artist doing demonstration

Unleash your inner artist and enjoy an inside peek of the Princeton University Art Museum all in one night. The art museum’s popular Late Thursday programming has gone virtual to allow for social distancing with the current coronavirus challenge, but added a new element — an online drawing class to enhance the experience.

The museum is providing online academic and community-based programming and has teamed up with the Arts Council of Princeton to have artist Barbara DiLorenzo conduct an online drawing class inspired by the evening’s program.

On April 16, Associate Curator of Asian Art Zoe Kwok *13 gave an hour-long slide show presentation of the history of Asian art at the museum — part history lesson and part private tour of the museum’s treasures — to some 500 people who joined virtually. Listeners learned, for example, that the museum’s circa 1250 devotional statue of Guanyin shows the Buddhist deity in the royal ease pose, a stance that comes from Indian dance. Kwok’s remarks were followed by a Q&A, with questions chosen from more than 70 that were submitted.

Later, DiLorenzo’s hour-long drawing demonstration used the museum’s “The Mind Landscape of Xie Youyu,” a circa 1287 handscroll by Zhao Mengfu, for a master class in composition, contrast, and artist tools. Participants could draw with the artist or watch as her pencil skipped around paper creating her own “mindscape” of a plein air moment sitting in nature.

The Asian art offering was the launch of the online events, with a 5:30 p.m. lecture followed by a drawing class related to the lecture topic. Together, these Thursday programs are designed for a broad spectrum of audiences including students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members and art lovers at large.

The next program will be Wednesday, April 22 (to avoid conflict with Ramadan), on the museum’s exhibition “LIFE Magazine’s Photojournalism and the American Century,” featuring a roundtable with Jeremy Adelman, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History; Thomas Y. Levin, associate professor of German; and Katherine Hill Reischl, assistant professor of Slavic languages and literatures; and the prize-winning documentary photographer Susan Meiselas. They will discuss how Life magazine used photographs in its weekly publication, from 1936 to 1972, as a way to establish its view of the world as a first draft of history. There will be a drawing class afterward focusing on Life photography as its inspiration.

Learn more about the Life magazine program and about the art museum.

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