Adult Programs

The Carlos Museums offers a wide variety of public programs for adults from scholarly symposia to informal Talk & Taste programs. Click on listings below for descriptions of programs below or visit the Museum calendar for specific information on scheduled programs.

Support for educational programs at the Michael C. Carlos Museum comes from the David R. Clare & Margaret C. Clare Foundation, an anonymous donor, the Marguerite Colville Ingram Fund, the Christian and Frances Humann Foundation, and Clara M. and John S. O'Shea.

Chamber Music Concerts
The Office of Educational presents a series of noontime chamber music concerts performed by members and guests of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta. The concerts are free and open to the Emory community and the public. Please arrive early as these concerts fill up quickly!

Friday, September 18
Noon, Reception Hall, Level Three

Jessica Wu, viola; Guang Wang, cello, and William Ransom, piano perform Beethoven's Piano Trio No. 1 and Cello Sonata No. 1.  

Friday, October 23
Noon, Reception Hall, Level Three

William Fitzpatrick, violin; and William Ransom, piano perform sonatas by Edvard Grieg and Maurice Ravel. 

Friday, November 13
Noon, Reception Hall, Level Three

Emory's best undergraduate talent perform.

Friday, December 11
Noon, Reception Hall, Level Three

Kate Ransom, violin, and William Ransom, piano, perform Cesar Franck’s beautiful Sonata in A Major

Friday, January 22
Noon, Reception Hall, Level Three

Franz Schubert’s great song cycle, Winterreisse, cycle sung by bass Daniel Cole, with William
Ransom, piano.

Friday, February 12
Noon, Reception Hall, Level Three

Tenor Bradley Howard and soprano Abigail Santos Villalobos perform Valentine's Day Love Songs with Erika Tazawa, piano.

Friday, March 4
Noon, Reception Hall, Level Three

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, op. 110, and Cello Sonata in A, Franz Schubert’s
Impromptu in G-flat with pianist Elena Cholakova and Guang Wang on cello.

Friday, April 1
Noon, Reception Hall, Level Three

A rare performance of Bartok’s early Piano Quintet with Spanish pianist Leopoldo Erice and the Vega String Quartet—sponsored by the Friends of Music at Emory.

Friday, April 29
Noon, Reception Hall, Level Three

David Coucheron, violin and William Ransom, piano perform Camille Saint-Sans’s brilliant
Sonata in D Minor.  
A civilized learning experience. Enjoy afternoon tea and scones as museum curators and Emory faculty members and graduate students discuss works of art in the collections and exhibitions.

Thursday, September 17
4 pm, Reception Hall, Level Three

Though ancient Egyptian civilization collapsed millennia ago, its arts continue to thrive in unexpected places. What does it mean when artists like Kara Walker and Matthew Barney use Egyptian imagery in their work? Enjoy afternoon tea and scones as Rachel Kreiter, a doctoral candidate in art history, discusses ancient Egyptian influences in contemporary art using examples from the Carlos collection to illustrate the pharaonic sources artists are looking to for inspiration in the 21st century.

Thursday, October 15
4 pm Reception Hall, Level Three

When Native North Americans were confronted with the European weapon of choice, the rifle, they not only mastered the use of it, but also turned it on its head, literally, to change its form into one of
their traditional weapons, the war club, sending a strong message of retaliation and determination to maintain their ways of living. Laura Wingfield, assistant curator of art of the Americas, discusses the gun/war club as a work of art and a political statement for many Native American groups.
Image: Ball-head Club with Gun Form. Anishinaabe, Ojibwa, Wisconsin or Minnesota, ca. 1820. Wood. Diker no. 851

Thursday, November 12
4 pm,  Reception Hall, Level Three

Displaying Native North American art has social and political ramifications, given the long, negative history between the indigenous peoples and the U.S. government. The inclusion of Hopi “kachina”
figures is a case in point. While some tribal members see them as commodities, others follow the traditional belief that they are spirits, their roles secret, and no one outside of initiates should see them; this impacts whether 19th-century katsinam can be ethically shown in a museum setting.
Rebecca Stone, faculty curator of Art of the Americas, discusses various viewpoints on the issue and other curatorial issues related to Indigenous Beauty.

Thursday, December 3
4 pm, Reception Hall, Level Three

The exhibition Indigenous Beauty includes a large ink drawing from 1920 depicting The Battle of Little Big Horn by Luther Standing Bear. Enjoy afternoon tea and scones as Michael Elliott, Executive Associate Dean of Emory College and author of Custerology: The Enduring Legacy of the Indian Wars and George Armstrong Custer, discusses the contested legacy of both. 

Image: Detail from Standing Bear (Lakota, 1859-1933) Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The Battle of LIttle Big Horn, ca. 1920. Pencil, pen and ink on muslin. Diker no. 652.

Carlos Reads Book Club

Carlos Reads offers an opportunity to read great works of literature related to the museum's collections and exhibitions in an informal, small group setting with distinguished members of the Emory faculty as guides. Previous Carlos Reads programs include Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, The LIfe of the Buddha, Plato's Symposium, the Ramayana, Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad, and The Lost Mandala of Sherlock Holmes, among others. Sign up to read and discuss one book, or many.

Carlos Reads discussions meet on Monday nights, unless otherwise noted, at 7:30 pm in the Board Room on Level Two of the museum. Prices vary according to the number of sessions and always include the cost of the book. Registration is required for each club by calling 404 727-6118. 

During the 2015-16 academic year, Carlos Reads will present programs on Alexander the Great, Native North American literature in conjunction with the exhibition Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection, Thomas Mann's Dr. Faustus, and works of Buddhist literature in conjunction with the exhibition Doorway to an Enlightened World: The Tibetan Shrine from the Alice S. Kandell Collection.

Fall semester's programs include:

Mondays, August 31, September 14, and October 5
7:30 pm, Board Room, Level Two

When he died in Babylon in June 323 BCE, Alexander III of Macedon ("the Great") was already a mythic figure. Unraveling and interpreting the story of his life and career is further complicated by the loss of most of the contemporary historical accounts, requiring us to read the story through the lenses of later authors for whom Alexander was much more than a simple king and conqueror. Cindy Patterson, professor of history at Emory, will lead readers through three quite different literary portraits of Alexander:  The Life of Alexander written by Plutarch, a Greek philosopher and moralist writing under the Roman Empire, c. 100 CE, who had access to many accounts now lost; the anonymous Greek Alexander Romance, a complex text with origins in the vibrant culture of early Ptolemaic Alexandria; and Mary Renault's The Persian Boy, a 20th-century historical novel in which Alexander is seen through the eyes of a young Persian eunuch who falls in love with his conqueror.

Fee:  $55 for Carlos Museum members; $75 non-members, and includes the cost of the books.  Registration is required by calling 404-727-6118.

Monday, September 21
7:30 pm, Board Room, Level Two

Emory professor Craig Womack leads readers through what he has described as "one of the strongest short stories in all of American Indian fiction and one of the strongest short shorts in any literature," "Summer Water and Shirley" by Creek writer and visual artist, Durango Mendoza. Set on the camp grounds near the Thlewarle Indian Baptist Church in Oklahoma, the story revolves around a child whose playfulness crossing boundaries leads to a life and death crisis. 

Fee:  $20 for Carlos Museum members; $25 non-members.  Registration is required by calling 404-727-6118.

Monday, October 19
7:30 pm, Board Room, Level Two

Luther Standing Bear, an important figure among the Oglala Lakota whose ledger paintings are featured in Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection, acquired fame as chronicler of a period of massive change for Plains tribes, as their livelihoods and territories were jeopardized during the late 19th century and early 20th century. In My People the Sioux, a 1928 autobiography with an ethnographic touch, Standing Bear describes stations of his paradigmatic life journey: he recounts his experiences from his childhood in his tribal community to his education at the Carlisle Indian School to his participation in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Levin Arnsperger, Native Studies scholar and assistant director of Emory University’s ESL Program, will lead a the discussion focusing on the various points along this trajectory as well as Standing Bear’s writing style and his place in Native American literature.

Fee:  $20 for Carlos Museum members; $25 non-members, and includes the cost of the books.  Registration is required by calling 404-727-6118.

Monday, November 9
7:30 pm, Board Room, Level Two

One may not necessarily associate American Indians with the sport of baseball, so Choctaw writer LeAnne Howe’s novel Miko Kings opens up surprising vistas on the pursuit of the national pastime in Indian Territory. As she constructs an intriguing narrative about an Indian baseball team in the early twentieth century, on the verge of Oklahoma statehood, Howe weaves a tapestry of stories about 19th- and 20th-century federal Indian policy, race relations, and small-town life. Offering rich insights into the situation of various Native tribes both past and present, Miko Kings is also a witty, original story of resistance and persistence. Dr. Levin Arnsperger, Native Studies scholar and assistant director of Emory University’s ESL Program, will lead the discussion of Howe’s 2007 novel.

Fee:  $20 for Carlos Museum members; $25 non-members, and includes the cost of the books.  Registration is required by calling 404-727-6118.

Monday, November 16
7:30 pm, Board Room, Level Two

The experience of peoples indigenous to California has been misunderstood and misrepresented for centuries. Deborah Miranda (Esselen/Chumash) offers a much-needed corrective in her 2012 non-fiction work, Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir. Miranda presents the brutal Spanish missionization of California Indians and its lasting impact through a mix of poetry and prose, personal experience, and scholarship. Dr. Mandy Suhr-Sytsma, Lecturer in the English Department at Emory, leads readers through this groundbreaking work, drawing attention to the text’s literary features and unpacking the little-known histories it represents. She also helps readers to situate the book in relation to issues facing indigenous communities in California today, including those involving recognition, language revitalization, and the repatriation of artifacts and remains.

Fee:  $20 for Carlos Museum members; $25 non-members, and includes the cost of the books.  Registration is required by calling 404-727-6118.

Monday, November 30
7:30 pm, Board Room, Level Two

In the 2014 novel Sacred Wilderness by Susan Power (Standing Rock Dakota), the Virgin Mary and a Mohawk friend of hers from the seventeenth century seriously disrupt life for Candace, a wealthy, contemporary St. Paul, Minnesota woman. They’re assisted by Candace’s housekeeper, Gladys, a Dakota woman whose strength, wisdom, and good humor carry the novel. Dr. Mandy Suhr-Sytsma,  leads readers through this work by one of the most innovate Native American authors of our day. Where is the line between respectful cross-cultural engagement and harmful cultural appropriation? (How) should spiritual life influence activism, scholarship, and art? And how does history continue to shape the present? Suhr-Sytsma invites readers to delve into these and other provocative questions raised by Power’s novel. She also helps readers explore real landscapes represented in the fictional work, from Haudenosaunee villages of the distant past to urban Native arts scenes of our own day.

Fee:  $20 for Carlos Museum members; $25 non-members, and includes the cost of the books.  Registration is required by calling 404-727-6118.

Audio Tours
Thanks to the generous financial support of the Sara Giles Moore Foundation, the Carlos Museum is pleased to introduce an updated audio guide to the permanent collections. The guides include fifty minutes of new material, featuring expert commentary from museum curators and Emory faculty members from a number of departments at the University. The guides available on iPod touches, feature enhanced multimedia content offering visitors a greater understanding of the Carlos Museum’s permanent collection. For example, in the Art of the Americas section, images of whale sharks on the screen help visitors visualize the ways in which the Museum’s Chancay female effigy vessel represents the shaman transforming into the giant fish, which serves as her animal spirit companion. 

The audio guides may be rented for $3 at the Information Desk in the Museum rotunda and, as always, audio guides are free to Carlos Museum members.

A second audio tour makes connections between the Museum's permanent collections and the times and texts Bible. Curators and faculty members from Emory University's Candler School of Theology and the Departments of Religion and Middle Eastern Studies explore objects in relation to biblical texts to enhance our understanding of the cultures out of which Judaism and Christianity developed. The guide is available for a rental fee of $2. Museum members enjoy unlimited free usage.

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Museum Tours

Public Tours: Members of the Museum's Docent Guild lead public tours of the permanent collection and special exhibitions every Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tours begin in the Rotunda on Level One of the Museum.

Docent-led tours are available for groups of ten or more by appointment. Please call 404-727-0519 to schedule a tour for your group. Please call at least two weeks in advance.


Lectures, Symposia, and Gallery Talks
The Museum's commitment of academic excellence is reflected in the lectures, symposia, and gallery talks presented by the Office of Educational Programs. The Museum draws on the rich resources of the University's faculty and supports Emory's academic mission by bringing nationally and internationally recognized scholars, authors, and artists to campus. Most of these public lectures and symposia are free and all are open to the Emory community and the public. For a listing of upcoming programs, please see the Calendar.