Fall 2022

Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2022

An Introduction to the History of Art: Meanings in the Visual Arts
Introduction to the histories of art and the practice of art history. You will encounter a range of arts (including painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, prints) and artistic practices from diverse historical periods, regions, and cultures. Faculty members of the Department of Art and Archaeology lecture in their fields of expertise; precepts balance hands-on work, readings, and student projects. Coursework is designed to encourage students to apply the methods and questions of art history to explore the Princeton community. We pay particular attention to the various forms of art and engagement.
Instructors: Samuel Holzman
Looking Lab: Experiments in Visual Thinking and Thinking about Visuals
It can be remarkably easy to take the process of looking for granted. Each day, humans contend with an onslaught of visual information. Education primarily focuses on teaching people how to read, write, and deal with numbers. But what about learning how to look closely and critically at images, at the world around us, and at ourselves? In this transdisciplinary course, we will question common assumptions and our own about looking; interrogate the anatomy and physiology of vision; develop our looking muscles; practice visual problem-solving strategies; and together design new tools to help people engage with the visual world.
Instructors: Lucy Partman
Roman Architecture
An introduction to the architecture of the Romans from the 8th century BCE through the 4th century CE. This course will provide an historical overview of the subject, analyzing how new building designs and technologies became, over time, standard Roman practice, alongside close studies of exceptional monuments in the city of Rome. Topics will include: city planning; engineering technique; acquisition of building materials; the transformation of the building trades; and the full breadth of Roman structures from houses to temples.
Instructors: Michael Koortbojian
European Art: Revolutions and Avant-Gardes
A broad study of European painting and sculpture from the French Revolution to 1900 with special attention to social, political, and cultural shifts. Themes include art and political turmoil, imperial conquest, the rise of landscape painting, the politics of the nude, and the birth of modernism. Emphasis on major movements, including Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism, and artists including David, Canova, Goya, Vigée-Lebrun, Turner, Courbet, Manet, Monet, Degas, Rodin, Van Gogh, and Cézanne. This class was formerly known as "Neoclassicism through Impressionism."
Instructors: Bridget Alsdorf
Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art
This course focuses on key issues of 20th and 21st c. Latin American art. A thematic survey and general methodological introduction, we will treat emblematic works and movements, from Mexican muralism and Indigenism to experiments with abstraction, pop, conceptualism, and performance. Questions discussed include: What is Latin American art? What is modernism in Latin America? What is the legacy of colonialism? How do Latin American artists engage transnational networks of solidarity under conditions of repression? How can postcolonial, decolonial, and feminist theory illuminate the art and criticism produced in and about Latin America?
Instructors: Irene Small
Renaissance Art and Architecture
What was the Renaissance, and why has it occupied a central place in art history? Major artistic currents swept Europe during the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries, an age that saw the rise of global trade, the development of the nation state, and the onset of mass armed conflict. To explore the art of this period, we consider themes including religious devotion, encounters with foreign peoples and goods, the status of women, and the revival of antiquity. We study artists including Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci as well as some who may be less familiar. Precepts visit campus collections of paintings, prints, drawings, and maps.
Instructors: Carolina Mangone, Carolyn Yerkes
The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
Behind the awe-inspiring monuments, the complex religious cults, and the intimations of wealth and a taste for the good life found in the surviving remnants of ancient Egypt lie real people concerned with spirituality, economics, politics, the arts, and the pleasures and pains of daily life. In this course, we will examine the art and architecture created in the ancient Egyptian landscape over 4 millennia, as well as the work of archaeologists in the field, including up-to-the-minute finds from on-going excavations.
Instructors: Deborah Vischak
The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Art of the Golden Age
This class surveys painting, sculpture, architecture and the graphic arts of the Low Countries (Belgium and Holland) from 1580-1750 in relation to art elsewhere in Europe and the world. Dutch art is seen in relation to its historical circumstances, including cross-cultural developments in Europe, Asia and Americas. Use of the Princeton University Art Museum with visits to New York.
Instructors: Thomas Kaufmann
Byzantine Art
This course introduces the student to the art of the Byzantine Empire from ca. 800 to ca. 1200. Byzantine art has often been opposed to the traditions of western naturalism, and as such has been an undervalued or little-known adjunct to the story of medieval art. In order to develop a more sophisticated understanding of our visual evidence, this course will stress the function of this art within the broader setting of this society. Art theory, the notions of empire and holiness, the burdens of the past and the realities of contemporary praxis will be brought to bear upon our various analyses of material from all media.
Instructors: Charlie Barber
Photography of Violence and the Violence of Photography
Photography and violence have been entwined for as long as there have been photos. These images pose questions about the past and present: What are the ethics of global representations of war, so-called natural disasters, and other atrocities? How have violent pictures particularly shaped US culture? What does it mean to bear witness through photographs? Grounded in visual analysis of complex and disturbing images such as photographs of enslaved people and photographs of victims of the Holocaust, this class will engage in rigorous conversations about the meaning, circulation, and power of photos.
Instructors: Katherine Bussard
The Arts and Archaeology of the Chinese Court
In China, denizens of the imperial court--emperors and entertainers, mighty and low-class, and the ministers who administered the realm in the middle--populated the court praxis of the arts. This course studies the courtly arts, from the rule of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang to the Empress Dowager Cixi in the early 20th century. It will show how these artworks were made and used in changing historical contexts and became an important legacy of Chinese culture. It particularly emphasizes the archaeology of early imperial tombs.
Instructors: Chao-Hui Jenny Liu, Cheng-hua Wang
Monsters Beware! Otherness and Order in Premodern Art and Literature
Monsters, imagined as occupying the margins of reality and patrolling its borders, teach us about the cultures that engendered them. This seminar investigates the kinds of monsters represented in premodern art and literature and asks what these texts and objects do, how they work, and what relationships they generate with their readers and beholder. It considers how different societies aligned monstrosity with excessive creatures, unwanted persons, and aberrant behaviors to establish order: natural, social, religious and political. By examining the historical formation of cultural categories, it probes the mechanisms that define otherness.
Instructors: Carolina Mangone, Simone Marchesi
Junior Seminar
The Junior Seminar is an introduction to the myriad subjects, methods, and strategies of art history. The course examines the different kinds of evidence and methodological tools that have been used to identify, explain, and contextualize works of art as well as other kinds of objects, artifacts, and cultural phenomena. In other words, this seminar considers what art historians do, and how and why they do it. In addition, majors will learn how to use resources such as the library and the museum, and how to undertake substantive written research projects. Students begin their Junior Independent Work in this seminar.
Instructors: Beatrice Kitzinger
Ethics in Archaeology
This seminar will explore ethical issues in the study and practice of archaeology, cultural resource management, museum studies, and bioarchaeology. Students are expected to substantively contribute to class discussions on a weekly basis, as well as to lead the discussion of one set of readings. Weekly seminars will be accompanied by a group midterm debate on an assigned ethical issue and an individual final research project (with a class presentation and 20-minute final conversation with Prof. Kay).
Instructors: Janet Kay
Seminar. Medieval Art: The Icon
The topic for this class will be the icon, a medium that developed in Late Antiquity and that continues to be a major and influential form of painting. Although, in theory, the term is broad, we will understand it to mean the panel painting of a religious subject. 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 icons and drawings in the Princeton University Art Museum and with the Sinai Archive.
Instructors: Charlie Barber
Seminar. 19th-Century European Art: Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: New Approaches
Course examines recent scholarship and exhibitions that have shifted understandings of French impressionist and post-impressionist art. Artists include Monet, Manet, Degas, Cassatt, Morisot, Van Gogh, Seurat, Cézanne, and Valadon. Topics include the global diffusion of impressionism, intersubjectivity and collaboration, women artists, pop culture spectacles, technical analysis of materials, the blockbuster, and revisionary approaches to museum displays. Students have the opportunity to converse with scholars and curators whose work is breaking new ground in this field. Course includes two field trips to museums in New York.
Instructors: Bridget Alsdorf
Egyptian Architecture: The Monumental Landscape
In this seminar we will examine a variety of forms of ancient Egyptian architecture, primarily from the pharaonic period, through the lense of landscape. We will examine god's temples, funerary temples, and burial monuments within the larger context of their settings, including the surrounding landscape and their relationships to other monuments. A number of themes will be addressed, including the sacred landscape, architecture as microcosm, architecture and performance, ancestry and memory, the temporality of landscape and monument, and locality and community.
Instructors: Deborah Vischak
Making Exhibitions: 17th-Century Flemish Paintings at Princeton
The goal of this class is to develop focus exhibitions that might be mounted in the new Princeton University Art Museum, slated to open in 2024. Taking the 17th-century Flemish paintings in the collection as our point of departure, we will examine and research the works selected for exhibition; discuss the types of exhibitions we want to pursue; meet with PUAM colleagues to glean information and guidance in our planning; and write loan letters, wall texts and label copy. By the end of the semester, we should have viable projects to present for consideration to the Museum's administration.
Instructors: Ronni Baer
Narrative and Visuality in China
This class explores the relationship between visual and verbal media. How is poetic vision not only given shape in words, but also in painting? Conversely, how is the beauty of women, a staple of portraiture, captured in words? How can a still picture express narrative in a medium that develops over time, and conversely how can words capture the spectacle of a martial arts action scene? We will answer these questions by investigating some of the most famous novels, paintings, poems, and prints, beginning with didactic paintings preaching Confucian values and ending with the birth of modern media such as animation and computer graphics.
Instructors: Paize Keulemans, Cheng-hua Wang

Graduate Courses

Fall 2022

Proseminar in the History of Art
A course concerned both with the theoretical foundations of Western art history as a modern discipline and with the methodological innovations of the last few decades.
Instructors: Anna Kesson, Irene Small
The Graduate Seminar
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.
Instructors: Andrew Watsky
Studies in Greek Architecture: Pytheos and His World
This seminar searches for a pivotal figure in the history of Greek architecture, Pytheos, designer of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the temple of Athena at Priene. This sculptor turned architect, theorist and critic offers a foothold for exploring trends of the late classical and early hellenistic world, including revivals and canons, grid-designed Rasterarchitektur, and colossal sepulchers in an age of emergent kingship. This course also reflects on the afterlife of Pytheos' theories on architectural education and the reception of the Mausoleum from early modern Europe to post-Civil War America.
Instructors: Samuel Holzman
The Geography of Art: World Art History
This seminar considers the possibilities of global art history: theory, method, and practice. Issues are treated in relation to the historiography and geography of art.
Instructors: Thomas Kaufmann
Seminar in American Art: Science and Its Fictions in the Long Nineteenth Century
This seminar explores the intersection of scientific inquiry and fiction manifested in image-making within the arts and sciences in Europe and North America, ca. 1750-1915. This includes fictions to which science or pseudo-science gave rise, such as the fantasy of polygenesis or the hollow earth theory; fictionalized accounts of scientific practice, such as exploration narratives or the genre of science fiction; and fiction as an essential mode of knowledge within scientific inquiry and visualization, as with natural history illustration or scientific models. Visits to area collections and institutions will be an integral part of the seminar
Instructors: Rachael DeLue
Seminar in Japanese Art and Archaeology: Painting Painting, Japan
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.
Instructors: Andrew Watsky