Toni Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Emerita, Special Consultant to the Director of the Princeton Atelier and Lecturer with the rank of Professor in the Lewis Center for the Arts
Looking to provide her students opportunities to engage in real-life work with professional artists across various art fields, Ms. Morrison created the Princeton Atelier at Princeton University in 1993. The program convenes guest artists to develop some aspect of a professional project in the company of students. Ms. Morrison directed the program until 2006 when she became emerita and Consultant to the Atelier.
Her nine major novels, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Beloved, Jazz, Paradise, Love and A Mercy have received extensive critical acclaim. She received the National Book Critics Award in 1978 for Song of Solomon and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Beloved. In 2006 Beloved was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best work of American fiction published in the last quarter-century. Her books of essays include Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination; the edited collection Race-ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality; and the co-edited collection Birth of a Nation’hood: Gaze, Script, and Spectacle in the O.J. Simpson Case.
In fall 2006, Ms. Morrison was the guest curator at the Musée du Louvre in its "Grand Invité" program where she curated a month-long series of events across the arts on the theme of "The Foreigner's Home."
Ms. Morrison’s lyrics include the song cycles “Honey and Rue,” commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Kathleen Battle, with music by Andre Previn; “Four Songs” with music by Mr. Previn, premiered by Sylvia McNair; “Sweet Talk” written for Jessye Norman with music by Richard Danielpour; and “Woman.Life.Song” commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Jessye Norman with music by Judith Weir.
She also wrote the libretto for the opera “Margaret Garner” with music by Richard Danielpour. After premieres in Detroit, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia, “Margaret Garner” opened at New York City Opera in September 2007.
In 1993 Ms. Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Princeton Atelier was endowed in 2009 through the generosity of a donor who has chosen to remain anonymous. The Atelier is additionally supported through The Newhouse Foundation, The Erik C. Blachford '89 Fund, The Schare-Pfaffenroth Endowment Fund, The Jordan Roth '97 Performance Fund and The Peter T. Joseph Foundation.