January 2009 Archives

Princeton Atelier, 1996


Theater and opera director Peter Sellars working with students in the Princeton Atelier program, 1996.

The Princeton Atelier program was founded in 1994 by Toni Morrison, Nobel laureate and the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities Emeritus. The program brings professional artists to campus for intensive collaborative work with students and faculty. Collaborating Atelier artists select a project they want to explore and experiment with in the company of students before developing it for the professional art world.

Sellars said of his experience, “I want the students to see what it’s like to be a working artist. You get up in the morning, and there are no assignments. You’ve got to decide, what am I going to dedicate my life to on this day?”

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Photo courtesy of the Lewis Center for the Arts


Martin Luther King at Princeton, 1960


In 1960 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited the University in the company of Assistant Dean of the Chapel Carl Reimers and chapel deacons. He was invited to speak at Princeton by Ernest Gordon, dean of the Chapel.

Princeton will hold its annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King on Monday, January 19, 2009 in Richardson Auditorium of Alexander Hall.

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Photo courtesy of Princeton University Archives

Sculpture at Princeton


Workers assembling the sculpture "Head of a Woman" by Pablo Picasso, 1971.

Princeton's version of Picasso's original one-foot high sheet metal work "Head of a Woman," is nearly 16 feet high and was assembled in concrete by Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar who worked as an intermediary between Picasso and the University. The sculpture was located in front of McCormick Hall, home of the Princeton University Art Museum and the Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, from 1971 to 2002, and now sits on the lawn in front of Spelman Hall.

The piece is part of the Princeton University Art Museum's John B. Putnam, Jr., Memorial Collection of twentieth-century sculpture, which includes works by such modern masters as Jacques Lipshitz, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, and Isamu Noguchi.

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Photo courtesy of Princeton University Archives

Sculpture at Princeton: The Putnam Collection


Bicyclists ride past the shadow of the sculpture "Five Disks: One Empty" by Alexander Calder.

The sculpture is part of Princeton's Putnam Collection of twentieth-century sculpture. The collection, funded by an anonymous donor, is a memorial to John Putnam Jr. '45, who was killed in World War II.

Alfred Barr Jr. '22, a member of the Putnam selection committee and a longtime friend of Alexander Calder, approached the famed American artist to "discuss a monumental work designed especially for Princeton." After responding that he would find it "fun to make something especially for you, and quite big," Calder created the 26-foot-tall steel sculpture, which was installed in 1971 in Fine Hall Plaza.

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Photo courtesy of Princeton University Archives

Arts at Princeton Today


A student arm-deep in clay in a ceramics class at 185 Nassau. 

The same principle of teaching studio arts in the context of a liberal education applies today. The Program in Visual Arts at the Lewis Center offers courses in painting, drawing, photography, film and video, sculpture, installation and ceramics, and provides students access to such resources as darkrooms; a sculpture shop; a printmaking shop for lithography, etching and silk screening; computer labs for video editing, digital photography and graphics; as well as painting and drawing studios.

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Photo: Jon Roemer

Arts at Princeton: Sculpture in the 1940s

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Undergraduates work with a model in a sculpture class, 1949.

The Creative Arts program was founded at Princeton in 1939 “to allow the talented undergraduate to work in the creative arts under professional supervision while pursuing a regular liberal arts course of study, as well as to offer all interested undergraduates an opportunity to develop their creative faculties in connection with the general program of humanistic education.”

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Photo courtesy of Princeton University Archives