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 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, click here and contact Erin Hanas, Coordinator of Academic Programs, at 919-684-8067 or

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


Open Storage: Duke faculty and students using the collection for learning

Exhibition in the Nasher Academic Focus Gallery
October 17, 2015 – January 2, 2016

The works located in this case reflect choices made by three Duke faculty members for use by their students over the course of this semester. Professor Elvira Vilches of Romance Studies is teaching a course, Nature, Body, Mind: Chocolate and Tobacco in the Hispanic World and Beyond, and the works selected for her course relate to the production and serving of cacao in the ancient Americas. Three archaeology courses focus on the ancient Mediterranean collection: Classical Greek Archaeology (art history professor Timothy Shea) and Principles of Archaeology and the Archaeology of Death: Ritual and Social Structure in the Roman World (classical studies professor Alicia Jimenez). Students in each of these courses were assigned to closely observe the objects, prepare detailed descriptions of them and write papers that provide context for them in the ancient world.

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Fun Home

Exhibition in the Nasher Academic Focus Gallery
August 1-October 4, 2015

This installation was inspired by Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006), the 2015 Common Experience summer reading book for incoming first-year students at Duke. The works on display here reflect themes found throughout Fun Home, including family, death, gender, sexuality, feminism, and identity. Members of the Duke community from a variety of academic and administrative departments have offered their personal reflections on some of the works. Their thoughts are shared in the following pages.

Merging the genres of comics and memoir, Fun Home follows Bechdel’s fraught relationship with her father, an English teacher and director of a small-town Pennsylvania funeral home. Alison and her family call the funeral home “Fun Home.” As a child, Alison struggles against expectations of how girls should dress and act. In college, she comes out as a lesbian. Shortly after telling her parents, her father is killed by a truck, and Alison discovers that he was a closeted gay man. She must then re-evaluate who she understood her father to be.


For more information about using the Academic Focus Gallery, contact Erin Hanas, Coordinator of Academic Programs, at 919-684-8067 or