National Docent Symposium

Afternoon Out Tours

Friday, November 15, 2024 | 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Free: Included in Symposium Registration Fee

African-American Art Collections of Atlanta’s HCBUs

Walking: Short walk between campuses: seasonal clothing is recommended

Spend the afternoon exploring the art collections of Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College, two of the six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Atlanta.

The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art collection highlights works created by female artists of the African Diaspora. Ethnographic, African, three-dimensional, polychrome wooden artifacts comprise much of the College’s holdings. The Museum’s collection includes works by celebrated African-American artists, including Beverly Buchanan, Elizabeth Catlett, Faith Ringgold, Jacob Lawrence, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and Hale Woodruff.

The core of Clark Atlanta University’s remarkable art collection was developed by noted African-American artist Hale Woodruff, who founded the University’s art department. Woodruff’s “Art of the Negro” mural series graces the walls of the University’s Trevor Arnett Hall. The University’s collection includes works by celebrated African-American artists, including Elizabeth Catlett, Radcliffe Bailey, Benny Andrews, Sam Gillian, and Norman Lewis, as well as traditional art from West Africa.


Explore Southern History at the Atlanta History Center

Walking: Easy indoor and outdoor walking. Dress according to the season.

Take a deep dive into Atlanta’s rich history at the Atlanta History Center. You’ll spend the afternoon exploring the Center independently. Tour exhibitions that examine the people and forces that shaped Atlanta. Don’t miss the Cyclorama, a 132-year-old, 49-foot tall hand-painted mural that is longer than a football field and tells the story of the Battle of Atlanta from a Southern perspective. It is one of only two remaining Cycloramas in the U.S. Wander the Atlanta History Center’s 33 acres of woods and gardens, which include the iconic Swan House, the working Smith Farm, and the Wood Cabin, a log structure constructed at least 175 years ago.


Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

Walking: Slow indoor walking

Enjoy a docent-led tour of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, which tells the story of President Carter’s time in the White House through permanent and temporary exhibits, including a life-size replica of the Oval Office. Discover the Museum’s engagement strategies to bring presidential history to life for all ages. An archivist will provide a behind-the-scenes peek at the Library and its extensive collection of papers, photographs, films, and videos about the Carter administration and the President’s family life.


Historic Oakland Cemetery

Walking:  This tour requires extensive walking on uneven brick roads. Appropriate shoes and seasonal clothing are necessary.

Less than five miles south of Midtown, you’ll escape the city’s noise and enjoy the rich history, beautiful gardens, and architecture of the Historic Oakland Cemetery. A docent-led tour will tell you the stories of some of the more than 70,000 celebrated and humble souls buried here. You’ll learn more about the early days in Atlanta when Oakland was designed to be more than a burial ground; it was the site of family outings and was as welcoming to the living as the dead. Find out about Oakland’s restoration projects and ongoing research to tell the stories of the many forgotten yet important residents.


Ancient Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University

Walking: Easy indoor walking

Set in the heart of Emory’s lush and inviting Atlanta campus, the Michael C. Carlos Museum is a dynamic, interdisciplinary center for the study of art and culture, with collections from Africa, ancient Egypt, Nubia, and the Near East; ancient Greece and Rome; the Indigenous Americas; and South Asia; as well as American and European works on paper. Carlos directors and docents will host small group tours of the Museum’s permanent collection and engaging special exhibitions. You’ll learn about their innovative programs that connect diverse audiences with the Museum’s collections.


More than a Tour …….Crafting A Story 

Walking: 8-minute walk from the Hotel; Easy indoor walking

What do the 1962 Orly Plane Crash, Louis Comfort Tiffany, John La Farge, Rodin, Stained Glass, Mosaics, Ephesus of the 2nd Century, along with the Jewish Temple Bombing and the Funeral of MLK, have in common? You’ll find out as we explore the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, which has played a central role in the history of Atlanta for over 175 years. Its current church home, built in 1914, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its Late Gothic Revival architecture and association with prominent Atlanta architects Walter T  Downing and A. Ten Eyck Brown. First Presbyterian features stunning stained-glass windows by master stained-glass designers and studios, including Louis Comfort Tiffany, and exquisite mosaics by the renowned Conrad Picket Studio.


Atlanta Botanical Garden: Engaging with Nature

Walking: Easy outdoor walking. Dress according to the weather

Spend the afternoon at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, an urban oasis located in the heart of Midtown, just a mile from The Starling Hotel. You’ll enjoy a docent-led tour of the Garden, which features 30 acres of outdoor gardens, an award-winning Children’s Garden, the serene Storza Woods highlighted by a unique Canopy Walk, and the picturesque Skyline  Garden. Learn how docents engage visitors with this constantly changing environment. You’ll also discover how the Garden expands its audience with extensive adult and children’s programming, school group tours, cooking classes, and summer camps.


Southern Artists at the Federal Reserve Bank

Walking:  Easy indoor walking

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has built an art collection that reflects the Southeast with some of the region’s most dynamic artists, such as Thornton Dial, Kara Walker, William Christenberry, and Rocio Rodriguez. Their collection focuses on artists who have lived or worked in the South or created art representing the region’s imagery or experiences in various styles and media – from photographs documenting the evolution of the Bank’s Midtown Atlanta neighborhood to abstract paintings and sculptures that challenge imaginations.


Private Collection: The Coca-Cola Company’s Fine Art Collection

Walking: Easy indoor walking

Join us for a rare private tour of The Coca-Cola Company’s Fine Art Collection with the curator. From European master Auguste Rodin to modern icon Andy Warhol, The Coca-Cola Company’s fine art collection has over 2,000 artworks reflecting diverse movements, styles, and mediums. Committed to artwork in the workplace and looking to commemorate the company’s centennial anniversary in 1986, the Board of Directors sanctioned the development of a fine art collection in anticipation of the next 100 years. Their collection aims to celebrate human inventiveness and inspire creativity – enhancing the environment for guests and associates.


Private Collection: The Warehouse

Walking: Easy indoor walking

The works in this impressive thematic contemporary art collection depict or recreate homes, reflecting the collector’s long career as a successful home builder. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, photography, and conceptual works range from folk art to global stars, including Alex Katz, Louise Bourgeois, Thomas Struth, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.


Private Collection: Folk Art Collections

Walking:  Easy indoor walking

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to view two remarkable collections of Folk Art artists, including Howard Finster, David Drake, and Ulysses Davis.


Private Collection: Law Firm Contemporary Art Collection

Walking requirement: Easy walking indoors

This Midtown law firm’s collection features works on paper by contemporary artists, including Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, Jim Dine, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, and Judy Pfaff.