AnnMarie Perl

Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer
Modern and Contemporary
(609) 258-6313
Email Address:
Office Location: 
1N-7 Green Hall


Ph.D., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 2014

AnnMarie Perl is an historian of modern and contemporary art. Her research focuses on how modern art relates to the larger culture, including through its formal, social and political dimensions, in different and related national contexts, especially those of France and the United States from the 1930s to the 1980s.

Prior to coming to Princeton, Perl was a Craig Hugh Smyth Fellow at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. At the Institute of Fine Arts, she was the co-organizer of the Artists at the Institute lecture series. She was also a doctoral fellow of the Remarque Institute at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris (fall 2012). Her research was previously supported by several fellowships and grants at New York University and has been conducted in museums, libraries, and public and private archives throughout Europe and the U.S., as well as through personal interviews in France and the U.S. She has presented her research at domestic and international conferences and symposia.  

She is currently working on two book projects. The first, titled The Integration of Showmanship into Modern Art, describes a phenomenon of the late 1930s to the early 1960s: through artistic collaboration and competition, showmanship became essential to modern art. This transformation ultimately occurred in France, where there were deep artistic traditions of political engagement, social criticism, and interplay with popular culture. The book takes seriously a category of artworks, which were taken seriously by artists, critics and the public in their own time, but that have since been neglected and dismissed as ‘spectacle.’ The second book, titled From Kitsch to Criticality: Jeff Koons and the American Avant-Garde, charts related shifts in two sets of key ideas and strategies within the American avant-garde from the 1930s to 1980s. Part intellectual history and part art history, the book takes the American artist Jeff Koons as its main case study and also provides an in-depth account of his development during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Teaching Interests

Perl has previously taught the Western Art survey course, spanning the Renaissance and contemporary periods, in the Department of Art History at New York University. At Princeton, she has taught Art 214, a survey of contemporary art from 1950 to the present, and an undergraduate seminar, titled ‘Supply-side aesthetics: American Art in the Age of Reagan,’ which is cross-listed with the Program in American Studies. Her courses emphasize first-hand examination of art objects and have included field trips to museum exhibitions and sites in New York City and Washington, D.C., as well as regular visits to the study rooms and galleries of the Princeton University Art Museum. In spring 2019, ‘Supply-side aesthetics’ will include class meetings with leading artists from the 1980s. Perl also advises undergraduate independent work, including senior theses in art history and studio art.

Publications List: 
Selected Publications

“‘A more public arena’:Jeff Koons’ Reinvention in the Midst of Reaganism,” Art History (forthcoming).

Mathieu, as seen from the United States, from the 1950s to today,” Georges Mathieu: Les années 1960–1970 (Paris: Galerie Templon, 2018), pp. 24–35.

In Focus: Meryon 1960-1 by Franz Kline, Tate Research Publication, 2017.

Defining Criticality as an Historical Object of the 1970s and 1980s,” in Beyond Critique: Contemporary Art in Theory, Practice and Instruction, eds. Pamela Fraser and Roger Rothman (New York: Bloomsbury, 2017), pp. 35–54. 

Succès de ‘scandale’ and Biblical scandal: Yves Klein’s debut performance of the Anthropometries in 1960,” in Thresholds 43: Scandalous, ed. Nathan Friedman and Ann Lui (Cambridge, Mass.: SA+P Press, MIT, School of Architecture + Planning, 2015), pp. 12–19, 362–371.

Co-authored with Assaf Naor, “Introduction,” in Art in the Life of Mathematicians, ed. Anna Kepes Szemerédi (Providence, Rhode Island: American Mathematical Society, 2015), pp. 1–7.

Ottoman miniatures and Hungarian woodcuts: a strata of representations in common,” Beyond Boundaries: East & West Cross-Cultural Encounters. Ed. Michelle Ying Ling Huang (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011), pp. 53–73.