Princeton University’s campus is home to magnificent collections of 20th and 21st-century art. These extraordinary works seem to be strategically placed for greatest exposure to students, visitors, and the community. 30% of the pieces can be seen from Nassau Street to the Princeton University Art Museum on the main campus. There are over 60 sculptures on view. In perspective, there are approximately 270 pieces at Grounds for Sculpture. This is a fair amount of outdoor art available on view everyday in town at no charge.
The sculptures vary in scale, texture, and shape, allowing people to experience a good variety of art that will elicit an analytical retort and stir emotions. They stand independently, yet if you are walking on the grounds with someone, collectively they can provoke a conversation. If walking alone, you might take mental notes of your favorites to revisit for a proper viewing.
Some well-known pieces are:
- Pair of Tigers (1910) by Beverly Pepper in front of Nassau Hall
- Oval with Points (1969-70) by Henry Moore near Alexander Hall (Richardson Auditorium)
- Head of a Woman designed (designed 1962, executed 1971) designed by Picasso and executed by Carl Nesjar in front of Spelman Halls (across the street from McCarter)
- Circus of Animals/Zodiac Heads (2010) by Ai Weiwei in front of Robertson Hall
- Fountain of Freedom (1966) by James FitzGerald in front of Robertson Hall
As mentioned earlier, most sculptures can be found on the main campus. The second most concentrated area for art is on the other side of Washington Road to just beyond Olden Street between William Street and Prospect Avenue. Another section to consider for viewing part of the collection is close to Washington Road between Western Way and Faculty Road. This campus map will allow you to browse the collection online, and more easily navigate the grounds. Click on the pins for the name of the piece, and click the name of the art for a photo of it.
Having the right combination of ivy-covered halls, hardscaping, landscaping, and pops of color in diverse materials, is the makings of one of the most picturesque campuses in the country. I implore you to tour the campus and seek out as many sculptures as possible. Bring your children if you have any. Kids and teens connect instantly with a number of pieces of the collection, as do adults.