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2016-2017 Jackier Prize Competition

What do I need to do to compete?

Write a 10-page essay on two related objects in the Kelsey Museum.  One object must be selected from a group of 10 artifacts available for hands-on examination (see below) and the other is selected from the Kelsey Museum’s permanent display.  The essay should be based on a combination of close examination of the objects themselves and detailed research. The goal of the essay should be to shed light on (a) the actual objects, (b) what they tell us about the ancient world, and (c) how the two objects relate to each other by highlighting both similarities and differences. 

Questions to be discussed may include:

● When and where were these objects made?

● Who made them, and how were they produced?

● Who were they made for, and how were they used?

● What do they tell us about the lives – the gender, the age, the social standing – of their producers and consumers?

● What can we learn from the histories of these objects themselves, such as objects originally made for a practical purpose, but later used as grave offerings?

● How were the objects discovered, and in what circumstances did they come to the Kelsey Museum? 

What are the 10 objects?

Please select one object presented here to be the focus of your essay. Clicking on it will redirect you to a page containing additional images and further guidelines. There is also a selection of recommended bibliography for each object to help you to start thinking about the object. You do not need to limit your research to just these references, but they will give you some good background information on your object. 

Then you will be able to schedule your appointment with the Kelsey Museum to go behind the scenes to examine the object in person. To make an appointment, please use the form below. In preparation for your visit to the Kelsey Museum, please read the following information.

What displayed objects should I use? 

As part of the essay you will also need to compare your selected object with one on display at the Kelsey Museum.  Please feel free to use any of the objects on display, but keep in mind that objects in the special exhibition will not be available after the exhibition closes.  Please check with the Museum for the closing date of any special exhibition. The Museum is open 9am - 4-pm Tuesday through Friday and 1pm - 4pm Saturday and Sunday.

Essay guidelines

Essays should be 10-pages in length (double spaced with 1 inch margins and Times New Roman 12 point font).

On the first page of the essay, please provide pictures of the two items discussed in the essay, the title of the essay, and your name and email address.

References should be cited using a standard citation system (such as Chicago or MLA).  You must use reputable sources.  DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA AS A REFERENCE.  ALL ESSAYS REFERENCING WIKIPEDIA AND/OR OTHER ENCYCLOPEDIAS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIED. 

Ready to submit your essay? 

Essays can be submitted at any time up until Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 5 PM. Submit your essay via email to You will receive an email confirming that the essay was successfully submitted.

Essays will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of one member of the Kelsey Museum staff and two professors from departments related to the Kelsey Museum. Up to five winners will be selected and contacted by Monday, March 20, 2017. They will be invited to assist in creating an exhibition of the objects they wrote about and will be awarded the Jackier Prize in a ceremony in late April 2017. The objects will be on view in the gallery from April 21 to September 25, 2017. 

Questions? Concerns? Please contact the Kelsey Museum Educational and Academic Outreach Coordinator, Cathy Person (

Good Luck!