FAQs

What makes the department unique?
With unparalleled resources, we are the only department on campus to explicitly and exclusively focus on visual and material culture, a fundamental component of human history and personal experience.

How large is the department?
There are 19 full-time faculty members. By Princeton standards, this is a medium-size department. It provides the intimacy of a small department and all the opportunities of a large department.

What are the research and teaching interests of the faculty?
The areas that faculty research are incredibly diverse, from exploring the intersection of art and science to studying crowd psychology to investigating cross-cultural exchange. In terms of time period, the interests range from 3000 BC to contemporary. In terms of geography, faculty cover the Americas, Africa, Europe, China, and Japan.

What is the role of undergraduate education and mentorship?
Undergraduates are the center of intellectual and social life in the department. All faculty are committed to undergraduate education and evenly distribute teaching and advising responsibilities.

What is the Junior Independent Work?
Starting in fall 2019, there will be one two-term JP for art history students, which they will start to work on during ART 400, the fall junior seminar on methods and approaches.

How does the department support student research?
We offer funding for juniors and seniors to travel to museums, archives, and sites to conduct independent research. Marquand Library and Visual Resources, both located in McCormick Hall, provide personalized research and image support. The department also hosts a thesis-writing workshop for all seniors.

What is the department's relationship with the museum?
The department maintains an excellent relationship with the museum. Classes frequently visit the galleries or make hands-on use of materials in the museum's seminar rooms, and museum curators regularly teach courses.

What's the deal with the "& archaeology"?
The first professor in the department was an art historian and an archaeologist, and the department is now home to the Program in Archaeology, which awards an archaeology certificate. The department's vision is sufficiently broad to encompass a variety of approaches to the material world, including those practiced by archaeologists and artists.

What do students do after graduation?
In short, just about anything, from law school, medical school, finance, and consulting, to more arts-specific fields, such as museums, galleries, and non-profits.

Will I travel?
Yes! Every year we offer courses with an international travel component, including a summer excavation course. In addition, courses regularly visit museums, galleries, and studios in New York and Philadelphia. Majors participate in the selection of extra-curricular "enrichment excursions."

What are the distribution requirements?
A total of 10 courses, including two 400-level seminars, ART 400 (the methods seminar), and ART 100.

What are the pre-reqs?
Any two courses in the department.