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For more information about Ackland Art Museum or to register for a program, visit the
Ackland website



The Ackland Art Museum presents more than a dozen exhibitions every year, offering a wide stylistic range of art, from contemporary American photography to European master paintings, video installations to Early Modern portraits. The Ackland's holdings—over 16,000 works of art—include significant collections of European masterworks, twentieth-century and contemporary art, African art, North Carolina pottery, and folk art. In addition, the Ackland has North Carolina's premier collections of Asian art and works on paper (drawings, prints, and photographs). The Ackland has a vibrant and active program and event schedule offering music, films, gallery talks, and other activities on weekends and during the Museum's extended Thursday evening hours.

The Ackland Art Museum is located at 101 South Columbia Street in Chapel Hill, near the corner of South Columbia and East Franklin streets. Admission is always free, with donations appreciated.

Museum hours are 10 am–5 pm on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; 10 am–8 pm Thursdays; and 1 pm–5 pm Sundays. Parking is available at several nearby municipal and private parking decks, and metered street parking is available on Franklin Street. More information is available at (919) 966-5736 (general information), (919) 843-1611 (recorded information), or on the Ackland Art Museum website.


Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz
Apr 14—Nov 30

Working with Boston-based collectorsCarol andJeffrey Horvitz, the Ackland is presenting changing installations selected from their comprehensive holdings of recent and contemporary Japanese ceramics. Among the most innovative and experimental practitioners of contemporary Japanese art, these ceramicists have explored the wide and fascinating range of expressive possibilities offered by clay and glazes. Presented within the context of the Ackland’s important collection of historical Asian art, the installations offer the opportunity not only to see significant examples by major artists, but also to reflect on their dynamic relationship to tradition.

Highlights from the Permanent Collection
Aug 11—Dec 31

The Ackland Art Museum presents a major reinstallation of highlights from its diverse permanent collection of over 17,000 works of art. The first presentations include The Western Tradition, from Ancient art to twentieth-century art; Art from China and Japan; Art from Southern and Western Asia; and African Art.



PhotoVision: Selections from a Decade of Collecting
Sep 19, 2014—Jan 4, 2015

The Ackland Art Museum holds the leading collection of photography in North Carolina, one that has both regional and national significance. The Museum’s broad and deep collection of approximately 2,000 photographs represents the entire history of the art form, from daguerreotypes and salted paper prints of the early nineteenth century to digital inkjet prints of the twenty-first century.

From the nearly 500 photographic works acquired by the Ackland in the last ten years, over 150 have been selected for PhotoVision. Organized by evocative groupings, the chosen works will present the myriad intents behind and effects of this powerful medium. Thematic sections will include Photography and Multiplicity, Sacred Spaces, Process and Product, and Staging the Image.

Friends' First Look
Thursday, Sep 18
5 pm—6 pm

Members will enjoy wine, light hors d’oeuvres, and a 6:00 PM introduction to PhotoVision by Interim Director and Chief Curator Peter Nisbet. RSVP to Kate Walton.

Public Reception
Thursday, Sep 18
6:30 pm—8 pm

All are welcome to celebrate the opening of PhotoVision.

Adding to the Mix 8: William H. Mumler's "Mrs. W.H. Mumler, Clairvoyant Physician" (1870's)
Sep 19, 2014—Jan 4, 2015

This exhibition focuses on the Ackland’s recent acquisition of a nineteenth-century spirit photograph by William Mumler (1832-1884), the foremost American practitioner of commercial spirit photography. This spirit photograph is the first of its kind in the Ackland collection.

The carte-de-visite advertises the clairvoyant and healing abilities of Mumler’s wife and assistant, Hannah. The caption claims that she is shown with her “controlling spirit,” Declaration of Independence signer and Continental Congress attendee Dr. Benjamin Rush. Aside from demonstrating the technological innovations that early photography could utilize for image manipulation, this work also suggests the cultural milieu that allowed the wider Spiritualist religious movement to thrive: a mourning, war-torn, postbellum American population needing and seeking healing.

Adding to the Mix is an ongoing series of installations that place select recent acquisitions in the context of resonant works already in the collection.

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Programs for Adults

All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register for a program, visit the Ackland’s Adult Programs web page.

Ackland Film Forum

Ackland Film Forum logoThe Ackland Film Forum, a collaboration between the Ackland Art Museum and numerous departments at the UNC-Chapel Hill, highlights different aspects of the art of cinema and showcases the aesthetic power of film. Art films, narrative films, and documentaries are chosen by UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and Ackland staff, often in connection with particular courses, campus-wide initiatives, or exhibitions.

Film screenings take place on select Tuesdays beginning at 7 pm at Nelson Mendela Theater, FedEx Global Education Center, UNC-Chapel Hill.

Fee: Free! No RSVP needed.

This fall, the Ackland Film Forum explores the theme of photography in cinema—in everything from art films, to classic Hollywood gems, to recent popular films—in connection with the exhibition PhotoVision: Selections from a Decade of Collecting.

La Jetee (Chris Marker, France, 1962) and Images of the World and the Inscription of War (Harun Farocki, West Germany, 1988)
Tuesday, Sep 30

With an introduction by Rick Warner (UNC-Chapel Hill, English and Comparative Literature)

Memento (Christopher Nolan, USA, 2000)
Monday, Oct 14

With an introduction by Todd Taylor (UNC-Chapel Hill, English and Comparative Literature)

City of God (Fernando Meirelles, Brazil, 2002)
Tuesday, Oct 21

With an introduction by Patricia Fuentes Lima (UNC-Chapel Hill, Romance Languages)

Broken Embraces (Pedro Almodovar, Spain, 2009)
Tuesday, Nov 4

With an introduction by Shayne Legassie (UNC-Chapel Hill, English and Comparative Literature)

Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, Israel, 2008)
Tuesday, Nov 11

With an introduction by Todd Taylor (UNC-Chapel Hill, English and Comparative Literature)

Finding Vivian Maier (John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, USA, 2013)
Tuesday, Nov 18

With an introduction by Rachel Pollock (UNC-Chapel Hill, Dramatic Art; PlayMakers Repertory Company)

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Art for Lunch

On selected Wednesdays, the Ackland invites members of the University community and friends of the Ackland to enjoy an hour of inspiration and information about works of art currently on view at the Ackland. Bring a bag lunch or order a boxed lunch from Jason's Deli that will be waiting for you at the Ackland. Admission is free. Because space is limited, an RSVP is requested.

Wednesday, Sep 24, 12 noon
Patricia Leighten (Duke University, Professor of Art, Art History, and Visual Culture)

Wednesday, Nov 5, 12 noon
Tania String (UNC-Chapel Hill, Professor of Art)

Wednesday, Nov 19, 12 noon
Stephen Fletcher (UNC-Chapel Hill, Photographic Archivist at the North Carolina Collection)

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drawing in the galleries imageDrawing in the Galleries

The second Saturday of every month, Amanda Hughes (Director of External Affairs) leads participants in a creative exploration of a particular object in the Ackland’s collection.

For all sessions, bring paper and dry media (crayon, pencils, etc). All levels are welcome. This event is free and open to the public. No reservation necessary.

Upcoming Dates:

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Music in the Galleries

On select Sunday afternoons, enjoy live music in the Ackland’s galleries. A wide variety of performers can be heard, from classical quartets to bluegrass, to enhance your museum experience.

Free and open to the public.

Upcoming Performances:

Sunday, Sep 21, 2 pm-3 pm
This Sunday, enjoy Appalachian music by old-time musician Kenny Jackson. Kenny is a self-taught fiddler, banjo player, and guitarist who hails from Chapel Hill, but has performed at numerous folk and string band festivals all over North America. Learn more and preview Kenny’s music here.

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Tai Chi in the Galleries

Join us for Tai Chi in the Galleries, which is inspired by the renowned Asian art collections at the Ackland. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese movement practice known to reduce pain and improve your mental and physical balance and well-being. This class uses gentle Sun-style tai chi routines that are safe, easy to learn, and suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

All movements are done standing. Wear comfortable clothes and supportive flat shoes. The class is taught by Joanne Marshall, a certified yoga and Tai Chi for Health instructor. More information about Sun Style tai chi can be found at the Tai Chi for Health Institute website.

All classes are held from 1 pm-2 pm. Fee: free for members; $5 for non-members (payments should be made at the door by cash or check).

Upcoming Dates:

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Yoga in the Galleries

Take a break from your day and explore the world of yoga in the beautiful setting of the Ackland! The hour-long sessions offered by registered yoga teacher Joanne Marshall provide an opportunity to practice a series of gentle yoga poses inspired by the art in the gallery. Beginners are welcome. Yoga mats are provided. Wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to stretch.

All classes are held from 12 noon–1 pm. Fee: free for members; $5 for non-members (payments should be made at the door by cash or check).

Upcoming Dates:

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Programs for UNC Students

Art à la Carte

Bring a friend and spend your weekend creatively with these relaxed, hands-on art classes designed exclusively for Carolina students. Each session, led by Allison Tierney, begins at the Ackland Art Museum, where you’ll examine the techniques, materials, and effects that other artists have achieved. You’ll then go to a studio in Hanes Art Center to try the techniques yourself as you create works of art that you can take home. Classes are designed for beginners, but are suitable for students with some art experience.

Not sure about Art à la Carte? Read a UNC student's perspective to learn about what to expect!


Location: Meet in the Ackland Art Museum Lobby
Fee: $10 per class (materials provided). Registration is required, as space is limited. Register online.


Upcoming Dates

Saturday, Oct 11, 2 pm-5 pm

Registration opens one month in advance.

Saturday, Nov 8, 2 pm-5 pm

Registration opens one month in advance.

Saturday, Dec 13, 2 pm-5 pm

Registration opens one month in advance.

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Programs for Families and Children

All programs for families and children are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. See the Ackland’s Family and Children’s Programs web page for more information.

image of art suppliesArt Adventures

Designed for six- to nine-year-olds, Art Adventures sessions provide kids with a guided view of art in the Ackland’s galleries, followed by the opportunity to create take-home treasures in an adjacent art studio using newly-learned art-making techniques. Materials are provided.
Fee: free for members; $5 for nonmembers. Space is limited. To be added to the waitlist for any of the below dates, please call Allison Portnow at 919-843-3687.

Upcoming Dates:

Handmade Photo Collages
Saturday, Oct 11

Bring favorite photos—family, friends, pets—which will be copied and turned into one-of-a-kind photo-collage books. (Caregivers, don’t worry: photos will be safely returned to participants at the end of the programs!) Presented in connection with PhotoVision and the Ackland’s Dawn ‘til Dusk Community Day: Focus on Photography. Please note: registration for sessions opens on Sept 11.

Watercolor Landscapes
Saturday, Nov 8

See the beautiful painted landscapes in the Ackland’s collection, then work with special watercolor pencils to create your own real or imagined outdoor scene. Please note: registration for sessions opens on Oct 8. 

Shiny Stamped Postcards
Saturday, Dec 13

Design and stamp one-of-a-kind cards inspired by the lavish gold details in artworks around the museum. After class you’ll be able to send your cards with love and well wishes to friends and family. Please note: registration for sessions opens on Nov 13.

Drawing for Tweens

This program invites ten- to thirteen-year-olds to look at selected works in the Ackland’s galleries and identify techniques that the artists used to make them. Gallery teachers demonstrate and teach participants technical skills, which they can then apply to their own artistic creations. A mix of drawing from works on display and creating one’s own original works is offered in each session.

Each Drawing for Tweens session runs from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm on the second Saturday of the month. Materials are provided. Free to members; $5 non-members. As space is limited, please register online one month prior to the program date.

Upcoming Dates:

Family Day

Every fourth Sunday of the month, come build museum memories with the children in your life at the Ackland’s monthly Family Day! Come for a little while or stay for the whole afternoon—it’s all free! Recommended for children ages four to twelve years old.

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