Sunday, January 1, 2017

Princeton University Art Museum: An On-Campus Collection That's Out of This World

by Drew Martin
New York and Philadelphia are two powerhouse art museum cities close enough apart for day trips and with respective collections ready to wow each other’s residents. As someone who lives in New Jersey, I feel a strong tug from both places. For the art lovers who shuttle back and forth I would like to point out the intimate but outstandingly Princeton University Art Museum midway between Manhattan and Philly, which should not be overlooked. Princeton University was established in 1746 and started to build up its collection of art in 1755, which is nearly a century before the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1850) and almost 40 years before the Louvre (1793). The Princeton University Art Museum has a lot of firsts, including the first John Singer Sargent portrait done in America and the first Vincent Van Gogh painting to make it to the Western hemisphere. It is a fantastic collection with more than 92,000 works of art from around the world that cover more than five thousand years of history. The admission is free and it is located on one of the prettiest and most prestigious colleges in America with a great downtown at the edge of campus. I did an afternoon trip there yesterday and spent a few hours in the museum. Here are some pictures I took while I tagged along with a tour, and wandered through the galleries on my own. Scroll through them to take a stroll through the collection: