Archive for the ‘SC History’ Category

Tickets Now On Sale for Charleston, SC’s Museum Mile Weekend – Sept. 23-25, 2011

September 8, 2011

The cultural sites along Charleston, SC’s Museum Mile have come together for the third annual Museum Mile Weekend on Sept. 23-25, 2011. This year, Friday has been added to what has been a two-day weekend, so now pass holders have even more time to enjoy the Mile. A single pass allows visitors complimentary admission to thirteen sites along and around Meeting Street in historic downtown Charleston.  Many of the cultural institutions will also offer special programs during Museum Mile Weekend. The Weekend Pass is only $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. If purchased separately, adult admission for the participating sites would cost over $100 for adults and more than $50 for children.

Museum Mile Weekend passes are available at ( and at all Charleston Visitor Center locations including the downtown location at 375 Meeting Street and in Mt. Pleasant at 99 Harry Hallman Blvd. Online purchasers will receive their passes in the mail.

Launched in 2008 as a cooperative marketing effort among non-profit organizations, Charleston’s Museum Mile features the richest concentration of cultural sites open to visitors in downtown Charleston. Along and around the one-mile section of Meeting Street, visitors can discover six museums, five nationally important historic houses, four scenic parks and a Revolutionary War powder magazine.

“The Museum Mile Weekend Pass offers a great value and a unique opportunity for locals and tourists to visit the cultural attractions for just one price. There is so much to see and do along the Mile, and we invite everyone to participate,” notes Angela Mack, Executive Director of the Gibbes Museum of Art. For more information, visit ( or call 843/722-2996 x235.

Participating Sites on Friday, Saturday and Sunday:
(special programming and any special Museum Mile Weekend hours are noted in bold)

Aiken-Rhett House – 48 Elizabeth Street
Built in 1820 and greatly expanded by Gov. and Mrs. William Aiken, Jr. in the 1830s, this house and its outbuildings have survived as a time capsule virtually unaltered since 1858. Children are invited to enjoy a scavenger hunt throughout the weekend as they explore the house, grounds and outbuildings and learn more about the people who lived and worked on the property.

The Charleston Museum – 360 Meeting Street
America’s first museum showcases the cultural and natural history of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. On Friday, a series of curator-led collection tours: 10:00 a.m. Silver, 11:00 a.m. Charleston maps, 2:00 p.m. Natural History hall, & 3:00 Threads of War. Children’s crafts and scavenger hunt Saturday 10:00 a.m. – noon.

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry – 25 Ann Street
The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry offers eight hands-on interactive learning environments for children 3 months to 10 years.

Joseph Manigault House – 350 Meeting Street
“Charleston’s Huguenot House” was built in 1803 and is a premier example of Adam-style, or Federal, architecture. Friday, Saturday & Sunday (4:00pm), focus tours at the Joseph Manigault House will give a glimpse of the house’s fascinating World War II history, in addition to regular house tours. 

Confederate Museum – 188 Meeting Street (closed Sundays)
Since 1898, the Daughters of the Confederacy have operated the Confederate Museum, which contains flags, uniforms, swords and other Confederate memorabilia. This museum is closed on Sundays.

Powder Magazine – 79 Cumberland Street
South Carolina’s oldest public building, The Powder Magazine (circa 1713) served as an arsenal within the old walled city and was utilized through the American Revolution. Note hours of operation change: visitation each day 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Pirate storytelling with period-dressed Eric Lavender and his parrot on Friday at 1:30 p.m. (additional fee may be required for the pirate program; for more information, call 843-722-9350 or visit Revolutionary drum and fife presentations and musket cartridge rolling for kids Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lecture – The Stono Rebellion with historian Michael Coker on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. (recommended for adults).

Gibbes Museum of Art – 135 Meeting Street
Experience Charleston’s history through art!  Explore stories of the Lowcountry as seen through painting, miniature portraiture, sculpture, photographs and more.  Exhibitions on view include The Charleston Story, The Creative Spirit: Vernacular Art from the Gadsden Arts Center Permanent Collection, and In Search of Julien Hudson: Free Artist of Color in Pre–Civil War New Orleans. Docent-led tours of the museum will be offered at 2:30pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

South Carolina Historical Society -100 Meeting Street  (closed Friday)
The Historical Society is the state’s oldest repository of letters, maps, and images.  The Society’s exhibit, “Know Your State’s History,” will be followed by a fun trivia game to test your knowledge of South Carolina’s past. Tours of the exhibit will be given at the top of the hour. Hours are 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. SCHS is not open on Friday.

Old Slave Mart Museum – 6 Chalmers Street (closed Sundays)
The Museum’s exhibits focus on the domestic slave trade from the perspectives of historically-documented slaveowners, slave traders and enslaved African Americans, and speak to their stories, contributions and legacies. On Friday and Saturday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., the director will conduct connoisseur tours of the museum and share the stories of several individuals who passed through this auction complex.  Children are invited to enjoy a scavenger hunt throughout the weekend. This museum is closed Sundays.

The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon – 122 East Bay Street
Completed in 1771 as the New Exchange and Custom House, visitors can explore Charleston’s colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War past while retracing the steps of presidents, patriots and pirates!

Heyward-Washington House – 87 Church Street
Built in 1772, “Charleston’s Revolutionary War House” was the townhome of Thomas Heyward, Jr., Revolutionary War patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence. In addition to regular house tours, special Revolutionary War focus tours are offered Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 4:00 pm at the Heyward-Washington House.

Nathaniel Russell House – 51 Meeting Street
Visitors are invited to admire the grand Federal style townhouse of Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell, built in 1808. Children are invited to enjoy a scavenger hunt and family-focused guided tours throughout the weekend to learn more about the house and garden as well as all of the people who lived and worked on the property.

Edmondston-Alston House – 21 East Battery
The Edmondston-Alston House was one of the first dwellings built on Charleston’s High Battery in 1825. View a fine collection of family furnishings, books, silver and paintings. Guided tours discuss Secessionists, Soldiers, and Slaves: The Alston Family’s Civil War. Eye-Spy game available for children.

City of Charleston (SC) Calls for Poster Images to Commemorate Civil War

January 17, 2011

The City of Charleston is looking for entries for a poster image of Official Lowcountry Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

2010 to 2015 marks the Sesquicentennial of a historic series of events in our nation’s history which altogether encompasses what we know as The Civil War. There is no joy to be found in a war that caused the deaths of over 620,000 American soldiers, sailors and marines from the North and the South – who lived, fought and died for that which they believed. However, there is much we can learn from them and from that extraordinary conflict, as the lessons of history are meant to be examined, understood, and applied.  It is important to know that the Sesquicentennial is not a celebration but an observance.

All artists born in South Carolina or currently residing in the state are invited to submit artwork for consideration as the poster image for  the Official Lowcountry Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

Only original artwork submitted by the artist or the artist’s representative will be accepted – limited to two (2) entries per artist. Artwork must not have been previously exhibited in any City of Charleston program. Two-dimensional artwork only – size must not exceed 36″ x 36″. Submit actual artwork, no slides accepted. Completed entry form (on bottom of page) must be attached to the backof the artwork.

A panel of arts professionals and historians will choose the official poster image for the 2011 Official Lowcountry Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Only submissions which meet the stated guidelines will be considered. Selection Panel includes: Harriet Green, South Carolina Arts Commission; Angela Mack, Gibbes Museum of Art; Robert Rosen, Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee; Dale Rosengarten, Historian;  Mark Sloan, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art; Dr. Michael S. Kogan, The Brand Foundation; and others. Ex-Officio Members – Ellen Dressler Moryl, Director, City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs; Vanessa Turner-Maybank, City of Charleston Tourism Department Director & Clerk of Council.

Recognition as the poster artist for the 2011 Official Lowcountry Observance of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War Winning image will be re-produced on the cover of the Sesquicentennial commemorative program;  5,000 to 10,000 souvenir posters; other merchandise such as t-shirts, etc. Winning artist receives 100 posters, 10 commemorative programs. Purchase Award: $1,000 will be presented to the selected artist. The City of Charleston and the Fort Sumter/Fort Moultrie Historical Trust will retain possession and all legal rights to the artwork selected, including all reproduction and photographic rights, with credit for the artwork being given to the artist in all accompanying materials.

Drop-off: Friday morning, February 18, 2011. Entries must be hand-delivered to the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, 34 Prioleau Street between 11am-12pm. Pick-up: Friday afternoon, February 18, 2011. Submitted artwork must be picked-up between 4pm-5pm. The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs will not be held responsible for works not picked-up at this time. Notification: Selected artist will be notified by telephone no later than Monday, February 21, 2011. Questions? Call the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs at 843/724-7305 and download this prospectus from (

South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC, Launches Website Exhibit on Civil War in SC

November 11, 2010

The South Carolina State Museum’s newest exhibit is unique from a visual standpoint in two ways. First, it can’t be seen in the museum. Second, it can’t be seen (clearly) in two dimensions.

This extraordinary photography exhibit, Post Civil War Images of South Carolina, opens Nov. 15, 2010, on the museum’s website (, is an online-only show, and though it is from nearly a century and a half ago, the photos are, surprisingly, in three dimensions.

“With so many new movies coming out in 3-D, most folks may think that it’s a new phenomenon, or at least no older than the 1950s, when the technology became a brief national craze,” said Curator of History Fritz Hamer. Not so.

“In actuality, the technology goes back a century before that. The Civil War era is presented in three dimensional photographs in this new exhibit.”

The exhibit features approximately 27 stereograph pictures of South Carolina scenes taken by three photographers. Most are from the period immediately following the war, 1865-66, said Hamer.

“In their day a stereoscope, or stereo viewer, was needed to see these photos in three dimensions. The odd contraption was kind of an early version of today’s Viewmaster. We acquired the collection last year because they’re South Carolina photos, and their acquisition adds to the museum’s growing Civil War collection. The 3-D aspect also makes them rare for that day.”

The photos are by military photographer Sam Cooley and two other unidentified photographers.

Visitors to the Web exhibit will see several shots of Fort Sumter’s interior and exterior walls soon after the 1861 surrender of the fort to the Confederates, and again after the war’s end in 1865.

Also depicted are various buildings on Hilton Head Island, which became an important naval base for the Union; a Beaufort mansion which was converted into a hospital; downtown Charleston after the war, showing the devastation from fires and the numerous shellings the city had endured; and military formations like the First South Carolina colored troop.

The exhibit – actually an independent Web site to complement the museum’s main Civil War site observing the sesquicentennial of the Civil War – was designed by Buff Ross of Alloneword Design in Sullivan’s Island, SC, who also designed the Web site related to the museum’s Palmetto Portraits exhibit, said Art Curator Paul Matheny.

“It’s fitting to have this online exhibition of recently-acquired stereo cards to complement Palmetto Portraits,” he said. “South Carolina has a rich photographic heritage and these two collections provide a glimpse of both ends of the spectrum of the state’s photographic history.”

“I came from a museum background before I designed websites, so I tried to marry the two, along with 3-D photos which is an interest of mine,” added Ross. “I think 3-D pictures have a ‘wow’ factor that many people don’t get from a regular black and white photo.

“Also, stereo cards aren’t commonly utilized in museums, and the site allows them to be seen the way they were intended to be seen, in three dimensions.”

For further information visit the museum’s website at (