City OfColumbiaSouth Carolina

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ART: A Collection of Collections:


The South Carolina State Museum is home to over 4,000 works of art, hand-made objects and various collections within its collection. Many of these pieces have never been on display in the museum. ART: A Collection of Collections will highlight some of these one of a kind collections within the museum’s entire collection. Guests will get to explore works of fine, folk and decorative art made by South Carolina artists that are being grouped into collections within the exhibit based on medium, subject or artist. Each area of focus within the exhibit will also focus on sub-collections of a specific artist’s work.


“This exhibit will showcase rarely seen artwork of South Carolina artists grouped uniquely together that are housed within the museum’s overall collection,” said Paul Matheny, director of collections. “The artwork is enhanced by the fascinating stories of their inception and why they belong with other works of art that give us a new look at South Carolina and its visual culture.”


The earliest piece, one of nine in the museum’s de Bry collection, dates back to 1591, by Theodore de Bry, an engraver, editor and publisher. Bry never traveled to America, but produced beautiful renditions of work based on native cultures from present day Florida to Virginia.  Other notable artist’s work will also be on display, like Winnsboro native Laura Glenn Douglas, who introduced new techniques to South Carolina after traveling through Europe in the early 20th Century. Guests can discover the Wild West Town collection made entirely of coat hangers, by folk artist Herman Thompson, who will be appearing in the Lipscomb Art Gallery occasionally through the duration of the exhibit doing live demonstrations of his work.


Additionally, this exhibit will give guests a unique and in depth look at a rare collection of Catawba Indian Pottery. A craft that is over 6,000 years old and native to the Carolinas, Catawba pottery is one of the oldest and purest art forms of its kind. Each piece is hand made from sacred clay without the use of technological advances. Art: A Collection of Collections is a fascinating exhibition of South Carolina and will open March 19.

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