Autumn 2008: Campaign Emory

Charles Ackerman portrait

Photo by Kay Hinton

Sharing a Spirit of Adventure

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By Terri McIntosh

Charles Ackerman has been around the world and then some. He and a team attempted to row a twenty-seven-foot boat through the turbulent Drake Passage to Antarctica. He lived with the Bribri Indians in Costa Rica and spent a month in the ancient kingdom of Zanskar, a remote Indian valley in the Himalayas. It’s only natural that he loves the Carlos Museum, a perfect choice for an adventurer.

Taken with the museum’s collections and impressed by the expertise of its staff, Ackerman supports the Carlos financially and cochairs the museum’s board.

Ackerman’s support of the Carlos spans more than three decades and ranges from bolstering its technology initiatives and serving multiple terms on the museum’s board to funding exhibitions and acquisitions. He was one of the museum’s founding donors to the museum building in 1978 and has loaned his personal artwork to the museum for display.

Whenever he can, Ackerman travels with Carlos curators. In 2004, he and his wife, Joanne, accompanied Carlos staff to Cairo, where the Emory team signed over to Egyptian officials a mummy that had been in the museum’s collection. When research confirmed that the mummy was a former Egyptian pharaoh missing from its homeland for nearly 150 years, the Carlos returned it.

“This moment will be engraved in history,” a top Egyptian official said when receiving the body of Ramesses I, ruler from 1293 to 1291 BC. “Children in Atlanta will learn that, once upon a time, there was a king at the museum there. And they gave him back to Egypt, without any conditions. They will learn about love, and peace, and how people should live together.”

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