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

Museum curators and university faculty use the collections in their teaching.  Below is a sampling of the types of courses that use Carlos Museum collections.

Religous Art of South Asia
Dr. Ellen Gough

This course takes an immersive approach to the study of the religious art of South Asia, ca. 2500 BCE to the present day. We will spend two of the three class meetings a week in the classroom, and the third either in the Asian Collection at Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum or at a site of religious practice in Atlanta. Course units will focus on the paintings, sculptures, architecture, and material and visual culture more broadly of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet and Sri Lanka. We will examine Jain, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim religious art, asking how these material objects relate to religious texts and practices. For the course unit on the Hindu epic the Rāmāyaṇa, for example, we will compare parts of the Sanskrit text of the epic by Vālmīki with depictions of the story in comic books, on television, and in eighteenth-century miniature paintings in the collection at the Carlos Museum. The Spring 2016 semester will also offer the unique opportunity to examine the temporary exhibit at the Carlos Museum, “Doorway to an Enlightened World: The Tibetan Shrine from the Alice S. Kandell Collection.”

Freshman Seminar: The 12 Caesars: Sex, Lies and Politics in Ancient Rome

Dr. Eric Varner
Popular perceptions of Rome’s first twelve Caesars (who included Julius Caesar, Augustus, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian) are often fueled by the ancient biographer Suetonius’s lurid and scandalous accounts of the period. Suetonius’s Twelve Caesars is filled with accusations of outrageous sexual behavior, madness, and political posturing, that are often in direct opposition to the visual record as embodied in  official monuments of art and architecture commissioned by the Caesars themselves or their wives.  This course will combine an in depth examination of the artistic material, as well as surviving portraits in sculpture and on coins and gems,  together with a careful reading of Suetonius’s text, as well as new biographical material on the twelve Caesars.  Close attention will be paid to the iconographic meaning of the artistic monuments, their intended audiences, and their points of comparison and divergence from Suetonius, thus revealing the complex nature of Roman culture and society in the early imperial period. 

Ancient Egypt
Dr. Gay Robins

This course is designed as an introduction to the art of ancient Egypt from the late Predynastic Period through the Old and Middle Kingdoms. It will examine the basic principles by which Egyptian artists worked, together with the techniques and materials that they used, and will consider the various purposes, religious, political and social, for which Egyptian art was created. The course will be structured chronologically, and will acquaint students with key works of art, placing them within the context of ancient Egyptian history and culture. These works will include the monumental pyramids built by the kings of Egypt to be their tombs and the lavishly decorated tomb chapels constructed for elite government officials. There will be class visits to the Carlos Museum to study ancient Egyptian works on display.

Arts of Africa: An Introduction

Dr. Susan Gagliardi
Artists linked to the African continent have historically created arts from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and earth as well as animal and vegetal matter. Some objects, including wooden headpieces, were designed to be seen in motion during masquerade performances. Other objects, including brass heads, were designed for static displays. In this introductory course, we will think about a broad range of arts, their biographies, and contexts for their display. We will look closely at different works, from study sixteenth- and seventeenth- century brass plaques once shown in the palace in Benin City, Nigeria, to twentieth-century wooden headpieces worn by performers during certain events in Pende communities of present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. Students will also be invited to view African art on display at the Michael C. Carlos Museum and the High Museum.

Shamanism: Art in the Americas
Dr. Rebecca R. S. Bailey

The underlying religious complex of ancient and modern indigenous American cultures can be understood under the umbrella term of shamanism, or the direct visionary contact with the spiritual world by trained intermediaries in order to promote balance, fertility, and health. Art is deeply implicated in this system, from earliest times through to today. This seminar will discuss the parameters of shamanic belief and practice as applied to the visual elements, from the “tools” of curing to the achievement of trance to the recording of experience and imagery of healing itself. An emphasis will be placed on plant and animal iconography.

Andrew W. Mellon Internships

Thanks to the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Michael C. Carlos Museum offers paid summer internships for Emory University students. Graduate and undergraduate students with strong interest in and aptitude for museum work may gain experience to augment their academic program. Three interns will be selected by a committee of Museum staff and faculty advisors. The internships are ten weeks in length, and students are paid $5,000. Scheduling of the ten weeks is flexible and can be done in consultation with the  curator in charge.  Deadline for applying for the Mellon Internship is February 24, 2017.

Summer 2017 projects include:

1.  In preparation for the Threads of Time: Tradition and Change in Indigenous American Textiles, opening at the Carlos Museum on August 17th, a Mellon intern will work under the supervision of curator of Art of the Americas on the implementation of an online catalogue on the Omeka platform. The intern will “build” the exhibition, inputting the essays, didactics, bibliography, photographs, and video, and work with the Marketing and PR office to make it available on the Carlos Museum’s website.  If there is time, he/she will also assist with the installation of the show, and production of labels.
2. Another Mellon opportunity exists for a student with advanced training in the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East to work with Curator of Ancient Egyptian, Near Eastern, and Nubian Art, Melinda Hartwig, on the reinstallation of the Near Eastern and Egyptian Galleries scheduled for 2018. This multifaceted project will include research and writing and project coordination with departments across the museum, including conservation, design, and the registrar. Attention to detail, the ability to multitask, and follow through on a number of different projects at once is essential.
3. Through the generosity of the Henry Luce and Samuel H. Kress Foundations, and under the auspices of the Society for Classical Studies, the Michael C. Carlos Museum is hosting a six-week workshop for graduate students writing dissertations in the fields of classical literature and history to gain exposure to the material – archaeological – record of the ancient world. From Monday 15 May until Friday 30 June, ten graduate students from a spectrum of campuses will come to Emory to participate in this project that is organized by the curator of Greek and Roman Art, Dr Jasper Gaunt.
Thanks to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, an opportunity exists for an undergraduate student at Emory to work with Dr Gaunt and the Education Department at the Carlos Museum to facilitate the arrangements of this workshop. Besides aspects of day-to-day hospitality and logistics, responsibilities will also include assisting with visits to local artists’ workshops and a field trip to see the Nashville Parthenon.
The balance of the ten week internship will be made up either during the course of the Summer or Fall, working with the curator on pottery in the classical collection.

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.

Student Research Blogs
Graduate student Shelly Burian is documenting the process of recreating a Wari textile. The project has grown out of her research with Curator of the Art of the Americas, Dr. Rebecca Stone, as well as a life-long interest in dyeing and weaving.  The final textile will be featured in the exhibition Threads of Time: Tradition and Change in Indigenous American Textiles, which opens at the Carlos Museum iin 2017.  Follow the blog here.
Student Guide Program

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to join the Student Guide Program. Student guides act as ambassadors for the Museum–– writing and leading tours for students, organizing student-centered events, and learning about museum work under the supervision of Museum staff. This opportunity helps students to develop their research and presentation skills, gain valuable experience in museums, and serve the larger Emory community. 
 For more information, contact Clare Fitzgerald at 404-727-2363 or cfitzge@emory.edu.

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.