Princeton University Art Museum part of collaboration between nation's art museums and local schools

Distributed December 5, 2018

Exhibition at U.S. Department of Education Puts Creative Spotlight On Impact of Teaching and Learning With Art

PRINCETON, NJ – A group of third graders from the Trenton Public School District in Trenton, New Jersey, are represented in an exhibition in our nation’s capital of works of art by children from across the country. The four New Jersey students are among the 100 third-grade students who participate each year in the Frances Lange Public Schools Program, a partnership between the Princeton University Art Museum and the Trenton Public Schools. Organized by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), of which the Princeton University Art Museum is a member, the national exhibition features works produced as a part of these children’s participation in art education programs organized collaboratively by art museums and their local schools. The exhibition will be on view at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., through Jan. 2, 2019.

       The Princeton University Art Museum is the only institution to have participated in each of the four AAMD exhibitions at the Department of Education’s headquarters since they began six years ago.

       “The Princeton University Art Museum has long been committed to engaging our broader communities through deep and sustained teaching and learning opportunities,” said James Steward, Nancy A. Nasher–David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976, director. “We are proud to be able to highlight these educational efforts and the work of these terrific students at a national level through AAMD’s exemplary program.” 

       The students in the Frances Lange Public Schools Program visit the Princeton University Art Museum eight times through the academic year to learn about the history of world culture through works of art on view in the galleries. Back in their home classrooms, the students keep journals and create their own works of art inspired by their visits to the Museum. The program culminates with a regional exhibition of the students’ work.

       “I believe that this experience for the students is truly life changing,” said Suzanne Hatley, an art teacher at Parker Elementary, who has worked with the children participating in the Frances Lange Public Schools Program. “The exposure to the Princeton University Art Museum’s amazing collections and the connections forged with the docents is unforgettable. It gives meaning to all of the stories, myths and even movies that the students have seen. I know that they feel very special to be part of the program.”

       The four works of art on view in Washington, D.C., by students from two elementary schools in the Trenton Public School District, are three masks of clay, paint, feathers, raffia, pipe cleaners and beads inspired by masks in the Museum’s African art collection and a still-life drawing in pastel.

       In addition to the Princeton University Art Museum, 10 other AAMD member museums participated in the program:

  • Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum, Providence, Rhode Island
  • San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California
  • Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
  • Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont

       “Study after study has demonstrated that art and art museums provide powerful opportunities for education, with sustained benefits to children’s capacity for learning and thinking,” said Christine Anagnos, executive director of AAMD. “We are excited to present this exhibition, just one visible result from our successful, ongoing partnership with the Department of Education. This exhibition is an opportunity to showcase the many ways in which AAMD member museums are engaging with students and their teachers, and having a lasting impact on K-12 education in communities across the country. We are grateful to the team at the Princeton University Art Museum for participating in this program.”

       The exhibition is open to the public by appointment. Those wishing to attend should contact Jackye Zimmermann at the Department of Education, at In addition, the Department of Education recently included a feature about the program on HomeRoom, its official blog, at

About AAMD

       The Association of Art Museum Directors advances the profession by cultivating leadership capabilities of directors, advocating for the field and fostering excellence in art museums. An agile, issues-driven organization, AAMD fosters engagement, leadership and shared learning. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at

About the Princeton University Art Museum

       With a collecting history that extends back to 1755, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the leading university art museums in the country, with collections that have grown to include over 100,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning the globe.

       Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the Art Museum also serves as a gateway to the University for visitors from around the world. Intimate in scale yet expansive in scope, the Museum offers 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 9 p.m.; and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.

       For more information: