conventions of academic discourse and style, but does attempt to engage with the requirements and demands of writing a thesis.

F: An F thesis is similar to a D thesis but addresses the topic superficially, exhibits a fundamental lack of proficiency in art-historical research, argumentation, and writing, and may be significantly shorter than the assigned length.

For questions about the style and formatting of papers for Art and Archaeology courses, including the senior thesis, consult the Department Style Sheet.

Practice of Art Portfolio and Exhibition Critique

In this section

The senior independent work in PoA is a major studio project completed by the end of the spring term, and a writing portfolio consisting of multiple short essays amounting to approximately 20 pages (5,000 words). The essays reflect on the making process and discuss the relation of the work to the student's broader studies, especially in art history.

Selecting an Adviser

PoA students are encouraged to identify an ART adviser with whom they would like to work and inform the DUS in April or May of their junior year. Formal advising matches are arranged by the DUS in the late summer before the senior year. Students will be asked for brief descriptions of their thesis themes and media to facilitate the advising arrangements.

Full-time lecturers and visiting faculty in the Department of Art & Archaeology may serve as senior thesis advisers, but part-time faculty (teaching only one course) do not.

It is not always possible or necessary to have an adviser whose area of expertise coincides precisely with your proposed thesis topic. More important is that the adviser engages with you and your work. Students are expected to meet with their HoA advisers at least five times over the course of the year. It is recommended that at least two meetings be studio visits and that one meeting consider the exhibition space (where applicable).

Written Portfolio

Advisers work with students (especially in the fall semester) to establish a plan for the written thesis portfolio that is suited to the project and its expected phases of work. The portfolio comprises multiple short writings amounting to approximately 20 pages (5,000 words); the focus, form, and length of each piece may vary and should be determined in consultation between the adviser and student. The writings reflect on the making process and explore the relation of the work to the student's broader studies, especially in art history. The portfolio should include a bibliography appended to the writing (i.e., not included in the 5,000 words).

Senior Thesis Portfolio writings might include:

  • An account of the formation of the thesis concept, and reflection on the project's primary aims.
  • Writing that may take flexible forms to generate ideas for work, or form a statement on finished work/work-in-progress.
  • Critical analysis of work made by the student that describes the formation of the work or documents its process; or relates it to other work (by the student or by someone else).
  • Critical analysis of works seen in classes or exhibits, etc., that the student has learned from, and/or wishes to explore further.
  • Responses to reading (takeaways from an article or book; questions prompted by a reading; analysis of an argument; reflections on the relevance of a reading to the thesis project).
  • Research reports on topics integral to the thesis project (e.g., gathering information to support part of the work, exploring related work by other artists).
  • Formal artists’ statements (particularly recommended for students who plan to pursue an MFA).
  • Discursive wall labels for the exhibition as a whole, or for particular works.

Timeline

Refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for Important Dates and Deadlines

A healthy portion of the portfolio writing should completed in the fall, as part of the developing conceptualization of the thesis work. Some room should be left to work through changes to the project in the spring. Students should work with their advisers to establish a schedule for portfolio contributions that will best support the project. The following calendar contains required submission milestones to ensure that the project stays on track for departmental deadlines, and a recommended rhythm for advisory meetings.

Seniors submit each piece of writing to both their ART and VIS advisers.

September 4th–15th [Fall Weeks 1–2] Meet with ART adviser to discuss thesis plans and to make a timeline for thesis goals and meetings

September 22nd [Fall Week 3] Portfolio contribution due to ART and VIS advisers, including any reading/research plans.

September 25th–29th [Fall Week 4] Meeting with ART adviser.

October 27th [Fall Week 7] Portfolio contribution due to ART and VIS advisers.

November 6th–10th [Fall Week 9] Meeting with ART adviser.

November 17 [Fall Week 10] ART advisers submit Senior Thesis Progress comments to the DUS; at least two portfolio contributions should be complete by now.

December 8 [Fall Week 13] Portfolio contribution due; students should be ready for a discussion of the thesis at the Fall Seniors' Colloquium today.

April 22nd–26th [Spring Week 12] Adviser meetings re. comp exams and final portfolio discussion if necessary.

April 26, 3:00 pm Full portfolios due to ART and VIS advisers

Advisers' Critique

The graded PoA Advisers' Critiques meet for approximately 45 minutes (and no longer than an hour) in the student's exhibition. During the Critique, the ART adviser and the VIS adviser engage the student in analytic discussion of their work. Advisers' Critiques discuss the student's exhibited work and its relationship to the studio process (note that extended discussion of how the work relates to other artists and the student's studies in art history is a focus of the PoA Comps). The Critique is adviser-led and question-led, as students give formal statements on their work at the open crit and in the Comps, and often in their Portfolios as well; but students are expected to speak substantively to the formal and conceptual choices they make in their work. The Critique is expected to be a productive discussion that recognizes strengths of the exhibition, identifies less effective points, and explores aspects in which the work would benefit from further development. The Critique offers robust response to the thesis work and supports students' continuing practice in its focus on areas for growth.

Thesis Evaluation

Your portfolio is read and graded by both your ART and primary VIS advisers, and both prepare a grade and summary comments following the Advisers' Critique. The final grade for the thesis is the average of the two readers’ grades (except when their grades are more than ten points apart, in which case the department assigns a third person to evaluate the work and the final grade is the average of the three grades). Each grade is weighted at 80% for the exhibition and Crit, and 20% for the written portfolio. The comments and combined grade are given to the student at the senior Comprehensive Exam.

Assessment of the thesis exhibition and Advisers' Critique is guided by the following criteria

CONCEPT – How is the intention of the work defined? How clearly is it realized? Do the concepts offer particular challenges or questions? If so, how fully does the work address them? How does the exhibition function as a collection of work? How effectively has the student conceptualized the exhibition?

PROCESS – Are the techniques employed well suited to the concept of the work, and vice versa? Where a student employs a particular technique do they achieve the desired effect? Have you seen the work develop over the course of the year? Has the student reflected on points of challenge and sought productive approaches? Has the student sought to build on extant skills? Develop new skills? Deepen familiar concepts and/or explore new ones?

ACCOUNT – How does the Critique discussion communicate the student's current thinking about their work? Does it aid or deepen your understanding of the exhibition?

Advisers’ evaluations of the written portfolio consider

  • How the writing contributes to and reflects upon the student’s studio work and artistic process.
  • How the writing positions the thesis work in relation to the student’s broader studies.
  • Whether the written work represents a substantive and serious endeavor.
  • That the individual writings are of appropriate length for their respective purposes and meet the overall requirement of approximately 20 pages (5,000 words).

Faculty award a grade for their assessments per the definitions in the Undergraduate Announcement

  • A+  Exceptional; significantly exceeds the highest expectations for undergraduate work
  • A    Outstanding; meets the highest standards for the assignment or course
  • A-   Excellent; meets very high standards for the assignment or course
  • B+  Very good; meets high standards for the assignment or course
  • B    Good; meets most of the standards for the assignment or course
  • B-   More than adequate; shows some reasonable command of the material
  • C+  Acceptable; meets basic standards for the assignment or course
  • C    Acceptable; meets some of the basic standards for the assignment or course
  • C-   Acceptable, while falling short of meeting basic standards in several ways
  • D    Minimally acceptable; lowest passing grade
  • F    Failing; very poor performance

Senior Comprehensive Exam

aka "Comps"

This section pertains to both HoA and PoA

In this section

What to Expect

The Senior Comprehensive Exam in the Department of Art & Archaeology consists of a one-hour oral exam with three members of the faculty. For HoA students, examiners are the thesis adviser and the second reader, plus an additional faculty member; for PoA students, examiners are the primary VIS adviser, the ART adviser, and an additional ART faculty member. The exams are scheduled for May 8th & 9th. You will be assigned a specific time and date.

The comprehensive exam cannot be rescheduled. If a student does not attend their comprehensive exam, they will need to sit for it the next year.

The exam will begin with a 10–15 minute discussion of your senior thesis, supported by images. You will be asked to give a very brief summary of your topic and conclusions, and then the examiners will ask you a series of questions about your thesis work. For PoA students, questioning will start with the following question from the group VIS crit: What is the relation of your work to the field of contemporary art/film and to art/film history? All students should come prepared to discuss their own work in relation to their broader studies in art history.

Discussion of the thesis will be followed by questions based on your coursework, as follows. You should come to the exam prepared to discuss five of the departmental courses you have taken in A&A. These five departmentals must represent a range of periods and cultures and be pre-approved. PoA students may substitute any three VIS courses, in two different media, for three ART courses. From each of three of these courses, you should select a specific major work that you are prepared to talk about (a major work is one that would be included in an introductory textbook or that received extended discussion in the class). Be prepared to introduce the historical context of these major works, and to discuss them formally. From each of the other two of these courses, you should pick a major theme or issue that was emphasized in the course (and could thus be related to many works). *PoA students: see below for further guidance on work selection.

How to Prepare

At spring colloquium (Monday, April 29) we will go over the format of the exam. By Tuesday, April 30, 5:00pm you will complete a form proposing the five courses, the three works, and the two themes/issues that you have selected. You must complete this form in order to receive approval to sit for the exam. The DUS will review the list and may ask you for revisions. The form will also ask for a list of all the courses you have taken in A&A and VIS. Following approval, the lists will be distributed to the examiners. Slide sets are due Thursday, May 2, at 5pm. PoA Students: please include several photos of your thesis work with the list (to be shared with your third examiner before the Comps).

Prepare a slideshow presentation with digital images of your thesis, the three major works you are proposing, and to illustrate the two thematic discussions (3–4 images for each theme). The faculty will not bring any images to the exam. All slides should be captioned with the information included on your object submission list (artist, work title or description [e.g., "Mirror Case"], date, location for architecture or site-specific works). You may also include basic information such as medium, materials, dimensions, and the current location of portable works (think about the kind of information included on a "tombstone" museum label). Please do not include other discursive information (e.g., the text of inscriptions). You do not need to include the source of your image in the captions.

An example caption: Rembrandt van Rijn, The Three Trees, 1643, etching with drypoint and burin, 21.3 x 27.9 cm.

Each faculty examiner will select one of your five proposed subjects (thus, you will be examined only on a percentage of your choices). You should plan to begin your discussion with a short (approximately 3–5 minute) introduction to the object (what it is, when it was created, what culture[s] it represents, who made it, why it is important) or the theme (explain your theme and why it was important, then show your first image and start to talk about how it embodies or exemplifies your theme; you or your examiners may decide when you should move on to another example). You should select objects and topics that excite you and that you discussed in some detail in your class and/or precepts. Please limit your initial discussion to 5 minutes maximum; expect your examiners to stop you after five minutes and begin to ask questions about the work or the theme.

Samples of major works might be the Arch of Constantine, the Bayeux Embroidery, the Barcelona Haggadah, Himeji Castle, Masaccio’s Trinity, Zhang Zeduan’s Qingming Festival Scroll, the Great Mosque in Djenné, Mali; Manet’s Olympia, Duchamp’s The Large Glass, a Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still, Diego Rivera’s Rockefeller Center mural, or a text painting by Glenn Ligon. Themes might be iconographic (the representation of saints in medieval art; imperial power and Roman art; consumer culture and Pop art; the image of the artist during a particular period); formal or stylistic (the influence of classical art on the Renaissance; the representation of space in the Baroque period; the impact of changing print media on representation); or historical (theories of the avant-garde in the twentieth century; the impact of science on nineteenth-century American painting; Zen influences on Japanese painting; Harlem Renaissance art; issues of gender or patronage in a particular culture or period; modernism in Latin America; contemporary art and globalization; and so forth). A theme could also be imagined as an essay question on a midterm or final exam; in effect, you are answering such a question orally rather than in writing.

*PoA Students:

Your course selection may include up to 3 courses (ART or VIS) that you choose because they gave you reference points for your own practice—that is, they help you answer the question, "What is the relation of your work to the field of contemporary art/film and to art/film history?" (think about artists or work that inspired you, or taught you a new way of working or thinking about your project). You may choose your Major Works from these courses and discuss them in relation to your thesis or other studio work; you may also use them as the basis for your "Themes." Even if you discuss works in direct relation to your own practice, you should be well informed about the examples you choose (see guidelines below). Your "Theme" slide sets (2) may each include one work you made in a VIS class, or independently (not your thesis). The other 2–3 works in the set should be by artists you learned about in the selected class. Keep the following distinction between the Advisers' Crit for your thesis and the Comps in mind: the crit speaks to how you are working; the Comp speaks to what you have learned.

Everyone

You should prepare by drawing upon your class notes, readings, and textbooks. You should verify information about the major objects through research, if need be. We want to see if you can talk about artworks in a thoughtful, historically informed way. You should know about the object's physical condition and original location (if applicable): make sure you are clear about the media and techniques used to produce it, whether any parts are missing, and information about its making (was it made for a specific place, and/or a specific person? Is it part of a series? How does it fit in a historical context?) It helps if you have a good sense of context for an object (if you know about only one painting by Bronzino, then it may not be a good idea to pick a Bronzino as your object or as an example for a theme). Always make sure you can describe what it is you are seeing – how the object was made, how large it is, where it was originally displayed, what story the artist is trying to tell, why the forms are arranged the way they are, why the object is significant or interesting, and how style or form contribute to meaning. Formal analysis remains important here, and knowing the identity and meaning of depicted objects or forms is also vital (for example, if one of your examiners asks you who the figure to the left of the Virgin is and why he is there, you should be able to answer that question).

For a theme, you will need to start with a brief statement about what your theme is and how that theme might be elaborated through specific examples (your images). The faculty will jump into the conversation after a few minutes and begin to ask you questions. For example, if you were talking about the importance of papal patronage for High Renaissance art, you might start talking about the Raphael Stanze in the Vatican, and the examiner might then ask you about how papal patronage was different from other kinds of patronage at the time, or about the range of papal patronage. (Where do portraits fit into this story? Did a given Pope patronize artists of different styles at the same time, such as Raphael and Michelangelo? And so forth). Think of yourself as a teacher instructing a college student or the general public.

Remember: to ensure that you select appropriate and viable themes and objects, the DUS and Undergraduate Coordinator need to receive a list of your five courses and topics (3 works, 2 themes) in advance (Thursday, May 2 in 2024), along with the list of all the courses you have taken in ART and VIS. You must receive DUS approval to sit the exam.

Please submit your objects and themes through the form on the departmental website.

The format will be structured as follows, and ask for the following information. Note in the example below that you must include BOTH course numbers and course titles

Objects
  1. Crystal Palace, London, 1851 (ART 242: Survey of Modern Architecture in the West)
  2. Jacques Louis David, Death of Marat, 1793 (ART 486: Order and Chaos in 18th-Century European Art)
  3. The Princeton vase, Maya, 670-750 (ART 267: Introduction to Mesoamerican Culture)
Themes
  1. The relation between the body and the commodity in Pop Art (ART 344: Topics in 20th Century Art)
  2. Patriotism and the formation of national identity through American landscape painting, 1830–1865 (ART 370: History of American Art)
A&A and VIS Courses
  1. ART 212: Neoclassicism through Impressionism, Professor Alsdorf, Fall 2020
  2. ART 213: Modernist Art, 1900-1950, Professor Foster, Spring 2021

Please note that information about the examiners who are not the primary thesis advisers is confidential until the time of the exam. You should know that you will have examiners from a variety of fields (not just the area of your senior thesis), and that your examiners will not necessarily be professors with whom you have had classes.

Helpful Hints

On object selection

  • Avoid choosing works from a course that overlap with your JP. Think of your independent work (JP and thesis) as a distinct component of your work in the field; focus the process of exam object choices on going over your coursework and selecting examples that you still think about in connection with the class.
  • On cultivating range and variety in your object set: a good rule of thumb to ensure range would be to begin by thinking about the courses you took to meet the Groups 1–2–3 requirement in your ART coursework and whether you see ready choices in that set. Check your lists for whether you have included works in different media, and that not all examples come from the same historical or geographic context.
  • You should expect to be able to sustain discussion of each section of your object list (major works and themes) for 10–15 minutes each. For your themes, make sure you have carefully considered how your selected works fit together and allow you to develop discussion of your chosen topic. Remember to approach each work within the "theme" set also as a focal object in its own right. Just as you do for the "major works," you should be ready to teach each selection to your committee. Make sure you are comfortable describing the works' content (iconography, texts), and accounting for their materials, techniques and historical contexts, as well as why you chose them. You might be encouraged to reflect on formal qualities of the examples during the discussion, so do spend some time looking at your examples while you are preparing. If you have a willing audience, a good way to prepare for the exam would be to try out teaching a friend your selections; then you can feel where you might need to revisit your course notes or do some research to ensure you feel well oriented in all your examples. If you read up on an example in preparation, remember that the focus of the exam is on the works themselves, not secondary literature.

On the preparation of your image set:

  • Once the DUS has cleared your image set, you may send your presentation file to the Undergraduate Coordinator (Jonathan Finnerty) to check. Please work ahead so that Jonathan and Julie Angarone can make sure there are no bugs in the display and that everything shows up clearly. If you have any trouble sourcing the images you need in good quality, be in touch with Julie and/or Julia Gearhart in Visual Resources.
  • For the portion of the presentation on your thesis, it is recommended to structure your introductory statement with a few examples that represent the arc of your chapters or the range of works in your exhibition, and that allow you to present the most important themes and questions explored in the thesis. The presentation should be polished and run to time —do practice. Following the slides for the initial presentation, it is a good idea to include a few more images from the thesis that you would like to have on hand for the ensuing discussion (other examples that may help you develop a point or show another facet of the argument or installation).

Evaluation

The Comprehensive Exam measures a student’s overall proficiency in the discipline of art history.

The student is evaluated on their ability to do the following:

  • Convey basic information about the material of the field (based on coursework)
  • Analyze and think critically about this material
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nature and relevance of the secondary literature
  • Demonstrate basic visual literacy and facility in speaking critically and analytically about works of art and other relevant material
  • Articulate the goals and results of the thesis project including successes as well as problems
  • Discuss how the thesis reflected the place of a student’s work in the field
  • Discuss the approach or methodologies employed in the thesis work
  • Exhibit a capacity for original thinking about the material under discussion

The grading standards for the Comprehensive Exam are as follows

A-range: An A-range exam demonstrates full fluency in the material and methods of the discipline of art history. The student can recall and discuss in detail and depth the content of their courses but can also comment on and analyze this material independently in their own voice, apart from the information conveyed in their courses and the opinions/arguments of their professors. The student demonstrates familiarity with the relevant secondary literature but can also speak about particular works of art—subject matter, content, context, and formal properties—thoroughly, articulately, and in a sophisticated manner without relying on the interpretations of other scholars. The student is able to think on their feet and successfully answer faculty questions, including those the student did not anticipate. In discussing the thesis, the student has a clear and thorough grasp of the nature of their topic and argument, can address successfully faculty queries about and critiques of the project, can situate their work with regard to the work of other scholars, and can discuss with ease and eloquence the strengths but also the possible shortcomings of their thesis work. The student is able to think and speak beyond what is written in the thesis and can productively consider new ideas or issues that are raised in the context of the exam.

B-range: A B-range exam is similar in many ways to an A-range exam, but the student may not answer all faculty queries thoroughly or successfully. Some answers may be superficial or not reflect an understanding of the question, but most of the discussion demonstrates the student’s grasp of the content of their coursework and their proficiency in the material and methods of the discipline of art history. The student may not always be able to speak independently of the secondary literature or to think on their feet when confronted with an unanticipated query, but the student attempts to do so and succeeds most of the time. In discussing the thesis, the student has a basic grasp of the nature and significance of their topic but has some trouble addressing questions that require him/her to consider this topic beyond what the student has written about it. The student may demonstrate that the student is not aware of certain key aspects of the topic in the course of questioning, but can address and reflect on these things intelligently on the spot.

C-range: A C-range exam is similar in many ways to a B-range exam, but the student has trouble answering many of the faculty member’s questions successfully and eloquently. The student does not have a full grasp of the material of their coursework and does not demonstrate full proficiency in the material and methods of the discipline of art history. The student has a hard time thinking on their feet and answering questions that may stray from the exact content of their courses. The student is not fully adept at looking at a work of art and discussing its formal qualities with precision and accuracy and the student cannot account for or is unaware of key aspects of the works of art discussed in the exam. In discussing the thesis, the student is unable to articulate in clear language the nature of their argument and cannot fully situate this argument with regard to the secondary literature. The student is unable to answer many of the questions asked about the content and methods of the thesis and the student is unable to assume a critical perspective in discussing their thesis work; that is, if a faculty member presents a critique, the student may not understand the critique or may be unable to address it.

D-range: A D-range exam is similar in many ways to a C-range exam, but the problems outlined above occur with more frequency and severity. The student answers only a minority of the questions successfully and exhibits little ability to talk proficiently and expertly about works of art and their possible interpretations; the student has trouble describing and analyzing the works of art featured in the exam. In discussing the thesis, the student cannot articulate their argument lucidly or may demonstrate that the student does not have an argument; the student cannot answer or address the majority of the faculty’s questions about the thesis or is unable to comprehend fully these queries and critiques.

F: An F exam exhibits a serious lack of proficiency in the basic skills of art historical description and analysis, an inability to discuss the content of coursework, little or no grasp of how to look at and analyze a work of art, and little or no capacity for discussing basic aspects of the thesis topic and/or argument.

Research Resources

In this section

Marquand Library

Established in 1908, Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology is one of the oldest and most extensive art libraries in America. It serves the Princeton University community and scholars from around the world, attracting more than 150,000 visitors each year. The non-circulating collection of over 500,000 volumes covers Western and Eastern art from antiquity to the present, and includes distinguished 15th- through 21st-century rare book holdings. Marquand supports research in the fine, decorative, and media arts, photography, architecture, and archaeology. The library acquires some 20,000 new titles each year, including books, exhibition catalogues, and journals in print and electronic formats, as well as image and other databases, videos, and online content.

During the closure of the Art Museum complex, Marquand Library’s public reading rooms are located on the C Floor of Firestone Library: the Scribner Atrium is straight down the hall from Special Collections, and the West Atrium is to the left and has a selection of reference books, current periodical issues and assigned shelves for heavier users of the art library. All other art books must be requested from off-site for use in Firestone. The rare book collection can be consulted weekdays 9 am to 4:15 pm—requests are submitted online—minus oversized Folios and Elephant Folios that require special transfer to get to Firestone for consultation. Librarians are available for one-on-one research consultations and group instruction, and also provide assistance via email at [email protected]. The library is non-circulating so all use of the collection happens in our two reading rooms. Public scanners are available, and scan requests can be submitted via the library catalog or via the Article Express service. Updated information about the library can be found in this google doc or by reaching out directly to Rebecca Friedman.

Director: Holly Hatheway
Primary Contact for Research Questions: Rebecca Friedman
Library Main Number: 609-258-3783

Visual Resources

Visual Resources (2N-7 Green Hall) administers the department’s collections of digital images, slides, and photographic prints to support the departmental teaching curriculum and to provide resources for study and research. Digital images available in ARTstor are accessible to the Princeton University community for teaching, research and study purposes. ARTstor collections number more than 2,000,000 images. More than 200,000 images from the department’s Visual Resources Collection are available through the ARTstor interface with many images added to the department image collections each year. The collection of 35mm slides is open for research and digitization. Flat-bed and slide scanners are available for use.

Photographic prints and materials from the Princeton-sponsored archaeological expeditions in the Research Photographs Collection are also accessible. Many of the archaeological images and the Sinai Icons collection are available online.

Please feel free to contact staff members for help in finding, using, and digitizing images for classes and papers. Visual Resources is open weekdays from 8:45 to 5:00. You may also contact Visual Resources at 8-3776 or [email protected] and [email protected].

Director: Julia Gearhart

Index of Medieval Art

A unique resource of the Department of Art & Archaeology is the Index of Medieval Art, which was founded in 1917 by Charles Rufus Morey, an early chairman of the Department of Art and Archaeology. Located in Green Hall, it houses a print and online database of approximately 200,000 images and iconographic data from early apostolic times until the sixteenth century. While its original name, the Index of Christian Art, reflects its beginnings as a resource for the study of early Christian art, the Index now sets its parameters more broadly, including works from multiple medieval faith traditions as well as secular imagery. The specialists who maintain and develop these files offer individual consultations and training for faculty and students, and a 6,000-volume research library is available for consultation on site. A seminar room and ongoing program of conferences and publications provides a center for continuing scholarly and public discourse about the visual culture of the Middle Ages. The Index is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am–5:00 pm.

Director: Dr. Pamela Patton

Princeton University Art Museum

The origins of the Princeton University Art Museum can be traced to 1755, when what was then the College of New Jersey acquired its first work of art, a painting, as a way of bringing the world to Princeton. From those origins the collections have grown to encompass over 95,000 works of art that span the globe and over 5,000 years of world history. Among the many areas of great strength are:

  • An outstanding collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, including ceramics, marbles, bronzes, and Roman mosaics from Princeton University’s excavations at ancient Antioch;
  • One of the most important collections of art of the ancient Americas in this country, with remarkable examples of the art of the Olmec and Maya;
  • Outstanding holdings of Chinese art, with important collections of bronzes, tomb figures, and painting;
  • Sculpture, metalwork, and stained glass from Medieval Europe;
  • European paintings from the early Renaissance through the twentieth century;
  • One of the nation’s oldest and most distinguished collections of American art;
  • Rich collections of prints and drawings, featuring especially deep holdings of Italian and British drawings and prints;
  • Photography holdings of over 27,000 works from 1839 to the present, including several important artist’s archives; and
  • A growing collection of modern and contemporary art.

In addition to the collections, the Art Museum typically presents eight to ten temporary exhibitions each year as well as dozens of changing installations of highlights from its collections and hundreds of educational programs. The majority of these exhibitions are developed by the Museum's own curators, often drawing on student research staff.

Pending feasibility during the Museum's closure for re-building and re-installation, Princeton students can make appointments to see original works of art not currently on display by contacting the specialist curators of the respective areas (see list of Museum staff), cc Molly Gibbons ([email protected]). A searchable database of the Museum’s holdings is available via the Museum’s website. Students can access full object records by contacting the Registrar’s Office. The Museum also has a conservation laboratory.

Majors can participate in Museum activities and exhibitions in many ways. The Museum’s Student Advisery Board (SAB), with representatives from all Princeton undergraduate classes, presents programs and supports a range of other Museum programs, including its weekly Late Thursdays. Service on the SAB is competitive and by application. Paid academic year and summer internships are also available (see section on Internships in this Handbook). A program of specially trained student guides provides gallery talks and introductions to the collections for visitors. For more information about student employment in the Museum, see the Museum's website.

Tang Center

The P. Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art was established in 2001 to advance the understanding of East Asian art and culture. To achieve this aim, the Tang Center sponsors and facilitates scholarly exchange by bringing together scholars, students, and the general public through interdisciplinary programs, including lectures and symposia, workshops, publications, graduate education, museum development, and exhibitions. Since its founding, the Tang Center has organized numerous symposiums, as well as the art exhibitions “Outside In: Chinese × American × Contemporary Art” and “Sacred Caves of the Silk Road: Ways of Knowing and Re-creating Dunhuang” at the Princeton University Art Museum in 2009 and 2015 respectively. The Center has also published numerous scholarly volumes. For further information on the Center’s activities or ways to participate in programs, please contact the director, Professor Andrew Watsky, or the associate director, Dr. Dora Ching.

Firestone Library

Firestone Library is the place to go for general materials in the humanities. General collections of most interest to the visual arts in addition to the Library of Congress N (Fine Arts) collection are the separately shelved Classics and Near East Collections. Firestone is one of ten campus libraries, in addition to extensive off-site holdings housed in ReCAP (Research Collections and Preservation Consortium) and Annex A on the Forrestal Campus.

Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC)

Manuscripts, prints, photographs, artists' books and even some paintings and sculptures are located within the Rare Books and Special Collections Department, whose reading room is located on the C Floor of Firestone. Important collections in RBSC for majors are the following:

  • The Rare Books Division holds approximately 250,000 rare and historically significant printed books in Western languages dating from the 15th century down to the present. In addition to the large general rare book collection, there are more than 35 named collections.
  • The Manuscripts Division holds an estimated 8,500 linear feet of materials covering five thousand years of recorded history and all parts of the world, with special strengths in Western Europe, the Near East, the United States, and Latin America. The Manuscripts Division’s holdings in art and photography contain a substantial number works of art on paper by many British artists and illustrators, most of whom have a literary association. Notable artists include but are not limited to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, George Cruikschank, and Max Beerbohm. Worthy of special mention is the renowned Gallatin-Beardsley Collection, which includes 130 drawings by Aubrey Beardsley, collected by the American artist A.E. Gallatin, along with a rich archive of correspondence, posters, illustrated books, and other materials by or related to the 1890s English artist. Princeton also has substantial holdings in Western American photography, 19th- and 20th-century historical and archaeological photography of Greece and the Hellenic world, and Theater/Cinema photography. Topics and materials related to Princeton’s rare books, manuscripts, and archives can be found on the MARBAS blog.
  • The Graphic Arts Collection began in 1940, when Elmer Adler brought his collection of 8,000 books and 4,000 prints to Princeton for an experiment in the study and teaching of graphic arts. Today the collection holds closer to 60,000 prints, drawings, photographs, paintings, sculpture, and printed ephemera along with an international book collection specializing in fine press, artists’ books, and illustrated editions. Research collections support the study of paper and papermaking, printing, printmaking, typography, and book design. A world-class reference collection holds over 600 volumes on all aspects of printing and print making.
  • The Cotsen Children's Library is a very special library within the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University Library. The international research collection of illustrated children's books, manuscripts, original artwork, prints, and educational toys from the 15th century to the present day is the benefaction of Lloyd E. Cotsen '50.
  • The Western Americana Collection includes prints, photographs, paintings, and illustrated books of the Western territories and states, including amateur albums by explorers and early settlers. The Garrett Collection of Manuscripts in Indigenous Languages of Mesoamerica, the most comprehensive gathering of manuscripts in Mayan languages in the country, contains 21 manuscripts and documents from Central and South America, dating from the 16th to the 20th century. The Sheldon Jackson collection of photographs of Native Americans—some 1600 albumen prints given to Princeton in 1880—was rescued from the open stacks, and has been vigorously supplemented by purchase and gift.
  • The Numismatic Collection is one of only a handful of academic coin collections in the United States. The earliest record of a numismatic collection at Princeton goes back to 1849, when friends of the (then) College of New Jersey bought and donated a collection of plaster casts (“sulfurets”) of Greek and Roman coins, formerly the property of Lord Vernon. The Princeton University Numismatic Collection is thus the oldest continually curated public numismatic collection in the United States. The Collection contains about 100,000 items, including coins, paper money, tokens, medals and decorations from the earliest period to the present. Please contact Alan Stahl, Curator of Numismatics, Firestone Library, for more information.

Other Campus Libraries for Art Majors

  • Seeley G. Mudd Library is home to the Princeton University archives, which contain historic photographs, prints, and portraits relating to Princeton, and is also the main repository for Princeton senior theses, master’s theses and doctoral dissertations.
  • The School of Architecture Library is a circulating collection focused on 20th- and 21st-century architecture and design as well as urban studies.
  • Anyone interested in East Asia should make use of the East Asian Library, which collects materials in East Asian languages on art historical subjects not collected in Marquand. Its Gest rare book collection is world-renowned, especially for Chinese material.
  • Films and videos may be found at Firestone Circulation (reserve and popular titles), the Architecture Library, Mendel Music Library, and at ReCAP.
Students in Rome

Study Abroad

Foreign study can be a richly rewarding part of any concentration in the Department of Art and Archaeology. Art history courses taken abroad (normally up to two per semester or four for a year in a study abroad program) can be pre-approved for departmental credit by the DUS. Students generally study abroad during the junior year or the first semester of the senior year. The Junior Independent Work can be completed under the supervision of a departmental faculty member with prior approval and ongoing contact with the faculty adviser. The Senior Thesis research in the fall of the senior year may be done overseas, but the spring semester work must be done in residence.

Students contemplating a semester or year abroad should inform the DUS promptly, and contact the Office of International Programs for a list of potential programs and advice on the application and financial aid process. Since many programs entail instruction in the language of the host country, students should complete foreign language courses at least through the 108 level and preferably at the 300-level.

If students do not want to commit to a semester or year abroad, they have the option of pursuing summer programs. If students wish to receive credit for history of art courses taken abroad during the summer, they must receive pre-approval from both the Office of International Programs and the director of undergraduate studies. This applies to both majors and non-majors. The form may be downloaded from the Dean of the College website.

No courses taken overseas count in the calculation of departmental honors or grade point averages. However, if a student intends to apply to graduate or professional school, transcripts for courses taken in foreign universities must normally be supplied.

There are many fellowships awarded by Princeton and external organizations to support study abroad and summer language study. Please consult the website for Study Abroad Programs for additional details on the funding and charges for foreign study.

Non-majors who would like to receive credit for history of art courses taken during a semester or academic year abroad must apply through the Office of International Programs and receive approval for credit from their study abroad adviser. Credit will not be approved for cognates of Princeton's ART100 course at other institutions (i.e., general survey courses in art history), for majors and non-majors alike.

Graduation

In this section

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with a major in the Department of Art and Archaeology, students must have an average of a C- or better, based on the grades for Junior Independent Work, the Senior Independent Work, the Senior Departmental Exam, and the grade point average calculated from all courses designated as departmentals (including all courses taken at Princeton outside the department and designated as cognates).

Honors

Honors are awarded by a vote of the faculty to students having the highest, weighted grade point average based on grades achieved in departmental courses, junior independent work, senior independent work, and the senior oral exam. Attendance at colloquia counts toward the Honors grade. The 10 departmental courses with the highest grades will be designated by the Undergraduate Coordinator to count for the honors calculation. If the student has more than 10 eligible courses they will be consulted about which courses to count.

Prizes

The Department of Art & Archaeology awards the following prizes to outstanding senior graduates:

  • Art and Archaeology Senior Thesis Prize A prize established by the Irvine Foundation and awarded annually for the most outstanding senior thesis in the Department of Art and Archaeology.
  • Stella and Rensselaer W. Lee Prize A prize awarded to the student who has written the best senior thesis on a subject involving the theory of art and architecture or their relationship to literature.
  • Irma S. Seitz Prize in the Field of Modern Art A prize awarded to the student who has written the best senior thesis in the area of modern art (19th – 21st centuries), dealing with any aspect of the Visual Arts.
  • Frederick Barnard White Prize in Architectural History A prize awarded to the student who has written the best thesis on the subject of architectural history. Established by Mrs. Norman White in memory of her son, Frederick Barnard White, Class of 1883.
  • Frederick Barnard White Prize in Archaeology A prize awarded to the student who has written an outstanding senior thesis in archaeology. Established by a split in the Frederick Barnard White Prize in Architecture and approved by the Board of Trustees in 2001.
  • Frederick Barnard White Prize in Art History A prize awarded to a student who has written an excellent senior thesis on any art historical topic. Established by a split in the Frederick Barnard White Prize in Architecture and approved by the Board of Trustees in 2001.

In addition, Art and Archaeology majors are eligible for other prizes given by the University or outside departments or programs, such as American Studies, Canadian Studies, East Asian Studies, French and Italian Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin American Studies, and the University Center for Human Values.

Mentorship Program

The Art & Archaeology Undergraduate Mentorship Program provides mentorship, academic enrichment, and a dynamic intellectual and social community to junior and senior History of Art and Practice of Art majors and is an exciting complement to the department’s existing offerings for undergraduate-graduate collaboration, like the Thesis Workshop.

Participants in the A&A Undergraduate Mentorship Program will be matched with a graduate mentor; each graduate mentor will work with 3-4 undergraduate students. Mentees will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their mentor throughout the academic year to discuss art, art history, research habits, career paths, and college life in an informal, non-judgmental space. Additionally, mentees will attend 1-2 group events, such as meals, art exhibitions, and casual group conversations, each semester to meet and bond with their peers.

The Mentorship Program offers Art & Archaeology undergraduates a forum where they can seek advice from graduate students—many of whom are close in age to them and possess recent and diverse work experiences in the realms of art and academia—to help guide them toward their own academic, artistic, and professional goals. Through the mentor/mentee relationships created, the program endeavors to help make art history and the arts more accessible and familiar for current students as they consider their possible career and life paths. The one-on-one meetings and group events will, in turn, provide a space for graduate and undergraduate students to exchange knowledge and build rapport with one another, fostering an open and collegial atmosphere within the department. Additionally, a key goal of the program’s mentorship groups is to create a meaningful forum to connect students from the History of Art and Practice of Art tracks.

At the beginning of each academic year, we send out an email for interested students to sign up. Mentees are then paired by the end of the second or third week of classes. If you miss the deadline, don’t worry, we’re happy to welcome declared students to join our mentorship groups at any time!

If you have any questions about the program or would like to join a mentorship group, please email our coordinator Katy at [email protected].

2023–24 Graduate Leadership

Katy Knortz, G4, Lead Coordinator

Sharifa Lookman, G4, Mentor

Claire Sabitt, G6, Mentor

Internship and Employment

In this section

On-Campus Internships and Employment

Majors are encouraged to pursue summer and term internships that may enhance their coursework and also in some cases be springboards for independent work. The Princeton University Art Museum awards paid summer internships to students from Princeton and other schools, and some term internships are available during the school year with various departments. Furthermore, students also serve as docents during the weekend and can nominate themselves for the museum’s Student Advisery Board. For further information on internship and employment opportunities in the Princeton University Art Museum, see Veronica White, Curator of Academic Programs.

Summer Internships

The Department funds internships for majors and students in the certificate program who are undertaking internships with non-profits in the arts. Once the student has secured an internship, they can apply for funding. Interested students should consult the appendices.

Off-Campus Internships and Employment

Many of our majors have obtained internships and summer positions in art museums, auction houses, architectural firms, galleries, photographic studios, magazines, and corporate collections. Recent majors have worked at the Musée d’Orsay; Terra Foundation for American Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Smithsonian Museum; Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul; Montclair Museum of Art; Museum of London; Metropolitan Museum of Art; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki; Studioworks (summer art camp, Essex County, NJ); Artsy; Christie’s; Phillip’s; Sotheby’s; and as interns with a New York Times sports photographer, an advertising agency, and a film production studio, among other places.

The Internship Office at Princeton maintains a database of internships in the arts and has a special program for overseas internships. The Internship Office also lists sources of funding for art-related internships.

The Lewis Center for the Arts maintains a robust Alumni Network and organizes events focused on careers in the Arts.

Program in Archaeology Internship

The Program in Archaeology has funds to support students in the Program who are engaged during the summer in unpaid internships in not-for-profit institutions (such as museums, government arts organizations, or public school arts programs) that relate to the field of archaeology. In order to satisfy the Program’s “fieldwork requirement,” the internship must be approved by the Director of the Program in Archaeology and entail 100 hours of work. These awards are given based on the student’s previous performance in the Program; the benefits that the student would gain from the internship; and the quality of the internship. Priority will be given to first-time recipients. The award can be used for room, board, and transportation and will consist of a fixed stipend with a maximum amount of $4000. (Note that in some cases the award may not cover the entirety of living expenses during the internship.) The amount of the award will be determined by the length of the internship and the anticipated costs of transportation and living expenses. Sophomores enrolled in the Program (certificate) in the spring and junior majors are eligible. In exceptional circumstances, first-years who have taken courses in the Program are eligible. To apply, students must present proof of having received the internship (a letter from a supervisor or sponsoring institution); a copy of the undergraduate transcript; and the anticipated costs of transportation and living expenses. The application deadline for summer 2023 awards is April 28, 2023. Upon completion of the project, the student and the supervisor are expected to submit reports to the Program.

What Our Graduates Do

Graduates from the Department of Art & Archaeology have gone on to medical, law, nursing, business and professional schools as well as careers in the art world, business, teaching, and non-profit organizations.

For example,

  • Bryan Cockrell ’08 received an M.A. degree at the Institute of Archaeology at University College, London;
  • Jennifer Edelstein ’09 became a Corporate Finance Analyst at Lazard Frères and Co.;
  • Monika Jasiewicz ’10 went on to Yale Law School;
  • Sarah Hogarty ’10 worked for Teach for America in New Orleans;
  • Mark Guiducci ’10 became an arts editor at Vogue Magazine;
  • Talia Kwartler ’12 was a curatorial assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art;
  • Grayden Holubar ’13 was People Strategy Lead at Artsy;
  • Katie Woo ’17 was a financial analyst at Credit Suisse;
  • Simon Wu ’17 was a curatorial intern at the Whitney Museum of American Art;
  • Charlotte Diamond ’18 was a jewelry assistant at Vogue Magazine;
  • Mariah Wilson ’18 went on to a Master’s Degree in Film Production at the University of Southern California.

Browse our past newsletters to see news from alumni to get a view of their accomplishments.

 

Art exhibit in a gallery consisting of paintings ona wall and vases of flowers

Undergraduate Forms and Guides

Undergraduate Forms

These are the forms that you will need to submit at various stages of the major. Please refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for the deadlines, and look out for emails from the DUS and/or Undergraduate Coordinator that will alert you when it is time to file them. Please do not submit any forms until you are notified that it is time to do so.

Practice of Art Thesis Adviser

History of Art Senior Thesis Adviser

Senior Thesis/Portfolio Progress Report

Program in Archaeology Application

Declaration of Major

Minor in Art History Application

Junior Independent Work Advising

Internships Funding Application

Comprehensive Exam Proposal

Submit Departmentals

Independent Work Guides

Refer to the Independent work guides to assist you in your independent work for your track.

Recent Independent Work

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30 Publications

2023

“The Bookkeeper-Magician”: Paul Klee and his Catalogue Raisonné
Prepared with Plumbum: The Socioeconomics of Lead Production in Pompeii
The Rebellion Of Ali B. Muhammad Reexamining The Zanj Revolt and its Place in Abbasid History
The Maiden and The Mirror: Considering Epigram and Image in Tandem on the Attic Grave Stele of Pausimache (390–380 B.C.E.)
Comb Back Home
“That Perfect Girl is Gone”: Walt Disney Studios’ Post-Princess Era and the Evolving Representation of Animated Disney Heroines
Monsanto as Image Maker: Feeding the World Lies
Suspension
Across Types: A Reexamination of the Sculpture of Charles Cordier
The Exposures of Francesca Woodman
Lenses of Partition: Remembrance and the Photograph
Petty Saint
“There is Nothing New Except in Recollection”: * How Kiefer’s Searing Holocaust Reflections in his Palazzo Ducale Installation Reinterpret Venetian History
Ego Death in Two Battles: 988 (1;800;273;TALK) and Living in the GAP
Dompas as Symbolic Object: The Passbook in Contemporary South African Art
Boxes and Building Blocks
First Impressions Matter: A New Behavioral Strategy to Model the Evolution of Cooperation in Everyday Trade in Ancient Pompeii and Viking Age Scandinavia
POST, HUMAN! Stitched Faces, Cyborgian Digital Embodiments, and Trans* Futures
MOTHER, HEALER, BARBARIC WARRIOR: The Multifaceted Role of Female Representation in Romano-British Religion and the Political Significance of Britannia Under Imperial Rome

2022

The "Private" Performance: Giovanni Boldini and Artistic Spaces
JUXTA-POSEUR: The Importance of Contemporary Art in Historical Settings
The Twelfth House
Rhythm Interiorized: Mondrian, Color and Swing
The Conscious Reflection: Convex Mirrors in Renaissance and Baroque Paintings
American Oxygen
This Wonderful Memory
Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken
Unicorn
The Artist as Financier: Damien Hirst and the Financialization of Art

Undergraduate Calendar

Important Dates and Deadlines for Concentrators

Subscribe to the Calendar: Disclaimer: Subscribing to this calendar should put the events onto your own calendar, with no guarantee that updates  will be pushed to your calendar. It is still your responsibility to look out for emails from the Undergraduate Coordinator and the DUS concerning deadlines and events.