Lucy Partman

Ph.D., 2021
Postgraduate Research Associate
1N9 Green Hall


Ph.D., Princeton University, 2021

Lucy Partman is a transdisciplinary scholar, designer, and strategic advisor with leadership experience in a wide range of sectors, including education, business, fashion, and cultural institutions. Partman focuses on the visualization of knowledge in all domains (the virtual and everywhere else), how visuals operate in the production of knowledge, visual thinking, and sensory knowing. She is interested in developing new models through which understanding human experience can be the foundation of innovations and solutions to society's most important and complex challenges.

She is currently a postgraduate research associate in the Department of Art & Archaeology, where she created and now leads a new, experimental, and transdisciplinary course: "Looking Lab: Experiments in Visual Thinking & Thinking about Visuals." The Looking Lab asks questions and questions assumptions about how we as individuals and as humans more broadly engage with the visual world. In the Lab, practice and theory are not separate, but intertwined. It is a space of deep questioning and research as well as an incubator of ideas, technologies, and services rooted in humanistic questions and values. 

During her graduate studies at Princeton, Partman specialized in American art and visual culture, with a particular focus on the intersections of visual culture, science, philosophy, education, and performance. Her dissertation project centered on the life and work of nineteenth-century American artist, doctor, and educator Dr. William Rimmer. The project explored how his teaching and art were intimately interconnected and revealed Rimmer at the center of a complex and extensive network of individuals, institutions, and ideas. Through Rimmer, we can reimagine the vital role of art and education in society and the world. 

Partman has delivered talks and lectures on a variety of topics including the role of performance in John Singer Sargent's portrait practice; Arthur Wesley Dow's pedagogy; Norman Lewis's approach to abstraction; close looking at case histories and visuals of wounded Civil War soldiers in The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 1861–65; and the history of design and design thinking.

At the Princeton University Art Museum, Partman led the research, writing, and design of the interactive web component for Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment (2018): “The Ecology of an Exhibition: Behind the Scenes of Nature’s Nation.”

Prior to Princeton, Partman worked closely with chief curator Norman Kleeblatt at the Jewish Museum in New York. Among many projects and programs, she contributed extensive research to From the Margins: Lee Krasner | Norman Lewis, 1945–1952 (2014) and co-curated the exhibit John Singer Sargent’s Mrs. Carl Meyer and Her Children (2016). 

Partman graduated from Yale University in 2014 with honors in both the History of Art and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. While at Yale, she worked in paintings conservation and conducted research at the Yale Center for British Art. 

Partman is deeply engaged with the professional development of graduate students and academics. She was a long-term Graduate Teaching Fellow at the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning and a Senior University Administrative Fellow in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School. Partman has interviewed and advised many current and former graduate students as they navigate their education, projects, interests, and goals. She considers herself an "anthropologist" of graduate students and is passionate about innovating graduate education. Partman believes all graduate students and Ph.D.s can be agents of innovation, change, and leadership in the world.


Selected Publications

Author, “Sharing Our Stories” (aka “Why you should share the dissertation-writing process”) in Inside Higher Ed (5 October 2021)  

Author, “Norman Lewis: A Complex Conversation” in Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (November 2020)

Co-author with Norman L. Kleeblatt, “The Edge of Abstraction: Norman Lewis and the Joyner/Giuffrida Collection” in Four Generations: The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art (New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., 2016) edited by Courtney J. Martin