Emory University Student Programs

Admission to the Carlos Museum is free to Emory faculty, staff, and students. The Museum offers a variety of programs of interest to the Emory community.

University Classes that Use the Collections of the Carlos


African Cosmos 

Dr. Susan Gagliardi, Assistant Professor of Art History
Dr. Erin Bonning, Director, Emory Planetarium
How do artistic representations of the cosmos relate to what astronomers know about celestial phenomena? In this first-year seminar led by an art historian and a physicist, we will consider this question through parallel studies of the stars in the Emory Planetarium and arts on display at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. We will place special focus on the upcoming exhibition African Cosmos: Stellar Arts on view at the Carlos throughout the spring semester.

Art and Display: Focus on Arts of Africa

Dr. Susan Gagliardi, Assistant Professor of Art History
 What happens when objects never intended for display in a museum gallery end up in one? In this course, we will examine how shifting local and global contexts impact the display of arts created by artists identified with the continent of Africa. We will investigate how objects travel to galleries and museums in and beyond Africa. We also will consider strategies for displaying arts of Africa within museums and in other spaces. Prior coursework in the arts of Africa is not required.

Classical Antiquity in Miniature: the Michael C. Carlos Collection of Greek and Roman Gems

Dr. Eric Varner, Associate Professor of Art History and Classics
Dr. Jasper Gaunt, Curator of Greek and Roman Art
Ancient Greek and Roma gems represent a rich microcosm of classical artistic production.  Carved out of semi-precious stones such as sardonyx, amethyst, turquoise and rock crystal, cameos and intaglios depict a diverse array of imagery including mythological figures, animals, fantastic creatures, and portraits. Gems were produced for, collected and worn by a wide spectrum of ancient society from prosperous middle class patrons through Hellenistic monarchs and Roman emperors.  The Michael C. Carlos Museum has a very large and significant collection of Greek and Roman gems.  The seminar will trace the history, development, iconography, and context of ancient cameos and intaglios through the Carlos gems.  Issues of conservation, collecting, and display will also be addressed.  Students will work closely with individual gems throughout the semester and produce catalogue entries and other didactic materials for eventual publication and exhibition of the collection.

Art History 226
Ancient South and Central American Art

Dr. Rebecca Stone, Associate Professor of Art History
Introduction to the art and architecture of ancient Central and South America (Northern and Central Andes) with emphasis on Costa Rica and Peru. Art of various media in the Carlos Museum collection will be featured. This lecture course, with some hand’s on sessions and meetings in the Carlos Museum, introduces the art and architecture of ancient Central and South America, from 5000 BC to 1500 AD. Goldwork, textiles, featherwork, jade, stonework, cities and cemeteries wil be discussed. Objects in the Carlos Museum will be featured and opportunities to work on an upcoming exhibition of textiles will be presented. Shamanic religious orientation, politics and art, and the technologies of these cultures will be covered

Chem 365L
Analysis of Ancient Art

Renee Stein, Conservator
The main objective of this course is to introduce a variety of instrumental techniques, including spectroscopy, chromatography, and x-ray methods.  Applied context will be drawn from cultural heritage studies and conservation research, with specific cases and laboratory exercises related to antiquities within the Michael C. Carlos Museum. Students will analyze residues for evidence of cacao in ancient pots from Central America, consider possible sources of a mysterious substance leaking from a Roman sarcophagus, and identify pigments on Inca ceremonial beer vessels from ancient Peru.  This course takes an interdisciplinary approach and is a collaborative effort between the Emory University Chemistry Department and the Parsons Conservation Laboratory.  Funding for this course is provided by the Mellon Foundation.


Student Docent Program

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to join the Museum's Docent Guild to give tours to K-12 groups, students, and the general public. Each fall new student docents are recruited and receive training on the collections. They begin touring in the spring. This provides students an excellent opportunity to develop research and presenation skills.

Andrew W. Mellon Internships

Thanks to the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Carlos Museum offers two paid summer internships for Emory University students. Graduate and undergraduate students with strong interest in and aptitude for museum work may gain experience during the summer term to augment their academic program. This summer, two interns will be selected by a committee of Museum staff and faculty advisors. The internships are ten weeks in length, forty hours per week, and students are paid $5,000. This summer's internships will begin Monday, May 19 and conclude on August 1, 2014, though some flexibility in scheduling is possible. Deadline for applying for the Mellon Internship is March 21, 2014.

Summer 2014 projects include:

Working with Dr. Amanda Hellman, curator of African art at the Carlos, on the upcoming exhibition African Cosmos: Stellar Arts, which opens at the Carlos in January 2015, and on the reinstallation of the permanent gallery of African art. The Mellon Intern will assist with researching and writing labels; the final planning for African Cosmos; assessing and researching the African collection for reinstallation; and redesigning the permanent galleries.  Some background in contemporary art and traditional African art and strong writing skills preferred.

The project in the Art of the Americas collection revolves around the planned 2017 exhibition Threads of Time: Tradition and Change in Indigenous American Textiles. The Mellon Intern will work with Dr. Rebecca Stone, curator of Art of the Americas, to finalize the object selection, prioritize conservation needs, reconstruct one or more ancient textiles for an article in the exhibition catalogue, and research individual Bolivian and Peruvian pieces. Background in the textile history of Americas, in weaving, and in museology are preferred.
Working with Andi McKenzie, assistant curator of works on paper, the third Mellon internship will focus on the upcoming exhibition God Spoke the Earth: Stories of Genesis is Prints and Drawings. This exhibition will consist of works on paper from the Carlos Museum's permanent collection, MARBL, Pitts Library, and other institutions. The Mellon Intern will work closely with Carlos Museum staff in all phases of exhibition planning, including research, developing didactic material, and exhibition layout.

Download the Mellon Internship Application here.

The Carlos Museum also offers unpaid internships, often for credit, and other opportunities for working and learning in a museum environment for Emory students. For more information about internships, contact Elizabeth Hornor by phone at 404-727-6118, or by email at ehornor@emory.edu.

Access to Images in the Carlos Museum Collections
Over 1,000 high resolution images of works of art in the Carlos Museum's collections are available online through a web-based, searchable database called Luna. Browse the collection or, log in with an Emory user id and password to create "media groups" and export images into presentation programs such as PowerPoint and Keynote, as well as social media programs. Information on using Luna is available here.
Public Programs of Interest to Students

The Carlos Museum offers a wide variety of public programs of interest to Emory students. For a complete listing of these programs, please see the Calendar.