Undergraduate Courses

ART 100

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

Anna Arabindan-Kesson
Introduction to the history of art and to the discipline of art history. Not a comprehensive survey but a sampling of arts -- painting, sculpture, architecture, photography and prints -- and artistic practices from diverse historical periods, regions, and cultures. The course balances consideration of historical developments with attention to individual works of art. Faculty members of the Department of Art and Archaeology lecture in their fields of expertise; all precepts are held in the Princeton University Art Museum to facilitate direct engagement with works of art.
MW 10:00 am-10:50 am
ART 201 F2016 MK
ART 201ARC 205

Roman Architecture

Michael Koortbojian

This course will examine the architecture of the Romans, from its mythic beginnings (as recounted, for example, by Vitruvius) to the era of the high empire. Topics will include: city planning; the transformation of the building trades; civic infrastructure; and the full breadth of Roman structures, both public and private.

TTh 10:00 am-10:50 am
ART 213 music original
ART 213

Modernist Art: 1900 to 1950

Hal Foster

A critical study of the major movements, paradigms, and documents of modernist art from Post-Impressionism to the "Degenerate" art show. Among our topics: primitivism, abstraction, collage, the readymade, machine aesthetics, photographic reproduction, the art of the insane, artists in political revolution, anti-modernism. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

MW 9:00 am-9:50 am
ART 228
ART 228HLS 228 / MED 228 / HUM 228

Art and Power in the Middle Ages

Charlie Barber
Beatrice Kitzinger

In twelve weeks this course will examine major art works from the twelve centuries (300-1500 CE) that encompass the European Middle Ages. Presenting works from Europe and the Middle East, the course will introduce students to the art of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam; the great courts of the Eastern- and Holy Roman Empires, and the roving Vikings, Celts and Visigoths. Students will not only be invited to consider how art can represent and shape notions of sacred and secular power, but will also come to understand how the work of 'art' in this period is itself powerful and, sometimes, dangerous.

MW 11:00 am-11:50 am
ART 233 Mangone F2016
ART 233ARC 233

Renaissance Art and Architecture

Carolina Mangone

What was the Renaissance? This class explores the major artistic currents that swept northern and southern Europe from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries in an attempt to answer that question. In addition to considering key themes such as the revival of antiquity, imitation and license, religious devotion, artistic style, and the art market, we will survey significant works by artists and architects including Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo, Jan van Eyck, Dürer, and Michelangelo. Precepts will focus on direct study of original objects, with visits to Princeton's collections of paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, books and maps.

TTh 9:00 am-9:50 am
ART 248 McCauley F2016
ART 248

Photography's History from Analog to Digital

Elizabeth Anne McCauley

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

TTh 10:00 am-10:50 am
ART 260 Chika F2016
ART 260AAS 260 / AFS 260

Introduction to African Art

Chika Okeke-Agulu

An introduction to African art and architecture from prehistory to the 20th century. Beginning with Paleolithic rock art of northern and southern Africa, we will cover ancient Nubia and Meroe; Neolithic cultures such as Nok, Djenne and Ife; African kingdoms, including Benin, Asante, Bamun, Kongo, Kuba, Great Zimbabwe, and the Zulu; Christian Ethiopia and the Islamic Swahili coast; and other societies, such as the Sherbro, Igbo, and the Maasai. By combining Africa's cultural history and developments in artistic forms we establish a long historical view of the stunning diversity of the continent's indigenous arts and architecture.

Th 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm
ARC 308ART 328

History of Architectural Theory

Lucia Allais

This course offers a history of architectural theory, criticism, and historiography from the Renaissance to the present, emphasizing the texts, media and institutions that have supported architecture's claim to modernity since the late 17th Century. Architectural thought is examined in its social and cultural context as it relates both to the Western philosophical tradition and to design method and practice.

MW 10:00 am-10:50 am
art 325
ART 325

An Introduction to Prints and Drawings

Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann

This course will focus upon prints or drawings studied from original works of art. All periods of European art may be considered along with occasional Asian objects. Classes will be conducted in the Princeton University Art Museum, New York (museum and dealer and/or auction house), and possibly Washington D.C. (National Gallery of Art). For fall 2016 the course will study drawings from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.

M 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
aas 341 F2016
AAS 341ART 375

Enter the New Negro: Black Atlantic Aesthetics

Anna Arabindan-Kesson

Born in the late 1800s, the New Negro movement demanded political equality, desegregation, and an end to lynching, while also launching new forms of international Black cultural expression. The visionary modernity of its artists not only reimagined the history of the black diaspora by developing new artistic languages through travel, music, religion and poetry, but also shaped modernism as a whole in the 20th century. Incorporating field trips and sessions in the Princeton University Art Museum, this course explores Afro-modern forms of artistic expression from the late 19th-century into the mid-20th century.

MW 3:00 pm-4:20 pm
ART 344 IS F2016
ART 344

Topics in 20th-Century Art - Art and Politics: From Tatlin's Tower to Occupy

Irene V. Small

What is the political capacity of art? What is the aesthetic capacity of politics? This course examines key episodes, strategies, and formulations pertaining to the complex relationship between art and politics across the 20th century. Topics include experiments in radical abstraction and mass performance undertaken by the Russian avant-garde, the institutional politics of Mexican Muralism, painting and propaganda during the Cold War, guerilla interventions and military dictatorships, the AIDS crisis and artist activism, and recent social movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter.

TTh 7:30 am-8:50 pm
ART 360EAS 363

Imaging Worlds: Landscape Painting in China and Japan

Andrew Watsky
Cheng-Hua Wang

This course examines the prodigious output of paintings in China and Japan that depict the landscape, with an emphasis on the pre-modern period. For over a millennium, even up to the present day, painters have employed the subject of landscape to explore not only ideas of the natural world, but also reclusion, poetry, power, the sacred, and the creative possibilities of making marks with a brush. The course will visit the Art Museum often to study actual paintings. Students are encouraged to explore their own interests, including themes not covered in class.

T Th 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm
ART 374 Chika F 2016
AAS 372ART 374 / AMS 372

Postblack - Contemporary African American Art

Chika Okeke-Agulu

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

W 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
VIS 392ART 392

Issues in Contemporary Art

Deana Lawson

A required seminar for Art and Archaeology Program 2 majors and Program in Visual Arts certificate students emphasizing contemporary art practices and ideas. The course addresses current issues in painting, drawing, sculpture, film, video, photography, and performance installation. It includes a visiting artist lecture series, critiques of students' work, and excursions to galleries, museums and/or artists' studios.

T 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
ART 400 F2016
ART 400

Junior Seminar

Bridget Alsdorf
An introduction to a range of art-historical approaches and to the writings of key figures in the history of the discipline. Attention is also given to research and writing skills specific to the history of art.
W 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
ART 401
ART 401

Introduction to Archaeology

Deborah Vischak

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

M 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
ART 418
ART 418HLS 418 / CLA 418 / PAW 418

Antioch through the Ages - Archaeology and History

Alan M. Stahl

Antioch was unique among the great cities of the classical world for its position at the crossroads between the Mediterranean Sea and the Asian continent and for being a new foundation of the Hellenistic age that shrunk almost to insignificance in the modern era. Students in this course will get exclusive access to the archives and artifacts of the Princeton Antioch excavations of the 1930s. In the 2016 course, the focus will be on the theatre excavated in the Daphne region overlooking the city of Antioch, site of pagan performances well into the Christian era; students will study and report on its architecture, decor and use.

T 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
Art 430 Barber
ART 430HLS 430 / MED 430

Seminar. Medieval Art - The Icon

Charlie Barber

The topic for this seminar will be the icon, a medium that developed in Late Antiquity and that continues to be a major and influential form of painting. We will examine the history, function, theory and meaning of the icon, and will also examine the icon's influence upon the discourses of Modernism. A more practical aspect of this seminar is that participants will work with the Princeton University Art Museum's newly acquired collection of icon painter's preparatory drawings, preparing catalogue entries for a virtual exhibition of this material.

W 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
ART 440 B
ART 440

Seminar. Renaissance Art

Peter Parshall

Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Nature and Artifice. How do direct observation and aesthetic convention join to provide a compelling image of the phenomenal world? In his time Bruegel was seen to provide an unmediated record of his culture and surroundings, yet to us his art embraces two contradictory extremes: that of an acute observer of the natural world and human foible, and a caricature-like manner of rendering. Fully anticipated in its moment and yet wholly surprising, Bruegel presents with singular clarity a problem in the aesthetics of pictorial evidence. The seminar will study this problem through the sustained examination of works of art.

Th 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
ART 449 F2016b
ART 449COM 418


Leonard Barkan

A broadly based view of the artist's career, principally as seen through the writings of his first and most articulate fan, Giorgio Vasari, whose Lives of the Artists remains the founding classic of Art History. We will consider a wide range of works ranging within the complete Michelangelo corpus, including sculpture, painting, and architecture. Along the way, we will read Vasari carefully and compare what we see with what he saw; we will also have occasion to talk about what it means to read words about pictures.

T 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
ART 456 IS F2016
ART 456

Seminar. Contemporary Art

Irene V. Small

The World Picture. Investigates the global turn in contemporary art with a focus on international mega-exhibitions as a form of worldmaking. Case studies of key exhibitions and debates within the broader history, ranging from 19th century worlds fairs and the earliest biennales to the explosion of recurring mega-exhibitions in the 1990s and recent migrant and traveling biennales. How do such exhibitions both reproduce and resist the economic and political logic of globalization? What are the particular urgencies of constructing or negating a world picture from the perspective of "the global south"? Field trip to São Paulo Bienal, Brazil.

T 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
ART 494
ART 494

Willem de Kooning


This seminar addresses aspects of the work of the American artist Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) and in particular the relationships in de Kooning's practice between painting and drawing, and between abstraction and figuration. Working from the holdings of the Willem de Kooning Foundation, the seminar will prepare a small exhibition of his paintings and drawings to be shown at the Princeton University Art Museum. Assigned readings will comprise texts by critics, art historians, and the artist himself; and assigned writings will both be specific to works in the exhibition and will be on the broader issues addressed during the course.

M 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm