Principals & Partners

The Entrance Hall and Grand Stair provide welcome and access to the second and third floors

James Steward, the Art Museum’s Nancy A. Nasher–David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976, Director

James Steward joined the Princeton University Art Museum as its director in April 2009. He is an experienced museum professional with almost thirty years of service to the field, including eleven years as director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art, where he oversaw the planning, design, and construction of a major new building that was named one of the world’s ten best new buildings for 2010 by the American Institute of Architects.

Steward holds a doctorate in the History of Art from Trinity College, Oxford University, where he wrote his dissertation with the esteemed art historian Francis Haskell. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and began his graduate career at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

At Princeton, Steward directs a staff of 110 with an operating budget of approximately $20 million and collections of more than 110,000 works of art spanning the globe and over 5,000 years of human history. He also holds the position of Lecturer with the rank of Professor in Princeton’s Department of Art & Archaeology, where he teaches regularly, and is a faculty fellow of Rockefeller College.

Professor Steward is an active scholar who has authored a number of significant volumes and curated major touring exhibitions ranging from the art of eighteenth-century Italy to the work of Edvard Munch to contemporary African American art. His first book, The New Child: British Art and the Origins of Modern Childhood, was named a book of the year by both the Times of London and the Washington Post. He is currently writing a volume on the place of the modern-day museum in American civic life. He is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and many more; he has been a Fellow at the Huntington Library and was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal for distinguished service from UC Berkeley and the Presidential Medal of Honor from the Russian Federation for services to arts and culture.

Sir David Adjaye and Adjaye Associates, design architects

Sir David Adjaye OBE is an award-winning Ghanaian-British architect known for his artistic sensibilities and ethos for community-driven projects. His ingenious use of materials, bespoke designs, and visionary sensibilities have set him apart as one of the leading architects of his generation. In 2000, Adjaye founded his own practice, Adjaye Associates, which today operates globally with studios in Accra, London, and New York, taking on projects that span the globe.

Adjaye’s early work largely involved private commissions for the design of artist studios and residences; it quickly evolved into civic commissions, beginning with the Ideas Stores, two public libraries in London. His best-known project to date, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, opened on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in 2016, and was named Cultural Event of the Year by the New York Times. In 2017 Adjaye was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people of the year by Time magazine.

Today the firm’s portfolio continues to evolve with major cultural, civic, and commercial projects, such as the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; 130 William, a high-rise residential tower in New York’s financial district; the new Sydney Plaza, a public plaza, community building, and artwork in Sydney’s Central Business District; the International Finance Corporation in Dakar, Senegal; the Abrahamic Family House, an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi; the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London; and the National Cathedral of Ghana in Accra.

Ron McCoy, FAIA, University Architect

Ron McCoy was appointed University Architect at Princeton University in August 2008. He provides overall guidance for the planning, architecture, and landscape of the Princeton campus. He was part of the facilities team that delivered dozens of major new projects that were envisioned in the 2016 Campus Plan. He recently led the effort to create the 2026 Campus Plan, which provides a framework for University growth over the next ten years in the context of potential needs and developments over a thirty-year period.

Prior to joining Princeton, Ron served as University Architect at Arizona State University, overseeing approximately six million square feet of new construction, including the creation of a new campus in downtown Phoenix. At ASU, he was also a professor and director of the School of Architecture. 

Mr. McCoy was elected to the AIA College of Fellows in 2007 and received the AIA Arizona Architects Medal in 2006. He received a BS in architecture from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in architecture from Princeton University. When his schedule allows, he teaches a Freshman Seminar titled “Architecture and the American College Campus.”

Cooper Robertson, executive architects

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