Princeton University Art Museum Debuts First Mobile App

Interactive Tour Puts Campus Architecture at Visitors’ Fingertips 

PRINCETON, NJ – The Princeton University Art Museum announces the debut of its first mobile web application, Princeton and the Gothic Revival, a multimedia exploration of Princeton’s Gothic Revival architecture—the campus’s defining visual language—through text, audio, and images. The mobile app is accessible from any iPhone, iPod touch, or Android device and is available here. The Princeton and the Gothic Revival mobile app was developed in conjunction with the exhibition Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870–1930, on view at the Princeton University Art Museum through June 24. 

Princeton and the Gothic Revival takes visitors on a tour of nine existing and historic sites on the Princeton campus: Chancellor Green Library, East Pyne Library, the Class of 1877 Biological Lab (demolished in 1946), University Chapel, Marquand Chapel (destroyed in 1920), the Museum of Historic Art (demolished in 1964), Alexander Hall, Blair Hall, and Holder Hall. It includes images from the recently digitized Historical Photograph Collection in the University Archives, as well as images of works in the exhibition and audio featuring experts from across campus. An interactive map allows visitors to situate themselves relative to the sites and to navigate the campus using their device’s GPS capabilities. “The mobile app technology allows us to go outside the Museum’s walls and make the experience of great art and architecture available to every campus visitor with a smart device,” said James Steward, director of the Princeton University Art Museum. “Even after the exhibition closes, the app will provide visitors to Princeton with the opportunity to learn more about the campus and the place of the Gothic Revival style in the idea and reality of Princeton University.” Princeton and the Gothic Revival tells the stories behind some of Princeton University’s most beloved buildings. For University Chapel, a masterpiece of the Collegiate Gothic movement in America, the visitor can listen to exhibition curator Johanna Seasonwein tell the story of the building’s north transept, envisioned as a memorial to the campus’s lost Marquand Chapel, destroyed by fire; hear Alison Boden, Dean of Religious Life, describe her favorite parts of the building; or see images of original watercolor designs for the chapel, currently on view in the exhibition. 

Princeton and the Gothic Revival uses the Sencha Touch mobile application framework, built on HTML5 and JavaScript, to deliver a cross-platform experience. A responsive design also enables visitors to experience the app’s rich offerings from a tablet or desktop device. The app can be accessed through an internet browser without the need for any download or installation, using 3G/4G or Wi-Fi connections.

About the Exhibition
Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870–1930 explores America’s changing attitudes toward the art and architecture of the Middle Ages around the turn of the 20th century and the central role played by these designs in the evolution of the University. Organized by Johanna G. Seasonwein, the Museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow for Academic Programs, Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870–1930 investigates the adoption of the Gothic Revival as a style appropriate for American universities through the lens of Princeton University’s campus and collections. 

The exhibition covers the years between the dedication of the first High Victorian Gothic building on the Princeton campus, Chancellor Green Library, and the completion of the extraordinary University Chapel. The exhibition draws from the Art Museum’s collections and the resources of Princeton’s Firestone Library and the University Archives, along with those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other institutions, to highlight Princeton University’s role as a major patron of Gothic Revival art and architecture and to demonstrate how this style—of England’s “ancient universities”—helped shape the identity of modern-day Princeton. 

Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870–1930 is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the Princeton University Art Museum and distributed by Princeton University Press. The catalogue provides an analysis of Princeton’s Gothic Revival architecture and design and includes an illustrated checklist of the exhibition; it is available for purchase in the Art Museum Store for $35.00 ($31.50 for Friends of the Art Museum).

Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870–1930
 has been made possible by the generous support of Christy Eitner Neidig and William Neidig, Class of 1970, in memory of Lorenz E. A. Eitner, Graduate School Class of 1952; and by Christopher E. Olofson, Class of 1992; the Kathleen C. Sherrerd Program Fund for American Art; the Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Exhibitions Fund; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and the Barr Ferree Foundation Fund for Publications, Princeton University. Additional funding has been provided by Herbert L. Lucas Jr., Class of 1950; Exxon-Mobil Corporation; and the Partners and Friends of the Princeton University Art Museum.
About the Princeton University Art Museum 
Founded in 1882, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the nation’s leading art museums. Its collections feature more than 72,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary, and concentrating geographically on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The Museum’s collections are particularly strong in Chinese painting and calligraphy, art of the ancient Americas, and pictorial photography.

Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the Art Museum serves as a gateway to the University for visitors from around the world. The Museum is intimate in scale yet expansive in scope, offering a respite from the rush of daily life, a revitalizing experience of extraordinary works of art, and an opportunity to delve deeply into the study of art and culture.

The Princeton University Art Museum is located at the heart of the Princeton campus, a short walk from the shops and restaurants of Nassau Street. Admission is free. Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Free highlight tours of the collections are given every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. 

For more information please contact Kristina Giasi at (609) 258-5662.