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2019–2020 Jackier Prize Competition

How do I compete?

As in past years, students can submit a five- to ten-page essay that examines an object or objects from the Kelsey Museum. The object(s) may be on display or from collections storage. This could be a paper you have already written for a class or one specifically written for this contest. 

New this year, we will also be accepting other types of projects (e.g., websites, artwork, virtual exhibitions) that relate to an object or objects at the Kelsey Museum. This includes group projects as well as individual work. To submit a project, please include any links or images of the final results along with a one- to two-page project or artist statement.

In addition, this year professors can also nominate students if they feel their projects demonstrate excellence in archaeology. To do so, professors can email with the names and email addresses of the nominees, along with any digital version of the project they may have (e.g., a link, an essay, an image of the artwork). We will contact the students directly for the rest of their documents.  

The subject matter of the projects may vary, but the project needs to incorporate a Kelsey object or objects and to reflect careful research. Some suggestions for what to explore in the projects are: 

  • When and where was the object made?  
  • Who made it, and how was it produced?  
  • Who was it made for and how was it used? 
  • What does the object tell us about the people who produced and consumed it (gender, age, ethnicity, religion, social standing)?  
  • What can we learn from the history of the object itself — its original purpose, later uses, and afterlife in the museum?  
  • Where was the object discovered, and under what circumstances did it come to the Kelsey Museum?
  • Does the ancient object have a connection with our modern lives?

Here is a worksheet to help guide your examination.

What objects should I use? 

Please feel free to use any object on display, but keep in mind that objects in a special exhibition may not be available after the exhibition closes. Please check with the Museum for the closing date of any special exhibition. You may also use objects that you handled during a class visit, which are not usually on display. If you wish to schedule a second visit to look at these objects again, please contact our educational and academic outreach coordinator, Cathy Person ( When you contact Cathy, please make sure to include a brief description of the object(s) you wish to see (e.g., “the blue mummy statue”) and which class you were in (course name and number). Please consult these guidelines prior to visiting.

How do I submit my entry? 

Your documents can be submitted at any time up until 8 a.m. on Monday, January 27, 2020. Submit your documents via email to You will receive a confirmation email within 48 hours.

Your documents should include: 

  • Your essay, project statement, or artist statement
  • A title page including the title of the project, your name, and your email address (if there is a website for the project, include the link on the title page)
  • Images of the Kelsey objects discussed in the project as well as photographs of the final project or artwork, if applicable.

Contest entries will be reviewed by a selection committee overseen by Kelsey Museum staff. Up to five winning projects will be selected and contestants will be contacted in mid-February 2020. The winners will be invited to assist in creating an exhibition of the objects they wrote about and will be awarded the Eleanor and Lawrence Jackier Prize in a ceremony in late March 2020.

Questions? Concerns? Please contact Kelsey Museum's director of education, Cathy Person (

Good Luck!