Children and families in Halloween costumes were greeted at the Michael C. Carlos Museum Friday evening for the seventh annual Mummies and Milkshakes event.The event, hosted by the Carlos Museum and Jake’s Ice Cream, is a recurring event as part of the Children and Family Programs of the museum.
The Carlos Museum opened the Egyptian galleries, served Jake’s Ice Cream flavored milkshakes and presented vintage mummy cartoons along with many other seasonal festivities.
Mummies and Milkshakes’ combination of learning and entertainment attracted a very large crowd and was fully booked in advance.
The event centers around Halloween in order for children to associate characters they’re familiar with, like mummies, with ancient Egyptian art. Children from toddlers to elementary school students came with their parents in costumes ranging from Captain America, Spiderman and Snow White to Buzz Lightyear. Attendees passed through the ancient Roman art galleries to the Egyptian galleries, which were open for the duration of the event. Families spent time at the mummy exhibit and even ventured to the museum’s other galleries. Most of the children spent their time eyeing the open burial cases, one of which included a real mummy, as well as looking at the hieroglyphs presented on the cases.
The milkshakes that were sold by Jake’s Ice Cream ushered in a long line, as children and parents alike waited to have a chocolate or vanilla milkshake before entering the Reception Hall for cartoons and clips from the Three Stooges and Abbot and Costello.
Families filled the Reception Hall when the cartoons aired. The cartoons were vintage, ones that parents of the children likely grew up watching. Each cartoon was centered on elements of Ancient Egypt, most commonly of mummies, King Tut and the Sphinx. The better-known episodes varied from Walt Disney pictures to the Pink Panther and Looney Tunes. The Reception Hall continued to remain full after the cartoon segment of the evening ended, whereby families stayed to watch the comedic Three Stooges short “We Want Our Mummy” and afterwards Abbot and Costello’s “Meet the Mummy”. Though these shorts came long before the children’s time, the humor was not lost on them and the crowd stayed transfixed during the screenings until the event came to a close.
Though the majority of the people that attended “Mummies and Milkshakes” were young children and their parents, a few Emory students were among the attendees as well. The Carlos Museum grants free admission to all Emory faculty, staff and students. Some students took advantage of this and attended the event Friday evening, which allowed themselves a relaxed and educational break.
“It was really nice to see the kids so happy to be at the museum and dressed up in their costumes,” College sophomore Jamie Shulman said. “I’m an art history major now, and it makes me really envious because I never had this type of opportunity to celebrate Halloween and art at a museum as a child.”
While Mummies and Milkshakes is a keystone event that attracts children to the Carlos Museum, it is not the only educational event designed to educate and incorporate children into the museum’s programming. The young educational programs are designed to “provide opportunities for children to learn from artists of the ancient world in the galleries,” according the Michael C. Carlos Museum website. Other programs attract a crowd similar to those who attended Mummies and Milkshakes. One popular program is Artful Stories at the Museum, in which stories about ancient empires are shared to young children. Another is Family Concerts, performed by the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta. Other programs include workshops that aim to engage children with the collections and exhibitions at the museum.
The attractive and creative programming surrounding the event succeeded in bringing in a full attendance Friday evening.The ultimate success of Mummies and Milkshakes stemmed from the crowd’s interest in ancient art, the engaging Halloween backdrop and, of course, the milkshakes, which combined to make the event a more enjoyable experience.
– By Rachel Duboff