Don’t Miss a Thing

Get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Search Website

Nell Painter

Nell Irvin Painter, a leading historian of the United States, is the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University and author of Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over.

Nell Painter Freedom from Truth installation

After retiring from Princeton, celebrated historian Nell Irvin Painter decided to go to art school. In this interview with Walter Johnson, she discusses what it’s like to be an old student, and how art lets her tell truths about history that she couldn’t as an academic.

Jonathan M. Square Nell Painter Walter Johnson