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.
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.
The Museum of Design Atlanta educates design enthusiasts through subtle and brazen examples of design through rotating exhibits and conversational programs. In the small boutique museum's airy rooms, exhibits showcase design across a wide spectrum of objects. Guest speakers regale MODA audiences once a month with discussions of their work, divulging where they get their inspiration, how they started in design, and current projects they're developing.
Created by the Lookingglass Theatre Company from Chicago, Lookingglass Alice offers an acrobatic and dizzyingly playful take on Lewis Carroll's double-dose of Victorian childhood wonder, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. As Alice falls, floats, and flies across Wonderland's chessboard on her way to becoming Queen Alice, chairs pop up from the floor, Tweedledee and Tweedledum tweedle-tumble across the stage, our heroine voyages across a swirling sea of blue, and much more. The remarkable cast of five often seems like a bursting circus of 40 as they switch costumes, juggle, ride unicycles, walk on stilts, and defy logic as often as they defy gravity.
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.