Spring 2019

ART 102 D
ART 102ARC 102

An Introduction to the History of Architecture

Basile Baudez
Carolyn Yerkes

A survey of architectural history in the west, from ancient Egypt to 20th-century America, that includes comparative material from around the world. This course stresses a critical approach to architecture through the analysis of context, expressive content, function, structure, style, building technology, and theory. Discussion will focus on key monuments and readings that have shaped the history of architecture.

MW 11:00 am–11:50 am
FRS 102 BA
FRS 102

The Artist as Idea: Leonardo to Kara Walker

Bridget Alsdorf

What makes an artist an artist? What kind of person do we imagine when we hear the word "artist," and how have these ideas changed over time? This seminar will explore the myth of the artist in Europe and the U.S. from the Renaissance to the present. Beginning with the origins of artistic biography in the late 15th and 16th centuries, we will locate "the artist" as a conceptual construct in history, working towards current debates over biography's use and value in contemporary art history and criticism. Case studies will include Leonardo, Michelangelo, A. Gentileschi, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock, O'Keeffe, Warhol, and Walker.

T 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 214 E
ART 214

Contemporary Art: 1950–2000

Irene V. Small

A critical study of the major movements, paradigms, and documents of postwar art--abstract-expressionist, pop, minimalist, conceptual, process and performance, site-specific, etc. Special attention to crucial figures (e.g., Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Robert Smithson) and problems (e.g., "the neo-avant-garde", popular culture, feminist theory, political controversies, "postmodernism").

TTh 11:00 am–11:50 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 period ca. 300-1200 CE. Presenting works from Europe and the Middle East, and working with the Princeton collections in precept, 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 10:00 am–10:50 am
ART 267LAS 267 / ANT 366

Mesoamerican Art


This course explores the visual and archaeological world of ancient Mesoamerica, from the first arrival of humans in the area until the era of Spanish invasion in the early 16th century. Major culture groups to be considered include Olmec, Maya, and Aztec. Preceptorial sections will consist of a mix of theoretically-focused discussions, debate regarding opposing interpretations in scholarship, and hands-on work with objects in the collections of the Princeton University Art Museum.

TTh 10:00 am–10:50 am
ART 309 S19
ART 309CLA 309

The Romans' Painted World

Michael Koortbojian

The course will focus on the Romans' development of painted decoration for architectural spaces - and how they employed such painted forms to aggrandize those spaces illusionistically, so as to produce a visual world for the imagination.

MW 3:00 pm–4:20 pm
ART 310 cr
ART 310HLS 354 / MED 307 / REL 305

The Icon

Charlie Barber

In this class we will examine the history, function, theory and meaning of the icon. We will also examine the icon's influence upon the discourses of Modernism. A more practical aspect of this class is that participants in the course will work with the Princeton University Art Museum's icon collection and with its collection of icon painter's preparatory drawings. The class will provide participants with a broad grounding in questions pertaining to the icon.

TTh 1:30 pm–2:50 pm
ART 312 BB
ART 312 ARC 316 / URB 314 / FRE 312

The Art of Living

Basile Baudez

Water in the bathroom, gas in the kitchen, heat in the living room: what Western Europe and North America consider basic needs in obvious, purpose-based, domestic spaces are relatively new. All appeared between the late 17th and early 20th centuries. What dynamic between society and family that made the emergence of the apartment building possible? What motivated authorities and private developers to support public infrastructures, from sewage systems to street lights, gas and water networks? This course will provide students with tools to criticize the notion of domestic comfort, public efficiency, urbanism, and "progress."

MW 1:30 pm–2:50 pm
ART 323 cr
ART 323

World Art History

Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann

The class surveys connections in art of different cultures and continents throughout the world from the first civilizations to the present. Attention will be paid to distinctive and related forms of culture and their expression in art and architecture that includes trade, migration, gift exchanges, war and economics.

MW 11:00 am–12:20 pm
ART 362 AM
ART 362GSS 340

Fashion Photography, 1890 to the Present: Sex, Lies, and the Construction of Desire

Anne McCauley

This historical survey considers why photographs of models wearing the latest clothes replaced drawn illustrations starting in the late nineteenth century and how the styles and content of fashion photographs reflect changing camera, lighting, and printing technologies; the structure of the garments themselves; national ideals of beauty and gender presentation; and the economics of publishing and advertising. Topics also include the studio as theatrical space; fashion photography in the developing and non-Western worlds; and the recent expansion of the ethnicities, ages, body types, and gender identities of models in fashion spreads.

MW 11:00 am–12:20 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
ART 384 S18
ART 384AMS 394

Supply-side Aesthetics: American Art in the Age of Reagan

AnnMarie Perl

This course investigates the art and the aesthetics of the age of Reagan and Reaganism with an eye toward the present. How did supply-side economics transform the art world and art itself during the 1980s? How did certain period styles propagate Reaganism? Drawing on artworks from the PU Art Museum, art criticism, cultural criticism, political journalism, and an emerging history, we study critically sanctioned as well as controversial artistic movements of the period, including Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti Art, and Commodity Art, asking what this art can teach us about the age, in which an entertainer-turned-politician was elected president.

M 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 395

The Ancient Egyptian Body

Deborah Vischak

In this course we will examine ancient Egyptian art and architecture (primarily from the pharaonic period, c. 3000 BCE to c. 1000 BCE) using the body as a visual and conceptual theme. Utilizing art historical and archaeological methods, we will analyze sculpture, relief, painting, drawing, and architecture, as well as objects used to adorn and encase bodies both living and dead, emphasizing the context and interrelationships of these materials as they relate to the body and the corporeality of Egyptian society and culture.

MW 11:00 am–12:20 pm
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 students pursuing the Certificate in Archaeology. Open to all, no prerequisites.

M 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 418b
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 2019 course, the focus will be on the Bath F Complex, the site of the greatest concentration of materials datable to the transition from the classical and late antique periods to the Islamic era.

T 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
IMG_6737 cropped
ART 429EAS 429

Visual Japan, Past and Present

Andrew Watsky


This seminar examines the visual arts over the course of Japan's history and, especially, how contemporary Japan makes use of its visual past. The primary focuses are painting, sculpture, architecture, and ceramics, though literature also plays a prominent role. Each week's session is designed to cover an aspect of Japan's visual cultures and build a base of knowledge upon which students will engage Japan, in Japan, over spring break. The seminar will travel to Japan and, based in Kyoto and Tokyo, will visit many of the sites of art studied in Princeton, including temples, museums, and ceramic studios.
F 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 440
ART 440

Seminar. Renaissance Art

Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann

This seminar considers the "Renaissance" as a phenomenon of the courts of Europe, c.1450-1620. Collecting, celebrations, patronage, buildings, and decoration will be discussed. Art and architecture in Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Central Europe will be considered.

T 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 450 BA rs
ART 450FRE 408

Seminar. 19th-Century European Art

Bridget Alsdorf

Self and Society in 19th-Century French Painting. The 19th century saw the rise of modern "individualism." This seminar investigates how this turn towards the self was made manifest in painting, while also attending to the ways artists resisted isolation and narcissism in their work. Artists include David, Ingres, Courbet, Bonheur, Manet, Monet, Cassatt, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Cézanne. Topics include self-portraiture, group portraiture, the representation of artistic communities and social relationships, and the artist's studio as a space of individual privacy and sociability. Field trips to museums in NYC and Philadelphia.

Th 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 476
HIS 463ART 476

Rivals and Reactionaries in the Early Modern World

Carolyn Yerkes
Yaacob Dweck

Knowledge is produced by people in conflict. In this course we will read across the seventeenth century's broad intellectual currents to consider artistic, philosophic, and historical knowledge as products of opposition and rivalry. What does it mean to stake out a radical or a conservative position in the seventeenth century? Can one be a reactionary without a concept of progress? Does the concept of progress exist in Europe before the Enlightenment? What role does representation play in these issues? We will investigate major figures including Hobbes, Spinoza, Descartes, Perrault, Rubens, and Velazquez.

M 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ARt 467 IS
ART 467LAS 413

Museum as Laboratory: Experimental Art Practices in Latin America and Beyond

Irene V. Small

Museums have long disciplined conducts and framed ways of seeing through the production and reproduction of dominant values. But can they also act as instruments of transformation, even emancipation? This course investigates the museum and the exhibition as sites of experimentation within the overlapping spheres of art, society, and technology, with particular focus on their implications and enactment in Latin America. Key components will be hands-on work with the collections of Latin American art in the Princeton University Art Museum and Marquand and Firestone Libraries, as well as visits to museums and artist's studios in New York.

T 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 495
ART 495VIS 496

Contemporary Art: Trying Out Positions

Joseph S. Scanlon

Artists have long deployed language as a kind of satellite hovering in the vicinity of their artworks, influencing their reception. The style and method of this language varies greatly and does not always match the accompanying work. This studio seminar will engage students in contemporary art theory and practice by taking up this critical aspect of its making: The artist producing language that stakes out a position in relation to their studio work. Focus will be on four artists including Kevin Beasley, Bruce Nauman, Amy Sillman, and a final artist to be determined.

Th 12:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 501 F2016
ART 502B

The Graduate Seminar

Chika Okeke-Agulu

This course is intended to ensure a continuing breadth of exposure to contemporary art-historical discourse and practices. It requires attendance and participation in the department lecture/seminar series. Students must take the course sequentially in each of their first four semesters and take the appropriate letter version of the course (A,B,C,or D) based on their semester of study. The course is taken in addition to the normal load of three courses per semester and is for first- and second-year graduate students only. Topics discussed cover all fields of Art History and address current questions and practices.

Th 4:30:00 pm–06:00 pm
ART 537 S17
ART 537MED 500

Seminar in Medieval Art - 'Influence' and Innovation

Beatrice Kitzinger

The course explores the vexed concept of "influence" in medieval art through case studies involving exchange between Eastern/Western Christian, Jewish, Pagan, and Islamic traditions. The seminar proceeds as a research workshop: each unit requires students to prepare a research agenda, present initial findings, and contribute to the course bibliography. In lieu of a single paper, students may compile a portfolio of short critical essays with a general introduction/conclusion. Readings balance historical and contemporary approaches to exceptionally complex monuments, along with theoretical texts drawn both from art history and other fields. 

NB: SPRING BREAK TRAVEL REQUIRED. We will spend the break on excursion in Northern Italy and Switzerland; the course content this year will be adjusted accordingly. Please email bkitzinger@princeton.edu for further information.

M 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 542
ART 542

Art and Society in Renaissance Italy - Michelangelo

Carolina Mangone

This course examines Italian Renaissance sculpture through works by Michelangelo, the period's most paradigmatic and polarizing artist. An innovator across many arts, he nonetheless identified as a sculptor alone. Michelangelo's proclivity for sculpture-especially in marble-invites us to reexamine his sculpture and practice from multiple vantages: its dialogue with antiquity, its challenge to painting's primacy, its relationship to architecture, its conception of the body, its dialogue with poetry, its materiality, and its reception and reformulation by contemporary artists and theorists alike.

W 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 567 McCauley F2016
ART 567MOD 567

Seminar in History of Photography - The Amateur Photographer: From the Invention to the Selfie

Anne McCauley

The concept of the "amateur" has played an outsized role in the history of photography. This seminar considers the types of photographs taken by amateurs during the past 150 years as well as the social and economic forces that led to amateurs' elevated status. Topics include the Victorian amateur; art photography movements, clubs, and exhibitions in the late 19th- early 20th centuries; the snapshooter and family photography; the Worker Photography movement of the 1920s-30s; exchanges between amateur and professional/fine arts photographers; and digital technologies that have transformed everyone into an amateur photographer.

M 1:30 pm–4:20 pm
ART 574
ART 574

Seminar in Japanese Art and Archaeology - Painting Painting, Japan

Andrew Watsky

Historically Japanese painters worked in modes based on previous paintings: idioms associated with subject matter, national source, and formal qualities. Yamatoe, or "Japanese painting," first identified paintings depicting indigenous landscapes and came to be associated with an array of formal characteristics and native subjects. Karae, or "Tang painting," indicated styles and subjects associated with China. A mode often endured for centuries, even as new ones appeared (such as Yoga, or "Western painting"). This longevity and concurrence had many consequences, including the creation of hybrids that remade meaning.

T 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm
ART 599
ART 599CLA 597 / PAW 599 / HLS 599

The Greek House

Nathan Arrington

A study of the archaeology of the Greek house (Early Archaic huts through Hellenistic palaces). Emphasis on the close reading of archaeological sites and assemblages and the integration of literary with material evidence. Topics include the discovery of houses, the identification of farms, the integration of the house with urban plans and natural landscapes, the organization and use of space, gender, domestic economies, and religious practice. Attention devoted to social, political, and regional dynamics; to the concept of the "private" in ancient Greece; and to questioning the heuristic value of the term "house".

T 9:00:00 am–11:50 am