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.

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.


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 groups have read 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 2013-15 academic year, in conjunction with Emory University's Year of Creation Stories, the book club will focus on creation stories from around the world.

Thomas Mann's Joseph and His Brothers
Mondays, September 29, October 27, November 17, and December 8


The exhibition God Spoke the Earth: Stories of Genesis in Prints and Drawings features twelve watercolors by American artist Joan Wadell-Barnes that were commissioned to illustrate an American edition of Thomas Mann’s Joseph and His Brothers. Mann spent sixteen years, from December of 1926 to January of 1943, on what he considered his masterwork, which he called “the Joseph.” He takes the rather brief biblical account of Joseph and retells it in a four-part “comedic song of humanity” in which he attempts to transform “myth into flesh” (“die Fleischwerdung des Mythos”).  Dr. Erdmann Waniek, associate professor emeritus of German Studies at Emory, will guide readers in a discussion of John E. Woods’ 2005 translation of Joseph and His Brothers exploring topics of interest to the participants, for example, the relationship with the biblical story,   the use of myth and irony, the ways in which the events in Germany shaped the text,  and the intense fascination that ancient Egypt held for Mann throughout his life.

Fee: $75 for Carlos Museum members; $100 for non-members, and includes the cost of the book. Registration is required by calling 404.727.6118.
The Book of Genesis
Mondays, September 15 and 22


The creation stories in the Book of Genesis (chapters 1-11) are some of the most familiar texts in western religion and culture, but what people remember about these stories is often quite different from what the texts actually say. In fact, the two primary creation accounts, Genesis 1 and 2-3, have different—possibly even contradictory—understandings of the nature and purpose of creation and of human nature. Also odd is the fact that after the world is created, it is destroyed and then re-created in a fashion that recognizes the irrevocable changes that humans themselves have introduced into the creation. Carol Newsom, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament at Emory, explores the text in this two-part Carlos Reads program.

Fee: $25 for Carlos Museum members; $35 for non-members.  Registration is required by calling 404.727.6118.
Ancient Near Eastern Creation Stories
Monday, October 13


The blood of gods mixed with dust. A sea monster split in half. A mound rising from the primeval flood. A very big hoe. These are among the essential elements of ancient Near Eastern creation accounts. Join Joel LeMon, assistant professor of Old Testament at the Candler School of Theology, will lead readers in a discussion of several stories of creation from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Levant. We will explore how these communities used creation stories to describe their relationships with environment, with the gods, and with each other.
Fee: $20 for Carlos Museum members; $25 for non-members.  Registration is required by calling 404.727.6118.

Popol Vuh
Monday, November 10


The Quiché Maya book of creation known as the Popol Vuh, originally written in Maya hieroglyphs and translated into Spanish in the sixteenth century, is one of the world’s greatest creation stories. Set in the Guatemalan highlands, it narrates in captivating “word pictures” a vast temporal sweep as the Mayan gods bring the world from darkness into light and create the human lords who then used the Popol Vuh as their “Council Book.” Karen Stolley, professor and chair of Emory’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese, leads readers through renowned anthropologist Dennis Tedlock’s translation.

Fee: $25 for Carlos Museum members; $35 for non-members, and includes the cost of the book. Registration required by calling 404-727-6118.
Hesiod's Theogony
Monday, December 1

The poet Hesiod (8th/7th cent. B.C.) composed one of the most fascinating and influential of all creation epics, the Theogony or "genesis of the gods". Hesiod saw creation within the framework of "family", organizing the cosmos into a gigantic family tree. We shall see how, as in our own households, relationships appear in terms of  inherited traits and family resemblance . Like many clans of Greek literature, those of Hesiod's creation are rife with sex, love, inter-generational conflict and betrayal. Peter Bing, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Classics, leads readers through Hesiod's creation story.

$25 for Carlos Museum members; $35 for non-members, and includes the cost of the book.  Registration is required by calling 404.727.6118.

Spring semester book clubs will include creation stories from the Rig Veda; The Origin of LIfe and Death, a compilation of African creation myths by Uli Beier; "Death and the King's Horseman," a play by Wole Soyinka;  the Inka creation story; and Plato's Timaeus.
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!

This year's series includes:

Friday, September 12
Noon, Reception Hall
Cellist Christopher Rex joins the Vega String Quartet to perform Beethoven's stunning Kreutzer

Friday, October 24
Noon, Reception Hall
The Emory Chamber Music Society and the Carlos Museum welcome pianist Tanya Stambuk, hailed by the New York Times as a "player with a powerful technique, ideas of her own, and considerable promise" for her Atlanta debut. 

Friday, November 14
Noon, Reception Hall
In a program titled Professors of the Practice, violinist Cynthia Patterson, professor of history; cellist Richard Patterson, professor of philosophy; clarinetist Ashraf Attalla, professor of psychology; and pianist Guy Benian, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, join members of the Vega String Quartet to perform works by Mozart, Dvorak, and Poulenc.
Friday, December 5
Noon, Reception Hall
Emory's Young Artists program features the university's best undergraduate talent.

Friday, January 23
Noon, Reception Hall
One of the finest brass soloists in the world, Adam Frey travels the globe invigorating the
internationa music scene with his virtuoso talent, 
sensitive lyricism, and special connection with audiences.

Friday, February 13
Noon, Reception Hall
A program of Valentine’s Day Love Songs features instrumental and vocal music of love with tenor Bradley Howard, pianist William Ransom, and the Vega String Quartet

Friday, March 6
Noon, Reception Hall
Kate Ransom, violin and William Ransom, piano with special guest violinist Eun-Sun Lee.

Friday, April 3
Noon, Reception Hall
Stravinsky’s great masterpiece is performed by pianists Elena Cholakova and Elizabeth Pridgen in a stunning piano four-hands transcription, with Vivaldi’s Spring played by the Vega String

Friday, May 8
Noon, Reception Hall
Humorous music of W. F. Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, and P. D. Q. Bach interspersed with jokes about music and musicians.
From Nippur to Noah: Stories of the Flood
From Nippur to Noah: Stories of the Flood 
Saturday, October 18
2 pm, Reception Hall, Level 3

Accounts of a great primeval flood have resonated throughout history, from ancient Mesopotamia to modern concerns about environmental catastrophes. Join faculty from the Candler School of Theology and alumni of Emory's Graduate Division of Religion as they explore the significance of these accounts. This symposium coincides with the arrival of the Nippur Flood Tablet at the Carlos, one of the earliest Near Eastern texts to describe a world overwhelmed by water. A distinguished panel of scholars will give short papers about what these stories of devastation tell us about our history, our anxieties about humanity's place in the world, and the relationship between religion and the environment.

For more information on the lectures and speakers featured at this event, please click here.
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 18
4 pm, Reception Hall, Level Three

Enjoy afternoon tea and scones as Jennifer Siegler, PhD candidate in Emory’s Art History Department, discusses the maize god in the Maya creation story and in works of art, including an incised ceramic vessel in the Art of the Americas collection.
Thursday, October 23
4 pm, Reception Hall, Level Three

Enjoy afternoon tea and scones as Dr. Laura Wingfield, assistant curator of Art of the Americas, discusses Blood and Guano: Bats and Creation in the Art of the Americas. Indigenous peoples from the Americas have revered the bat as a sacred animal for millennia. Bats live in caves at the entrance to Mother Earth and come forth at dusk, prime time for communication with the original spirits in that “other world” of the First Mother. They are not only messengers between this world and that of the spirits, but they also have the power to take away life, particularly vampire bats, and to give it—through their precious guano, a natural fertilizer.
Thursday, November 6
4 pm Reception Hall, Level Three

The universe begins in the great cosmic sea. Time and time again, the universe is created and dissolved. After each period of destruction, the universe returns to the great cosmic sea, the sleeping potential of all that can be—empty but for the sweetly sleeping god, Vishnu. Enjoy afternoon chai as Anandi Salinas, graduate student in the Department of Religion, introduces an eleventhcentury sandstone sculpture of Vishnu sleeping on the Cosmic Ocean and how this image, through its brilliant array of narratives, illustrates concepts of time and the endless cycle of creation and dissolution in Hinduism.
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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.
Audio Tours

An MP3 audio tour of highlights of the the permanent collection is available at the Reception Desk on Level One. The MP3 format allows visitors to hear from Museum and University experts at the touch of a button. The guide is available for a rental fee of $2. Museum members enjoy unlimited free usage.

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.