In 1994 Toni Morrison, Nobel laureate and the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, introduced into Princeton’s creative arts curriculum a new seminar program at the University. Of her own work with musicians and composers Professor Morrison has said, “There is a powerful impetus to stretch and freshen one’s work by collaborating with artists in genres other than one’s own.”
Paul Muldoon, the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 Professor and former chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts, joined Toni Morrison as co-director of the Atelier in 2004. With Professor Morrison’s transfer to emerita status in 2006, Professor Muldoon became director, a position he resumed in 2014 after a brief hiatus in which Professor Stacy Wolf led the program.
Over the past twenty years guest artists have included the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, the musician Laurie Anderson, the musical improvisation group Baby Wants Candy, The Civilians investigative theatre company, the choreographer Jacques d’Amboise, the director John Doyle, the Elevator Repair Service theatre company, the percussionist Evelyn Glennie, the designer Christine Jones, the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the novelists Gabriel García Márquez, Rick Moody and Meg Wolitzer, the visual artist Irina Nakhova, the Pig Iron Theatre Company, Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Dan Safer of the Witness Relocation Dance Company, the theater director Peter Sellars, and the Wakka Wakka Puppet Theatre Company. Each course culminates in the public presentation of new work, and both the seminars and these final presentations have become vibrant mainstays of the University’s creative and performing arts scene.
Courses are open to all students by application and are generally offered in both the fall and spring semesters. Students receive general academic credit for Atelier seminars and frequently credit toward their work in the programs in visual arts, creative writing, music and theater and dance.