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  • 5.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    This art museum is awesome! Always free admission with world class works of art you can see up close - amazing!

    When I am in Princeton, this is a must do for me. The museum also seems to rotate their art frequently, I saw pieces this time that were not there the last time I visited a couple of months ago.

    This museum is a great way to spend a couple of hours soaking up some culture while on campus.

  • 5.0 star rating
    1 check-in
    Listed in Museum Musings

    Jean-Michel BASQUIAT!


    Title: Notary, 1983 - Acrylic, oil paintstick on paper collage on canvas mounted on wood supports

    That's all I remember.  It's right near the entrance when you walk in. It's captivating. It's complex.  It's huge!   In living color. Large, up close! Hypnotic! Amazing!  I didn't need to see the rest of museum after inhaling this piece.  I don't know why I did. I don't remember anything after BASQUIAT!

    Link to image of painting:…

  • 5.0 star rating
    2 check-ins

    This is a beautiful museum, and for its size/scope probably among the finest in the country. The staff are very friendly and helpful. You can take pics of (most) of the works on exhibit, and the small gift shop has some very tasteful and reasonably priced, unique gift items and mementos.
    If you're in Central NJ and looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours on a rainy or cold day, this is a TOP choice. Make sure you check out the enormous and beautiful painting of Mount Adams, in the central gallery by Albert Bierstadt. It's breath-taking. Don't forget there's also a "downstairs" here, with some great Grecian pottery. Centrally located on Princeton campus, about a 5 min walk from the corner of Nassau & Witherspoon St.

  • 5.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Great collection for a small, but still reasonably sized, FREE museum located on the Princeton campus.  Straight up F-R-E-E, can I get an amen?  There is a donation box in the front, and if you can, give.  If not, don't worry, their endowments and allocations totaled more than $9.5mil in 2012 so I think they are doing fine.  Parking is not free though and there are no lots, so cough up some quarters for the nearby meters.

    My visit here was better than my last visits at both the Guggenheim ($22) and the Whitney ($20).  Plus, you can get wings at Chuck's immediately afterwards and hit up the Princeton Record Exchange for some movies/music after a visit here.

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/31/2014 Updated review
    1 check-in

    I'm writing a new review to promote the Edvard Munch exhibit at the museum.It's small and first rate.Theses are prints from the Museum of Modern Art and they are wonderful.You've got  9 more weeks. Also some of the permanent collection is on tour and there are a number of interesting paintings that you don't usually see.I was particularly struck by the paintings by Gabrielle Munter, who I'd forgotten about.

    4.0 star rating
    2/21/2012 Previous review
    I hadn't been in a few years and  wasn't really in a museum mood but I got over that quickly. This… Read more
  • 5.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    I am a museum junkie and I was very impressed with the scope and scale of the art at this museum. It is set amongst the ornate architecture of the campus with the sleepy and quaint vibe of the town. It is a must see!

  • 4.0 star rating

    I love this little museum tucked away on Princeton's campus. The building itself is airy, light, and inviting, and the staff are friendly and helpful. The collection of art is impressive including works by several famous artists. I had the chance to see the special exhibit, "The African Presence in Renaissance Europe" and found it to be quite well curated, and eye-opening as to the roles people of African descent occupied at all levels of society in Europe at that time.

    The museum is free although of course they will happily accept your donation to help support its mission. Definitely worth a visit! I could see making a lovely afternoon out of a visit to the Art Museum and lunch in town.

  • 5.0 star rating

    Color me paradoxical but the art museum feels like the least snooty place on the Princeton campus--not that that's saying much. The entrance is very relaxed, because you don't have to pay to get in, and you don't even have to pay for a locker to store your bag--just ask for a key in the store. The front gallery is like a cozy parlor of artworks, crowded with post-war masterpieces arranged in a circle--I was really impressed by a painting with big scraps of fabric applied to the canvas. It was Conrad di Marca Relli, who I'd never heard of before but was glad to learn about.

    American and European art is in the "upper galleries" whereas African, Asian and Native American art is in the "lower galleries," which sounds racist at first, but actually the low-ceiling, darker galleries of the basement level are better for the cool curio-cabinet set up they have down there, with all of these glass cases packed with specimens. I was particularly intrigued by a Mayan display that included figurines of men who were bound, hanged, and tortured displayed alongside instruments of cock/ball torture. Usually when you see the usual old ritual masks or Greek and Roman pottery and busts (all of which are here in abundance, by the way) you feel like you know what they were for and why they were made, but with these things bursted with an enigmatic energy of long-dead sadists.

    Upstairs, some of the galleries have low comfy black leather couches in them, inviting you to sit down and spend a while looking closely at a painting. I'm a sucker for couches in museums. If you want me to look at a painting for a long time.. hang it in front of a couch!! I ended up gazing at a Willem de Kooning, a Toulouse-Latrec, and a John Singer Sargent--all artists who I'm not crazy about but, since they had couches, I went for it. I can't say I felt any revelations while doing so but had a good time nonetheless.

    I really enjoyed a temporary exhibition titled "New Jersey as Non-Site" that looked at art made over the last few decades in New Jersey, which you wouldn't ordinarily think of as an art-making place but lots of amazing stuff has come out of it--mostly by artists who were living in New York and were just going there for some fresh air, or quarries and abandoned houses, but still. Did you know that two members of Fluxus used to have weekly meetings at a Howard Johnson in New Brunswick? And they organized a YAM festival in Jersey? I also liked learning about the artistic community that Amiri Baraka cultivated in Newark. There was all sorts of interesting art stuff happening in New Jersey--and you could say that there still is now, at the Princeton University Art Museum.

  • 5.0 star rating

    Top notch museum that's totally free.
    Do drop some money in the donation bin... the place is a treasure.

    Living so close to the museum makes me feel like a king... I can wake up late on the weekends, grab some coffee, hop over to the museum, walk right in,  and experience an extensive art/artifact collection that rivals most small museums. They house some big names...

  • 5.0 star rating

    The museum itself is small and a rating purely based on it's artistic value would probably land it at 4 stars. What sets it apart is the completely free admission (and no one pestering you into a 'suggested' donation) and convenient location (relative). There's plenty of literature available to explain their collection and themed exhibits. Definitely worth a stop if you're into art at all or for a date.

  • 4.0 star rating

    A visit here is like an accelerated Art History class: a little bit of everything that will leave you wanting more.

    It's all housed in a light-filled, modern building on campus. The staff are nice, admission is free (suggested donation), and school groups seem to be welcomed.

    We were impressed with one of the current shows, "Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe." Most (All?This was unclear) the exhibited works were borrowed, but the curation was thoughtful and accessible. The show was altogether fascinating, providing an unusual window into the religion, culture, and trade of the time. If you think you know everything about the Medicis, think again.

  • 5.0 star rating
    Listed in Best of Princeton

    Wandered in here one day while walking through campus, and was absolutely stunned at how serious of a collection this is: there are a number of works by famous painters here, including several Monets. The top floor is a series of connected galleries, each with a theme; downstairs is a series of enormous cases filled with labeled artifacts from all over the world. There's also a really cool room on the lower level where ancient Byzantine tiles have been embedded into the floor to mimic a bath.

    Plus, there's no admission here. To sum up: a New York-level museum in Princeton with no fee to visit.

  • 5.0 star rating

    Loved loved loved it. I will be back. Top notch and all for no admission cost. Leave yourself time to linger and relax  ........

  • 4.0 star rating
    2 check-ins

    Great free museum on Princeton's campus. Not the hugest variety, but some very impressive pieces including Oath of Horatii and one of Monet's "Waterlilies". My preference/background tends to go more modern, and there's a nice gallery in the back for some more contemporary works. There's Judd. Reinhardt, Rauschenberg, Johns, Rosenquist, and Warhol (including a Marilyn!).

    And again, all for FREE. Definitely one of the more interesting things in the Princeton area (though that's not saying much in and of itself).

  • 4.0 star rating

    4.5 Stars for the general exhibition.

    Would be worth 5 stars considering that the collection in this small museum is amazing.  However, since Princeton is not that far from NYC where you have just great museums, 4.5 Star rating is a good place to settle.

    I can't remember everything, but they have a good number of art pieces from the artist you would know even if you are not an expert.  Great spot to hang out for a couple of hours to chill if you are around the area.

  • 4.0 star rating
    Listed in Downtown Princeton

    Lots of good things to say about my trip to the museum.  Admission is free (pretty incredible)!  The collection is well-organized, and you can really see it all in a few hours without feeling exhausted.  You won't find a lot of contemporary art, but the ancient art and artifacts (bottom floor) are quite impressive.  A little something for everyone, really.  Look for the Rodin sculptures upstairs.  There's a small gift shop as you come in with pretty jewelry.  No café, but there are tons of options on Nassau Street.

  • 5.0 star rating

    A real gem;I  especially enjoyed the Maya vase collection.  Many of the photos found in books about the Maya civilization contain photos of these exquisite pieces.  Also notable here were the Roman period pieces.  The museum seems devoid of visitors on the bottom floor which house the antiquities.

  • 5.0 star rating

    When I came here the exhibition was "Life Objects: Rites of Passage in African Art."

    There is no entry fee, but even so, the art is amazing and I would have gladly paid to check it out, but hey, free is the best!

    There were many collections grouped together by culture and whatnot. Somehow there was an odd recording that worked it's way on your way out that showcases a guy in Mexico getting launched (like your circus cannonball) into America. That was.... different... hehe.

    The campus is gorgeous, so once you work your way over here, you are already in the right mindset to welcome the world of art. BUT it is art. Art can be very subjective, so what one person thinks is amazing, another person thinks it is terrible.

    Personally, I don't know much about art, but I enjoy culture. For those on that end, you will probably appreciate this gem.

    Service wise, everyone is great. Even the security guard was very kind. If you need help finding your way around, people are more than happy to lend you a hand.

    Heck, I saw some people just chilling and writing papers in the middle of this place by themselves. Maybe they were looking for peace and quiet?

    Overall, I feel this is a chill laid back kind of place (not snobbish) and it's a place that you can respect.

  • 2.0 star rating

    I agree with Beth, but am not so giving of the stars.

    It has been about two days since I went here and I really can't tell you one piece that I liked, which is rare for me. There was one of Monet's "Water lily with Japanese Bridge" but I am guessing it was on loan from PMA. Lots of religious works spanning multiple genres and ages. 98% depicting the birth or crucifixion of Christ. None of which were particularly pleasing.

    Two negatives about the museum: First, the temperature was appalling to the point that the question of humidity and it's danger to the "art works" came up several times. Second was that I didn't appreciate being rushed out prior to closing time so they could finish setting up for whatever private party they had.

    One positive: It was free

  • 4.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    it's free and has a great range of art... from fine art to modern.  inside princeton university.  apparently the collection takes a bit of time to change tho.  that's fine w/me as im rarely in the area!  friendly staff.

  • 5.0 star rating

    I am ashamed that I've lived nearby for so long and only recently made my first visit here. Admission is free; there is a donation box by the door and the suggested donation is $5 (not that the university needs any more money, but whatever). The ladies at the welcome desk were friendly and helpful. The university maintains a small shop near the entrance to the museum; as is usually the case with museum shops, things are on the pricey side, but they do carry some books that look absolutely fascinating.

    I visited the museum specifically for the "Architecture as Icon" exhibit running through early June 2010. The exhibit was a bit on the small side but they had amazing pieces, including a handwritten copy of "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" by St. John Climacus from around 1,000 A.D. Awesome! I was also pleased that the educational literature provided on Eastern Orthodox Christianity and its use of icons seemed to be accurate; I am Orthodox and am very used to the propagation of misinformation regarding both the history of icons and their use in Orthodox worship. Thankfully this exhibit hits the nail on the head! Of course, one could make the argument that icons belong in churches and homes where they may be venerated and used as an aid to worship- and therefore do not belong in museums- but I am very glad that I was given the opportunity to see icons that I would otherwise have never had the chance to view in person.

    I haven't yet explored the other wings of the museum, but I'll be back very soon. Check it out!

  • 3.0 star rating
    First to Review

    Some of the worst paintings by some of the best artists in the world.

    My tiny college (Williams) had a much better museum... on the other hand, the Eastern & Classical Western stuff is pretty strong.  Definitely worth a visit - it just won't take very long.

  • 5.0 star rating

    Today,I spent a delightful day at this fine,but not overwhelming art museum.I liked its fine,but not comprehensive collection of Late Medieval and Renaissance paintings,including fine paintings by;Lorenzo Monaco("Beheading of Saint Paul"),Pedro Despallargues(altarpiece with Saints Sebastian and Julian),Francesco Traini,Henri Met Bles("Road to Calvary"),Pinturicchio,and Master of the Tiburtine Sibyll.I liked their modest,but       fine  collection of Flemish and Dutch Baroque paintings,including fine paintings by Salomon Van Ruisdael,Peter Paul Rubens and Workshop,and  Anton Van Dyck.I appreciated their wonderful French paintings,especially by Jean Leon Gerome,Claude Monet("Houses of Parliament with Seagulls"),Vincent Van Gogh,Alfred Sisley,and Paul Cezanne.I also enjoyed its temporary exhibit of paintings by Constable very much.This fine,cozy art museum also has a nice amalgam of American Art(Copley,Eakins,Henri,Katz,Andy Warhol).Five dollar donations are requested,but not required at this art museum.Your donations help this art museum maintain its high standards.It is open late on Thursdays.

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