Image Source: gibbesmuseum.org
Art Museums are not just for the metropolitan areas. There are so many wonderful artists and exhibitions throughout South Carolina. November 9th was Go to an Art Museum Day and you don’t have to go far to celebrate. It’s the perfect excuse to hit up any one of these local spots for a crash course in regional, national and international art and history.
- Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston
The Gibbes Museum, opened in 1905, has curated a collection of American art that reflects the story of Charleston. The work displayed in the museum connects the region’s past to its vibrant contemporary art scene. The Gibbes museum has an impressive permanent collection that spans four centuries full of paintings, sculptures, miniature portraits, works on paper, decorative art objects, and multimedia installations, created by American artists, and expressing the evolving aesthetic tastes in Charleston. Special exhibitions are designed as an experimental platform. Visitors have the opportunity to engage with six to eight per year. Check the website for current exhibitions and enjoy all this lovely museum has to offer.
- Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art – College of Charleston, Charleston
Also located in downtown Charleston, the Halsey Institute is connected to the College of Charleston School of Arts. It aims to provide a multidisciplinary space for production and presentation of visual artists from around the world. The Halsey Institute hosts five to seven innovative exhibitions per year, many of which travel nationally. The museum also hosts a schedule of lectures, panels, symposia, screenings, discussions, and special events, with coinciding documentaries and publications. The museum’s commitment to providing access to the creative process and building on Charleston’s remarkable history makes it worthy of a visit to see their diverse exhibitions. Always free and open to the public, get lost interpreting the large dissemination of so much inspirational art.
- Columbia Museum of Art – Downtown Columbia, Columbia
The Columbia Museum of Art can be found in the cultural heart of downtown Columbia. The modern museum is among the leading art institutions in the country, housing more than 25 galleries full of art that spans 5,000 years of history. The award-winning museum sees more than 150,000 visitors a year. They also host fun programs such as art classes, tours, lectures and children’s programs. The dynamic exhibitions change every few months, so there is always something unique and captivating to wander through.
- Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville
A premier American art museum in the South, the Greenville County Museum of Art has some of the most exclusive collections in the world. It is home to the largest public collection of watercolors by Andrew Wyeth, paintings and prints by Jasper Johns and so much more ranging from Federal portraits to contemporary abstractions. Alongside the permanent collection are cycles of traveling exhibitions. This museum gives patrons the chance to absorb the region’s artistic history with a Southern Collection from colonial times to present, ranging from 1726 pastel portraits and Civil War vistas to American Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, American Scene, and contemporary works.
- Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg
Spartanburg is home to another regional, contemporary art museum. The museum began as the The Spartanburg Arts and Crafts Council and continues to promote engagement through inspiration with its exhibitions and education for people of all ages. Over the past 110 years, the museum has grown to reside in a 3,000 square foot space located in the Chapman Cultural Center. Whether you’re local or visiting, take a look around their diverse range of contemporary exhibitions and wide variety of educational and community programs.
- Franklin G. Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach
This unique and interactive art museum is dedicated to being one of the finest visual arts museums in the Carolinas. Although a relatively young museum, opening in 1997, it has made a large impact on the area, winning the State of South Carolina’s prestigious Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for Outstanding Arts Organization. The visionaries behind the museum strive to engage the community and visitors alike with educational and creative programs. Admission is free so there is no reason to say no to this cultural excursion.
- McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, Columbia
The collections at the McKissick Museum date back to 1801, providing insight into the history of the university and the community, culture, and environment of the American South. Since 1976, it has been located at the historic Horseshoe on the University of South Carolina’s campus. The museum’s permanent collections in material culture, natural science, decorative and fine arts support its mission to foster awareness and appreciation through original research, collaboration with the university and safekeeping of historical artifacts. The exhibitions, based on research, aim to education visitors on the rich heritage and natural environment of South Carolina and the Southeast.
- Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, Greenville
Somewhat of a hidden gem in the Greenville area, located on the campus of Bob Jones University, this open and accessible space holds a collection of religion art from Medieval and Renaissance eras with a primary focus on European Old master paintings. A fabulous experience, you will also find nearly 200 pieces of Gothic to nineteenth century furniture, approximately 100 works of sculpture, some 60 textiles, over 1,000 ancient artifacts, and approximately 130 architectural elements that range from stained glass windows to fireplace mantels. Make your way over throughout the year for tours and events.
- Pickens County Museum of Art & History, Pickens
This one’s under construction so make a note and be sure to revisit when it’s open again as it is well worth the visit. It is a small town museum full of quality displays and regular shows, historical items and a natural garden that is maintained by the local garden society. They temporarily showcase local artists, changing it up regularly, so visitors can enjoy all levels of artists and different styles of work. The gift shop is also worth a mention, as it is full of crafts from local artists. This museum truly encompasses all the community has to offer.