ART 101: A Global Adventure

Delve into art history without homework, exams or stress with a new art history survey course — ART 101: A Global Adventure. Presented by The Mint Museum, in partnership with Sphere Series, the survey will be offered in eight-week sessions chronologically moving through art history, from cave paintings to ancient Europe, and contemporary works.

ART 101 will feature talented professors and curators from the Carolinas, as well as scholars from museums and universities across the country, all known for presenting their subject matter expertise in a way that is informative and fun. The survey will feature Western and non-Western movements and influences, a grounding in the ideas, movements, styles, and narratives that populate the history of our visual world.

The first session — which runs from February to April 2022 — will spotlight ancient art, from cave paintings to ancient Egypt, ancient Asia to ancient Rome.

Classes will be held twice a month 5:30-7:30 PM Tuesday evenings at Mint Museum Uptown, with a cash bar. Each eight-week session also includes a Super Saturday that will delve deeper into a particular time period, style, or culture.

“This is the class you have been wishing someone would teach — a journey that connects us to humanity’s greatest achievements and creative accomplishments. It represents the best of what we’re capable of and the artifacts we leave behind as expressions of our cultural aspirations.”

~Todd Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum


Each eight-week session costs $350 for Mint members (at the Supporter level or higher) and $500 for non-members. There will be 10 free seats per lecture offered to students and artists in the Charlotte community.

While the sessions and survey of art history inevitably build on one another, participants don’t have to sign up for every eight-week session.

Sign me up

Can’t attend every session? 

All participants will be given access to a password-protected website, where videos of every lecture will be recorded for viewing at their convenience.

Schedule of Classes

Art Before Writing: Prehistoric Art
Featuring Todd Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum
February 1
5:30-7:30 PM

Ancient Asia & The Middle East
Featuring Jim Frakes of UNC Charlotte
February 15
5:30-7:30 PM

Ancient Egypt
Featuring Edward Bleiberg of the Brooklyn Museum and featuring Jonny Hepburn of NGX Interactive (Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo)
February 26: Super Saturday
9 AM – 12:30 PM

Ancient Greek, Cycladic, Minoan, and Mycenean Art
Featuring Elizabeth Baltes, PhD, of Coastal Carolina University
March 1
5:30-7:30 PM

Ancient Americas
Featuring Angela Rajagopalan, PhD, of UNC Charlotte
March 22
5:30-7:30 PM

Ancient Rome: Birth of an Empire
Featuring Todd Herman, PhD, president and CEO of The Mint Museum
April 5
5:30-7:30 PM

Ancient China
Featuring Rosaline Kyo, PhD, of Davidson College
April 19
5:30-7:30 PM

Sign me up

Meet the Speakers

Elizabeth Baltes, associate professor, visual arts, Coastal Carolina University

Baltes received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Louisiana State University and her master’s and Ph.D. in art history (Greek art and archaeology) from Duke University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of sculpture, politics, identity, and public space in the ancient Greek world. Her first book project Portrait Statues in Hellenistic Greece: Spatial Practices and Identity Politics investigates how statue landscapes at such important sites as Delphi and Delos helped to articulate and reinforce a complex set of political and social identities, and how space was utilized and manipulated on a local and regional level. Her contextual approach to ancient sculpture has been deeply influenced by recent work on contemporary American public sculpture, and it has also benefited from a critical engagement with trends in digital art history.

Dr. Baltes’ scholarly work has been published in multiple venues, including the American Journal of Archaeology and Hesperia, and her research has been generously supported by grants from the Archaeological Institute of America and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Edward Bleiberg, Ph.D., curator emeritus, Egyptian art, Brooklyn Museum

Edward Bleiberg joined the Brooklyn Museum in 1998 from the University of Memphis, Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, where he had been Director and Associate Professor. A Pittsburgh native, he graduated from Haverford College in Pennsylvania in 1973. Dr. Bleiberg earned a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1984. He is the author of several books and articles on the ancient Egyptian economy, Egyptian coffins, and the Jewish minority in ancient Egypt and ancient Rome. Over his twenty-two-year career at the Brooklyn Museum, he reinstalled the Egyptian collection twice and organized seven exhibitions, five of which traveled in the United States and The Republic of Korea. He retired from the Museum in 2020. He currently teaches as an adjunct professor at Hunter College.

Jim Frakes, professor of art history, College of Art + Architecture, UNC Charlotte

Frakes is professor of art history at UNC Charlotte. His book Framing Public Life: the Portico in Roman Gaul(2009) looks at the installation of a common Mediterranean architectural form in the Gallic provinces, and analyzes how the colonnaded walkway both promoted and sustained new forms of social identity. He has recently contributed an essay on the forum as a Roman urban phenomenon for Blackwell’s A Companion to Roman Architecture (2013) and is co-editor of Beyond Boundaries: Visual Culture in the Roman Provinces (2016) from the Getty Press. His current work focuses on the visual cultural systems that marked the era of the Severan Dynasty (193-235 CE).

Todd Herman, PhD, president & CEO of The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC

Todd Herman joined The Mint Museum in August 2018 as its President and CEO after serving as the Executive Director at the Arkansas Arts Center (AAC) for seven years. While there, he brought the institution to fiscal stability, expanded its programming and outreach, and diversified the AAC’s exhibitions to reflect the broader community. He also launched a $100M renovation and expansion project with celebrated architect Jeanne Gang. 

Todd received his undergraduate degrees in art history and microbiology from James Madison University, an MA degree in art history from the University of South Carolina, and his PhD in art history from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland with a focus on Italian Renaissance painting. He has worked in the curatorial departments of the Columbia Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art and taught art history at USC, Cleveland State, and for the University of Georgia in Cortona, Italy. He has written extensively on the art of Venice and for exhibitions and catalogs on Italian Renaissance Art, and organized the nationally traveling exhibition “Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade, 1940-1950.” 

Rosaline Kyo, PhD, assistant professor of art and Chinese studies, Davidson College

Kyo teaches courses in Asian art and Chinese studies. Her interests in these fields began her first semester as an undergraduate student, when she decided to take courses in Buddhist art and Mandarin Chinese, which subsequently led her to many adventures in China, Tibet, and Nepal. Kyo’s research and teaching interests include the connections between art and politics; Chinese and Tibetan transcultural engagement; artistic processes, especially within collectives; and the representation of ethnic minorities and women in Chinese visual culture.

Kyo currently is working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled (Pre)Occupied Artists in Occupied Lands, which examines the works of state-sponsored PRC art workers dispatched to central Tibet and tasked with creating propagandistic representations of ethnic Tibetan people. Her next project will look at contemporary Tibetan art produced in Lhasa and in Tibetan diaspora communities, with a specific focus on the role of visual arts in the conceptualization of national space and identity.

In addition, Kyo is interested in curatorial work and the ways in which museum practices impact the interpretations of cultures. In 2017, Kyo was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, where she curated Master Traces, Transcultural Visions and Boundless: Transformations in Himalayan Art.

NGX Interactive, Vancouver, Canada “The Grand Egyptian Museum”

We live at the frontier of the possible, defining the future of media and responsive Experiences. Established in 2000, NGX is an international award-winning interactive design and media production firm. They are a team of experienced producers, designers and engineers who are passionate about creating custom media experiences that captivate the imagination and invite learning.

NGX creates immersive visitor experiences for a global audience. Working at the intersection of storytelling, technology and imagination, they aim to bring spaces to life with bespoke multi-media solutions and digital strategies.

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is the largest archaeological museum in the world and is situated on 50 hectares approximately two kilometres from the iconic Giza Pyramids. Displaying 50,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts, the museum will re-house and restore some of the country’s most precious relics. The collection includes objects relocated from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and other facilities in Luxor, Minya, Sohag, Assiut, Beni Suef, Fayoum, the Delta, and Alexandria exhibiting the full Tutankhamun collection along with many other objects to be displayed for the first time.

NGX is leading the conceptualization and production of over 30 media experiences within the space. Services include script writing, animation, spatial audio, and original film.

Angela Rajapolan, PhD, chair of the department of art + art history, UNC Charlotte

Rajagopalan is the chair and an associate professor of art history in the department of art & art history at UNC Charlotte where she teaches courses on pre-Columbian and early colonial art and architecture of Mexico and serves as a faculty fellow to the Levine Scholars Program. Her research focuses on 16th-century painted manuscripts from central Mexico and explores changing artistic practices in the century after the Spanish conquest. She is the author of Portraying the Mexica (Aztec) Past: A Study of 16th-Century Mexican Manuscript Painting in Transition that will be coming out with the University of Texas Press. Prior to her arrival at UNC Charlotte, she worked in several New York museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Americas Society Gallery, and the Hispanic Society of America. Dr. Rajagopalan has been the recipient of many awards including several competitive national grants. Among others, she has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar Grant to Mexico from the U.S. Department of State, a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute award, a Coleman Memorial Fund Art History Fellowship from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and a Mellon Fellowship from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

The Mint Museum

Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations—Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts on South Tryon Street—the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.

Sphere Series

Founded in 2017 and voted “Best Art Speaker Series” by Charlotte Magazine in 2018, Sphere Series brings local, national, and international leaders in the arts together for discussions on the value of cultural exchange — and to share experiences curating, collecting, and engaging with artists.