Thursday, February 18, 2010

Heading to the art museum

Well, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, And since we’ve no place to go, let’s head to the art museum.

This year has seen a renaissance in the Princeton Art Museum (PUAM). With the extending of the Museum’s hours on Thursday nights and a series of events planned over the first semester, more students have begun to take advantage of the University’s holdings in art and become engaged with the PUAM. Under the leadership of James Steward, the PUAM’s new director, and the organization of Elizabeth Lemoine ’09, the student outreach coordinator, these student activities, ranging from a scavenger hunt for a missing portrait of George Washington to a Nassau Street food tasting, have brought more students into the PUAM and begun to engage them with works of visual art.

During the coming spring, this interaction has the opportunity to grow even stronger as several exceptional exhibits arrive at the PUAM. The first two exhibits arrive this coming Saturday, February 20. The first exhibition, The Artist as Image, explores the representations of artistic identity in modern European and American art, highlighting works by Goya, Degas, Warhol, Chagall, and Cézanne. The Making of the Masterpiece: Nosadella’s Annunciation also opens on Saturday, providing students with an in-depth analysis of the artistic process that each work requires.

Later in the month, the PUAM features a show by Artistic Realization Technologies, which displays works by artists with physical disabilities and employs innovative techniques to help them express their creativity. Moreover, in early March, Architecture as Icon: Perception and Representation of Architecture in Byzantine Art will arrive at the PUAM. The first exhibition of its kind, this show will be devoted to the study of architectural representation in Byzantine art and challenges long-held assumptions in Western art history about the role and character of Byzantine art and architecture. Revolutionary in his reading of the formerly neglected architectural aspects of these works, Professor Slobodan Ćurčić of the Art and Archaeology Department curates this exhibit.

Building on the success of this fall’s student activities, these coming exhibits at the PUAM offer students the opportunity to expand their education and interact with some remarkable art within their own campus.

By Matt Butler '12, for Opinion.