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.

The Archaeology of Death

Students in the course “The Archaeology of Death” report on objects from the collection. Photo by Marianne Eileen Wardle.


Humanized Objects: Between Person and Thing

Exhibition in the Nasher Academic Focus Gallery
January 16 – March 6, 2016

The works displayed here (from a wide range of times and cultures) highlight the portrayal of the human figure in art and made objects, and probe the boundary between things and humans. They are organized into three overlapping thematic groupings: sacred objects, effigies, and functional objects. This installation was organized by Kati Henderson as part of her master’s project, Ambiguously Human, which considers the ways different disciplines, from visual art and philosophy to biology and computer science, define what is human as opposed to what is an object.

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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.



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