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.
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.
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.
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 19, 2016.
Summer 2016 projects include:
Dr. Amanda Hellman, curator of African art at the Carlos, is develping a digital didactic program for the reinstallation of the permanent gallery of African art. The undergraduate or graduate student intern will assist with researching and writing label copy for each object; acquiring permission for photographs and videos; planning and conducting interviews; and uploading content to the gallery iPads. Some background in African visual material or history is preferred.
An excellent opportunity for an undergraduate with a background in material culture is a project working with Dr. Melinda Hartwig, curator of ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern art at the Carlos, to collect representative fragments from the museum's Curtis Collection of Near Eastern Art and pack them for distribution to other educational institutions with Near Eastern Studies, Anthropology, and Art History Depatments for use as "study collections."
Although Shakespeare set The Tempest on a small island off the coast of Italy, many scholars argue that he drew inspiration for the setting, several narrative themes, and the figure of Caliban from the newly encountered Americas. An upcoming exhibition entitled The New World in the Age of Shakespeare will explore this argument by pairing The Rose Library’s Forth Folio with several engravings from Theodor de Bry’s Americae volumes, a series devoted to Columbus’s travels in the Americas, the customs of myriad American inhabitants, and the mistreatment of the native population by Catholic Spaniards. Working with Associate Works on Paper Curator Andi McKenzie, the intern will research New World connections in The Tempest, explore the imagery in de Bry’s Americae, and assist in choosing objects from the Museum’s vast Americas collection that complement the texts in some specific way. The intern will also write draft labels and an introductory text for one section of the exhibition.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. For more information, contact Clare Fitzgerald at 404-727-2363 or email@example.com.
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.