My first time entering a museum as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to pull back, opening up greater opportunities for experiencing normal life, was an interesting one. I returned home to Los Angeles, California and visited the Getty Villa Museum in the hills of the Pacific Palisades. The Getty Villa is a full-scale recreation and replica of a Roman country house populated with artifacts that have been excavated and collected from Italy such as statues and pottery. It is truly a marvelous experience to be there because visitors feel as if they have stepped from their world into one of the past.
The fact that the Museum lets students get access to works that are not even on display is amazing, and the fact that they have such high quality works to show students made me incredibly impressed and excited to be an Art History major after that day.
I talked to Amy Torres, a fellow art history major in the class of 2022. Read on to hear her insights on art during quarantine, her memories at the Princeton University Art Museum, and more!
I caught up with Charlotte Root, an Art and Archeology major in the class of 2022. We talked about her favorite memory of the Princeton University Art Museum, her favorite object from the collection, how she has stayed connected to art in quarantine, and her hopes for the new Art Museum.
In retrospect, maybe it was the mischievous adventure of the event, maybe it was the attention I received in that moment over my sibling rivals, but every moment, out the door of the apartment, down the streets, into the museum’s elevator, and from one end of the massive painting to the next—I think we looked at it for 20 minutes, and even that felt rushed—was magic.
eing away from campus and adapting to a lifestyle of social distancing has changed my way of thinking about how to conscientiously inhabit space with or without others. One of my favorite Princeton University Art Museum exhibits, Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment (2018), is resonating with me in new ways right now. I’ve always loved living in the city, but during the pandemic I’ve been lucky to be able to spend most of my time in rural New Hampshire. Usually, I learn to love a place because of the people who make it feel like home, so it feels very different to develop an appreciation for a place precisely because it offers isolation.
In light of the systemic oppression and discrimination brought to light by the Black Lives Matter movement, SAB member Brian Gitahi takes a look at some of the unseen peoples living in Kenya and art-making at the Kakuma Refugee Camp through the Artists for Refugees project.
The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum just outside of Boston is where I learned to ride a bike as a kid. Its wide-open space made it the perfect spot for a small child to whiz along unhampered. I rediscovered this haven for the first time in many years during a family birthday picnic on Sunday. The atmosphere at the park has changed slightly – visitors move with caution, donning masks and skirting each other on pathways. There’s a two-hour time limit on each visit to reduce density in the park. But despite these reminders of our new COVID world, the sculptures, many of which have been there as long as I can remember, emanate a sense of solidity and peace.
My interest in analog photography, and a class I took last semester on German Media Theory segued into a desire to learn more about cultural tools to see, record, and document. Cyanotypes gave me a new lens through which to look at my immediate environment — to focus on color, contour, shape, and opacity and critically think about how I see and define shapes.
“In 2013 I was fortunate enough to visit the National Gallery of Art to view a special exhibition — “Diaghalev and the Ballet Russes: When Art Danced With Music.” It showcased the history, theatricality, and unparalleled artwork of the Ballet Russes, a Russian ballet company that performed in the mid 20th century, breaking all traditions of ballet and dance.” Anika Yardi ’21 reflects on her experience, “The more I went through the exhibition, the more I was able to draw parallels between my dance practice and the art I saw before me. I saw similarities between the colorful costumes, the mythological and ancient stories being played out on a stage, and even the sense of camaraderie that can only come from putting on a production…. This experience made me reconsider my notion of what constituted art, and ever since then I have viewed both the dances that I perform and the art that I love in a more golden light.”