Academic Focus Gallery

Gallery for Learning

Students can work with faculty 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. Departments that have utilized 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.


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.


Click any image below to see in full


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