Emory's collections date back to 1876 when a general museum was established on the original campus in Oxford, Georgia. The growth of the Museum since that time has matched the growth of the University as a teaching and research institution. From the nineteenth-century acquisitions of Asian material by Methodist missionaries, to the early twentieth-century acquisitions by Theology Professor William A. Shelton, to the more recent acquisitions developed to support the University's strengths in Latin American, African, Classical, and Middle Eastern Studies, the Museum has a distinguished history of providing opportunities for scholars in many disciplines to expand their work and for students to learn by participating in academically rigorous projects.
The Carlos Museum is now one of the Southeast's premier ancient art museums with major collections of art objects from ancient Egypt, Nubia, Near East, Greece, Rome, ancient Americas, Africa, and Asia, as well as a collection of works on paper from the Renaissance to the present.
In addition to holding one of the most comprehensive art collections in the region, the Carlos Museum is also recognized for presenting one of the most international and distinguished exhibition calendars of any university museum, operating a teaching laboratory and conservation center, publishing important scholarly catalogues, developing highly-regarded educational programs for the University and community, garnering international publicity, and maintaining the highest professional standards in collections care and exhibition design. The Museum serves as a portal where the University and the community meet, physically and intellectually.
The Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets art and artifacts from antiquity to the present in order to provide unique opportunities for education and enrichment in the community, and to promote interdisciplinary teaching and research at Emory University.