Undergraduate Courses

ART 100 G
ART 100

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


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 204 B
ART 204CLA 204 / HLS 204

Greek Archaeology: The Classical Period

Nathan Arrington

A survey of the material culture of the Greek world, from the Persian invasions until the death of Alexander the Great (ca. 500-323 BC). Works analyzed in their social, political, and archaeological contexts. Topics include: urbanism and the Greek house; the concept of the artist in antiquity; the archaeology of death; the divine image. Study of monuments, artifacts, and sites integrated with the reading of primary literary sources. Frequent hands-on experience with artifacts in the Princeton University Art Museum.

MW 11:00 am - 11:50 am
ART 210 G
ART 210

Italian Renaissance Painting and Sculpture

Lisa Bourla

Lectures will examine the birth, rise and flowering of Italian Renaissance art in Tuscany, Rome and Venice from about 1250 to 1600 A.D., with emphasis on the 15th and 16th centuries. Artists and works of art will be presented, whenever possible and relevant, within their cultural, political, social, technological and/or economic circumstances. Among the major artists to be studied: Giotto, Ghiberti, Donatello, Masaccio, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian.


TTh 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm
ART 213 music cropped
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 217 B
ART 217

The Arts of Japan

Andrew Watsky

ART 217 surveys the arts of Japan from the pre-historic period through the present day. Painting, sculpture, and architecture form the core of study, though we will also examine the critical role of other forms, including calligraphy, lacquer, and ceramics. Throughout the course we will take close account of the broader cultural and historical contexts in which art was made. Our topics include the ongoing tension in Japanese art between the foreign and the indigenous, the role of ritual in Japan's visual arts, the re-uses of the past, the changing loci of patronage, and the formats and materials of Japanese art.

MW 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm
ART 228
ART 228HLS 228 / MED 228 / HUM 228

Art and Power in the Middle Ages

Charlie Barber

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 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm
ART 245
AAS 245ART 245

Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movements

Chika Okeke-Agulu

This course surveys important moments in 20th-Century African American art from the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s to the 1960s Black Arts movement. Our close studies of the work of major artists will be accompanied by examination of influential theories and ideologies of blackness during two key moments of black racial consciousness in the United States. We shall cover canonical artists and writers such as Aaron Douglas, James van der Zee, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, W. E. B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, James Porter and Jeff Donaldson.

TTh 11:00 am - 12:20 pm
ART 272cr
ART 272

Rage against the Machine: Art and Politics in America

Rachael Z. DeLue

From the toppling of a statue of King George in New York in 1776 to the super PAC "For Freedoms" founded by artists in 2016, art and politics in America have gone hand in hand, and understanding the history of American art requires a deep dive into the history of American politics. With the current political landscape as both backdrop and incitement, this course considers the history of intersections between art and politics in the United States, from the revolutionary era to the present, and examines how artists have engaged the political sphere and produced political art in order to express critique, accommodation, resistance, and rage.

TTh 10:00 am - 10:50 am
art 308F17
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.

TTh 11:00 am - 11:50 am
ART 348
ART 348

Masters and Movements of 20th-Century Photography

Elizabeth Anne McCauley

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

TTh 11:00 am - 12:20 pm
ART 356 F17cr
ART 356EAS 367

Landscape and the Visual Arts in China (Tenth Century to the Twentieth Century)

Cheng-hua Wang

This course focuses on the genre of landscape in Chinese painting, prints, and photography from the tenth century to modern times. Landscape was the most revered genre of painting in pre-modern China; it has shaped most of the discourses on art in later Chinese history and still features prominently in contemporary artistic creation and theory. This course examines the issues associated with landscape art, including the tradition and global relevance of ink landscape painting, the relationship of painting with prints and photography, travel and mapping as landscape themes, and the associations among landscape, place, and territory.

MW 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm
ART 400 F2017
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 419LAS 399

Theory, History, and Practice of Textiles: The Andes


How many minutes of your day are spent with some form of textile touching your skin? And yet, what do you really know about them? This seminar will introduce you to the theory, history and practice of making textiles through the lens of the ancient Andes. You will experiment extensively with technologies human societies have used for spinning, dyeing, and weaving in an art historical laboratory setting, and use these experiences to shed insight on the collection of ancient Andean textiles in the Princeton University Art Museum. You and your classmates will collaboratively design, weave, and complete a tapestry over the course of the semester.

M 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
ART 428 F17cr
ART 428EAS 428

Song Dynasty Painting

Cheng-hua Wang

The Song Dynasty has long been considered the high point of Chinese painting, representing a classical period to which later artists consistently looked back.This seminar will explore the artistic qualities and development of landscape, figure, and flower-and-bird painting and will consider main issues concerning these genres. Such issues include the relative importance of different genres, the relationship between the natural and the human world, the roles of the court and literati in producing art, and the materiality and visuality of Song painting.

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

Seminar. Medieval Art - Emperors, Angels, and Martyrs: Bodies in Byzantium

Charlie Barber

This course will explore the modes and meanings of representations of different types of bodies in the art of the East Roman Empire (ca. 700 to 1453). Weekly meetings will center around a group of readings and images that focus on a particular type of body within the Byzantine world. The course will begin with the imperial body, cover Christ, martyrs, and saints, and conclude with the bodies of Byzantine and modern viewers. The textual and visual material in discussion will prompt students to think critically about the relationship between historical and represented bodies and the kinds of signification the body was and is made to bear.

T 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
Art 440 students in Museo Bargello
ART 440

Renaissance Art

Maryan Ainsworth

Once the realm of a small group of connoisseurs, object-based art history has been transformed over the last century through the technical examination of works of art. Researchers from the fields of art history, conservation, and conservation science are working together in an interdisciplinary manner to evaluate art objects in a field now called technical art history. This course entails a holistic approach to the study of Northern Renaissance paintings that aims to unite art historical concerns with in-depth technical examination of works of art in the Princeton Art Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Th 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm