Skip to content Skip to footer

Thursdays, August 5 – August 26, 1 – 3:10pm


Meroitic Pyramids at Gebel Barkal, Sudan. Photo by Carl Walsh

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

All classes in Eastern time. We encourage you to watch live, but classes can be streamed once the live session ends. See our FAQ.

About the Class

The rich artistic and architectural traditions of the people of ancient Nubia (modern northern Sudan) have been perpetually overshadowed by their Egyptian neighbors. Colonialist attitudes even led some early archaeologists to believe that the artistic works of these African societies had to be made by Egyptians; after all, what African society could produce art and architecture that rivaled that of Egypt?

Today, ancient Nubia still remains a mysterious part of the ancient world. This course will introduce the spectacular art and architecture of Nubian societies, from stone pyramids to winged giraffes. Throughout, we will consider the controversial relationships between Nubian, Egyptian, and African art.

Each week, the 90-minute lecture is followed by a 30-minute discussion session that allows students the opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with the instructor and classmates.


Carl Walsh

Walsh is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Barnes, where he is conducting an in-depth study of the collection’s Egyptian antiquities. Walsh earned a PhD from University College London and has taught at Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. His research focuses on reconstructing the sensorial experiences of ancient Egyptian and Nubian peoples.

Art in Context

Art in Context courses connect works of art to history: What was happening politically, socially, and culturally at the time a piece was made? How did these circumstances shape the artist’s formal choices?