Arts: Overview

Shakespeare performance

Arts in Academics

The Lewis Center for the Arts leads a University Initiative to make the arts a central feature of Princeton's academic mission. The Lewis Center is an academic unit that is home to the creative writing, dance, music theater, theater and visual arts programs, each of which offers courses and an undergraduate certificate. The center's interdisciplinary Atelier program allows students to collaborate with professional artists. The Lewis Center also presents professional arts events for the community.

The Department of Music offers academic courses for undergraduate and graduate students and supports performance ensembles. Performance, musicology and composition are fully represented in music courses, and students may work toward an undergraduate major in music, an undergraduate certificate program in musical performance or graduate degree programs. The department sponsors performances by a number of student ensembles and professional groups, and manages a program for private music and vocal lessons.

Many other academic disciplines promote the study of the arts through criticism and the creation of new work. The Committee for Film Studies encourages the interdisciplinary study of films and video. Students may apply to fulfill the senior thesis requirement with creative work. The architecture school and art and archaeology department, among others, provide historical and theoretical perspectives. Additionally, many area and language studies incorporate art in their discussions of culture.

Monet painting of bridge

Art Museum and Libraries

The Princeton University Art Museum is one of the nation's leading art museums, with collections of over 92,000 works of art spanning the globe. In addition, the museum organizes a dozen temporary exhibitions each year, as well as numerous educational programs and social offerings. The University library system offers research materials and exhibitions — Firestone and Mudd libraries feature University-owned and borrowed works, while the Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, Mendel Music Library and Graphic Arts Collection also illuminate study of the arts.

Piano performance

Extracurricular Arts

The full list of student-run organizations reveals the breadth of students' engagement with the arts. Performing arts groups in dance, music and theater allow students to refine and present their skills. Also, student literary publications and student videos offer creative outlets for students to express and share their work.


Campus Art Events & Venues

Several University calendars list arts events around campus. The University and broader community may attend art exhibitions around campus, film screenings, lectures and readings, and student performances in dance, music and theater. In addition, the Princeton University Concerts series brings world-class musicians to campus. Tickets may be purchased through University Ticketing, and students also receive tickets through the Passport to the Arts program.

Among the campus venues for arts events are the Lewis Center for the Arts, the award-winning McCarter Theatre Center for the performing arts, Richardson Auditorium and the Princeton University Art Museum.

Chinese lion

Local Arts & Culture

Princeton and its surrounding communities feature numerous resources in the fine arts, film, music and theater.