Why Major X - Art-History-1

Essay Prompt

As a research institution that also prides itself on its liberal arts curriculum, Princeton allows students to explore areas across the humanities and the arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. What academic areas most pique your curiosity, and how do the programs offered at Princeton suit your particular interests? (Please respond in about 250 words)*

Sample Essay

I am interested in pursuing the Art and Archaeology concentration on the History of Art track. After getting a taste of working in the art world during an internship at a premier gallery in Los Angeles this past summer, I am inspired to pursue museum curatorship or the art business as a career. When I look at Princeton’s offerings, I am thrilled. I could see myself launching my studies in a  Freshman Seminar like Professor Harris’ and White’s seminar, Inside the Princeton University Art Museum, moving on to an internship at a non-profit museum one summer and a for-profit gallery the next, and finishing with a senior thesis where I could dig into the exploration of an up-and-coming artist or a particular current issue being expressed through art. Right now, I am particularly intrigued by the public art by JR, an activist and street artist, whose recent art activation project at a maximum-security California correctional facility really humanized those who were incarcerated.

Beyond my studies, I am excited that art will be part of my everyday experience at Princeton, just as it was during my childhood when I lived blocks away from the Dallas Museum of Art in downtown Dallas. As an urban (rather than suburban) kid, I practically grew up at that museum. I loved their whimsical exhibitions, and was always mesmerized by the newest piece on display. At Princeton, it is the sculpture scattered throughout campus that attracted me on my visit. The Starn piece entitled (Any) Body Oddly Propped really captured my imagination.  And, of course, the greater riches of New York City is just a train ride away. Art, art, and more art. As they say, it doesn’t get any better than that.

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