Academic Focus Gallery


Faculty can work with the Nasher Museum’s academic program staff to design installations in the museum’s Academic Focus Gallery relevant to their upcoming courses. The gallery is located on the main floor near the University Classroom. Past departments utilizing the Academic Focus Gallery include: Classical Studies; Cultural Anthropology; Romance Studies; Eurasian Studies and Art, Art History & Visual Studies. The Academic Focus Gallery is a gift of Susan and Trent Carmichael and the Morrow Family.

For more information about using the Academic Focus Gallery, contact Molly Boarati, Academic Program Coordinator, at 919-684-9243 or

The Academic Focus Gallery is a gift of Susan and Trent Carmichael and the Morrow Family.


Night in the City of Light: Paris’ Cabaret, 1881-1914

February 15 – June 29, 2014

Cabaret and café-concert culture in late 19th-century France captivated a new public and served as a site for creative exchange between visual artists, musicians, poets, dancers, and theatre performers. Cabarets, or cabarets artistiques, offered a variety of flashy spectacles including singers who performed their own songs, while at café-concerts the audience listened to singers recite popular melodies of the period. Both were awash in alcohol. A companion installation, Cheap Thrills: The Highs and Lows of Montmartre’s Cabaret Culture, 1881-1939 in the Perkins Gallery (February 18 – May 15, 2014) provides an additional overview of cabaret venues and famous performers.

View slideshow below, as a lightbox for full, uncropped images.

These installations showcase important material from the Nasher Museum of Art and the David M. Rubenstein Rare Books and Manuscript Library, such as sheet music, posters, and illustrated periodicals. The auditory experience of the cabaret is reanimated by recordings of traditional cabaret songs newly arranged by Duke’s New Music Ensemble ([dnme]), which visitors can listen to in both installations. This music will also be presented live in a series of three [dnme] performances in the Von der Heyden Pavilion (February 21), Fullsteam Brewery (April 6), and Baldwin Auditorium (April 10).

These installations are the result of a collaboration between doctoral students in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Alexis Clark, Kathryn Desplanque, Emilie Anne-Yvonne Luse, and Laura Moure Cecchini, and doctoral students in music composition who participate in the Duke New Music Ensemble ([dnme]): Benito Crawford, D. Edward Davis, Timothy Hamburger, Jamie Keersecker, Dan Ruccia, and Vladimir Smirnov.


For more information about using the Academic Focus Gallery, contact Molly Boarati, Academic Program Coordinator, at 919-684-9243 or