Andrew J. Hamilton  Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows


Andrew J. Hamilton

Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of FellowsAndean Art and Architecture


Ph.D., Harvard University, 2014

Andrew Hamilton specializes in Andean art and architecture. He is currently preparing a book manuscript, Scale and the Incas, that examines the conceptual role of scale in Inca material culture and built environments. This work reasons that scale was a fundamental element of the Inca worldview, shaping their cognitive orientation, belief systems, social organizations, and interpretations of the sacred. In so doing, this research reexamines Euro-American understandings of miniatures, figurines, models, toys, and other academic categorizations of objects of unusual scale. He is also creating the color plates for the work, a corpus of analytical illustrations presenting the scaled relationships between scaled artifacts and their referent objects.

Hamilton has previously been a chercheur in Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale in the Collège de France in Paris supported by the Fondation Fyssen. He has also been a fellow at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, a visiting fellow at the Sainsbury Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, a junior fellow at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., and an Alianza-Mayer fellow at the Denver Art Museum.  In addition, he has conducted extensive research at the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin and at archaeological sites and museums throughout Peru on a Fulbright Fellowship. He first lived in Peru on post-graduate fellowships from Yale University in 2005, working with highland weavers in the Cusco region.

Teaching Interests

Andrew Hamilton lectures on Andean art from the Pre-Columbian period. His courses are taught using objects in the collection of the Princeton University Art Museum, providing students with the opportunity to handle and examine artifacts firsthand. He also teaches more theoretically-oriented seminars on scale, examining different ways artists and makers invoke scale in the creation of works, as well as the ways scale shapes viewers’ appreciations of objects, structures, and spaces.

Current Research

In addition to his book Scale and the Incas, Hamilton is preparing a monograph on the Dumbarton Oaks Tunic. New research suggests that the tunic—long recognized as a royal Inca tunic and one of the most important cultural artifacts of the Andean world—was most likely being woven for the last Inca emperor at the time of the conquest. Hamilton is also keenly interested in online databases and digitally connecting artifacts across institutional and international boundaries