Aleksander Musial

  • Princeton University
  • Department of Art and Archaeology
  • PhD Candidate

Aleksander Musiał specialises in early modern receptions of antiquity, with a particular attention paid to the role of manufacturing polytemporality in fostering social empowerment in the eighteenth century. A graduate in Classics from the University of Cambridge and in Art History from the University of Warsaw,  where his projects explored G. B. Piranesi’s transgressive restoration practices and Cl. Perrault’s theoretical tenets of ‘modern classicism’. More recently he pursued internships at the curatorial departments of the Frick Collection and the Morgan Library.

His PhD dissertation, entitled “Immersion: classical reception and transformations of hygiene architecture in Eastern Europe, 1680-1830,” examines the cross-continental impact of bathing practices as developed  in St. Petersburg, Warsaw, and Istanbul. Seeing the active role of classical imagery in facilitating this process will help complicate Western-centered narratives about the emergence of modernization-driven notions of hygiene and biopolitics  Such a research focus, supported by PIIRS and Princeton Environmental Institute, will provide a sphere of reference to further understand contemporary unprecedented interest in artificially-conditioned environments geared to make their subjects undergo a momentary experience of cultural immersion, both across space and time.

Within the Postclassicisms framework Aleksander presented research on the notion of ‘liquid marble’, as understood through the lens of ancient authors and compared with 18th-century marmorisation practices.