Tiberius, Rome's second emperor, stares at each visitor who enters the Michael C. Carlos Museum. His eyes are steady, his expression one of quiet contemplation, and his head—thanks to the Museum's in-house conservation team—a vision of white Parian marble. The Museum, located on Emory University's campus, exhibits more than 17,000 artifacts like this one. Through diverse displays, they transport visitors back to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Greece, Rome, the Near East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Tiberius is certainly one of the Museum's more prominent pieces, but it is by no means the oldest. The Greek and Roman collection encompasses Neolithic works that stretch back to 4,000 BC. Egyptian exhibits travel back even further into civilization's earliest prehistory. Many of the coffins and mummies come from one of Emory's own, Professor William Shelton. He traveled to Egypt in 1920, and among other things, brought back the oldest Egyptian mummy in the Americas, the Old Kingdom Mummy.
Other galleries contain 2,300 objects from the ancient Americas. More still travel deep into South Asia, allowing visitors to view one of the Museum's more significant pieces: a rare sculpture of the 18-armed cosmic Vishnu above his numerous attendants—a reflection of the stunning artistry of India's medieval period.
Such a sprawling and eclectic collection would perhaps be overwhelming if not for the Museum's educational programs. History and art experts lead tours and teach classes for both adults and children, including a regularly occurring session on Saturdays known as "Artful Stories at the Museum." During these free events, kids hear stories of ancient civilizations, before creating their own works of art based on the day's teachings.
The High Museum of Art boasts a vast collection of 13,000 pieces from cultures around the globe, housed within an architecturally stunning buildings designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Meier. The museum’s permanent collection includes nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art as well as European paintings and decorative pieces; a growing collection of African American art, and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art.
Membership to the High grants exclusive access to previews of temporary exhibits as well as education programs for kids and their families. Three restaurants fuel further art-ogling with cafe food and farm-to-table offerings.
When the Center for Puppetry Arts opened its doors in 1978, Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog were on hand to cut the ribbon. Fittingly, one of its first major exhibitions, The Art of the Muppets in 1981, attracted more than 50,000 attendees. Since then, the center has matured into a multifaceted complex equal parts museum, performance center, and hub for working artists.
Confined to plutonium-powered DeLoreans and unwieldy telephone booths, time travel is a dangerous and mischief-baiting activity. Instead, let history repeat itself as often as you can stand it with today’s Groupon: $42 gets two adults and up to four children or grandchildren (under 18) a yearlong family membership to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History (an $85 value). Individuals can purchase solo museum membership, including admission and member benefits for one person, for $30 (a $60 value).
Snuggled beside the Jimmy Carter Library, the museum explores the Carter administration through photographs, memorabilia, and multimedia installations. Museum guests are immersed in a modern American presidency as they peruse exhibits, watch videos, and re-enact their favorite executive orders in an exact replica of the Oval Office. Permanent exhibits display diplomatic gifts and detail the significant events of President Carter's life, political career, and little known stint as a ventriloquist. Rotating exhibits and special events explore American political history—the current special exhibit, Mixing Metaphors, displays more than 90 works of art from African American artists.
Tell us about your museum.
The APEX offers a unique look at history from an African-American perspective. We do not begin our story with slavery, but rather with Africa and its rich splendor and glory. It is important to know that from this rich continent came medicine, math, architecture, science, and much more.
What are some of your unique exhibits that stand out from other museums?
The APEX has recreated scenes from Atlanta's Sweet Auburn, which Fortune Magazine in 1957 called "the richest Negro street in the world." Here you can see a replica of the Yates & Milton drug store, [which was] famous as a gathering place. You can also board the replica of a vintage trolley and watch a video called The Journey, narrated by Ossie Davis, and Sweet Auburn Street of Pride, narrated by Cicely Tyson.
Why is Black History Month important to you?
While Black History Month is important because it brings attention to a very important segment of our community, our theme here at the APEX is, "where every month is Black History Month."
What does being a black business owner mean to you?
Black business ownership is important because it symbolizes the strength and tenacity of a people who have endured hardships and emerged undaunted.
Where do you hope to see your museum and community in the next five years?
The APEX plans to build on its adjoining lot, a 90,000 square-foot facility with a complete "walk-through" [of] history in EPCOT Center fashion.
Why did you decide to work with Groupon again?
I have been so amazed and impressed with the results we have received from our association with Groupon. I did not know what to expect, but have been very pleased with having more than 2400 responses in only six months.
Anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
The APEX...was founded in 1978 by a veteran filmmaker from Philadelphia, Dan Moore, Sr. It was inspired by the life of Morehouse President, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, and remains a source of information and inspiration.