The latest recommended reading from Museum Director James Steward is John Updike’s Always Looking: Essays on Art (Knopf, 2012). James says, “The great novelist and short story writer wrote regularly, incisively, and brilliantly on art and exhibitions. This posthumously published collection—the third and last in a series—brings together essays that are remarkably elegant even as they reveal a novelist’s psychological concerns, driving the reader’s eye from work to work. Updike proves a remarkably engaging guide; highly recommended at a time when armchair travel truly matters, even as the author engages with artists—Copley, Homer, Eakins, Degas, and more—whose meaning never diminishes.” (Out of print but available online and remaindered from Labyrinth Books.)
Shahzia Sikander's Quintuplet Effect and Ecstasy as Sublime, Heart as Vector
This twelve-minute short film offers a behind-the-scenes view into the making of two spectacular, site-specific works on the Princeton campus by the internationally acclaimed artist Shahzia Sikander. Soaring above the forum of the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building, Quintuplet Effect’s layered images of flight, descent, material economies, and spiritual transcendence invite contemplation and conversation. Nearby, a shimmering, sixty-six-foot-high glass and ceramic scroll entitled Ecstasy as Sublime, Heart as Vector takes visitors on a journey from the mortal bonds of humanity to the realm of abstraction.
Transforming Landscapes: Memory and Slavery across the Americas
Students in Professor Anna Arabindan-Kesson’s course “Seeing to Remember: Representing Slavery across the Black Atlantic” curated this installation, which includes artworks from the eighteenth century to the present day in the United States and the Caribbean. The works represent both the lived realities of enslavement and the aftermath of plantation life. While some of the scenes may be more familiar representations of slavery than others, all the objects are imbued with emotional, corporeal, and generational memories of slavery.
Children home? Missing the Museum? Download our free Art for Families art-making activities that families can enjoy anywhere. This week learn about Monet’s water lilies.
Student Advisory Board
#dailydose of art
“This Etruscan hair ring from the seventh century B.C. helps me find calm and widen my perspective during times of overwhelming uncertainty. An example of beautifully detailed craftsmanship which has survived over 2600 years, this piece of jewelry shines as a beacon of resilience.”
Click here to read a wonderful meditation on this hair ring with female heads written by Grace Rocker ’23.
While Princeton University students are learning remotely, members of our Student Advisory Board stay connected with #dailydose, a series of personal responses to artworks in the Museum’s collections. To read each one daily, follow the SAB on Facebook or Instagram.
Chinese, Northern Song dynasty, 960–1127, Li Gongnian, active early 12th century, Winter Evening Landscape (detail), ca. 1120. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of DuBois Schanck Morris, Class of 1893
Claude Monet, Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge, 1899. Princeton University Art Museum. From the Collection of William Church Osborn, Class of 1883, trustee of Princeton University (1914–1951), president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; given by his family
Etruscan, Hair ring with female heads, 7th century B.C. Princeton University Art Museum. Museum purchase, Classical Purchase Fund