Our exhibitions are based on current scholarship and research, providing the university
campus and the community with engaging presentations each year. We strive to produce
exhibitions that reflect the museum’s broad, interdisciplinary approach, educating
visitors about the diversity and richness found throughout the Southeast region.
Scenic Impressions: South Interpretations from the Johnson Collection
Scenic Impressions: Southern Interpretations from the Johnson Collection features
over forty paintings by native Southerners and painters who traveled to the Southern
states between the 1880s and the 1940s. These stunning artworks reflect a moment in
American art when a strong interest in Impressionism reinvigorated how artists viewed
their environment. Expansive landscapes and tender genre scenes became bathed in light.
With a loose, painterly style, the artists of Scenic Impressions used warm colors
and a fluidity of form to signal their desire to capture atmospheric transience or
a “scenic impression.” They strived to evoke an experience, not to simply transcribe
the natural world, and produced artworks unparalleled within the history of Southern
Image: Anthony Johannes Thieme (1888-1954), Entrance to Magnolia Gardens in Spring,
Charleston, SC, undated, oil on canvas, The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South
Friday, May 19, 2017 to Saturday, August 5, 2017
Costa Rica Connections: USC Study Abroad International Perspectives on Higher Education
The University of South Carolina has a robust study abroad program, but it is not
just for students. Faculty and staff, many of whom have never studied abroad before,
are invited to participate in the International Perspectives on Higher Education (IPHE)
professional development program. Participants gain exposure to the student study
abroad experience, learn how faculty-led programs operate, and make a comparative
study between higher education in the United States and in the host country. Travel
takes place during spring break each year.
Costa Rica Connections was created based on experiences had by faculty and staff from
different academic departments, who participated in the USC Study Abroad’s IPHE trip
to San Jose, Costa Rica in 2016. Through visits to Costa Rican universities, museums,
monuments, parks, and hospitals, we made connections through the exchange of ideas,
learning from one another, and teaching each other about our respective areas of expertise.
This exhibition gives an overview of the places visited, pointing out some of the
similarities and differences between life in Latin American and South Carolina.
Image: Crater of the Poas Volcano, Poas Volcano National Park, Alajuela Province,
Friday, January 27, 2017 to Saturday, August 26, 2017
A Compass to Guide: South Carolina Cabinetmakers Today
South Carolina has a long history of local cabinetmakers, who worked primarily to
supply their surrounding communities with the furniture and implements needed in everyday
life. While the industrial revolution saw the transition of much of this work to large,
commercial operations, individuals continued to craft furniture distinct to their
particular region. A Compass to Guide: South Carolina Cabinetmakers Today will focus
on contemporary cabinetmakers, their regional differences and similarities, and explore
the roots of their respective traditions. The exhibition will incorporate furniture
from cabinetmakers actively practicing in South Carolina, as well as photographs and
oral histories, exploring how these artists learned and what motivates them to work
with wood as their primary medium. 18th and 19th century examples of South Carolina
furniture will be featured, reflecting the importance of historical context to the
discussion of contemporary furniture traditions.
Image: Steve Reeves, Table (detail), 2015
Monday, August 1, 2016 to Saturday, July 15, 2017
Humans possess a fascination with the natural world around them. We always have. From
the 32,000-year-old cave paintings of horses in France to the giraffe stickers today's
children paste into their activity books, we can see that humans are eager to see,
touch, collect, and understand nature.
This exhibition explores this curiosity about nature by asking questions about why
we collect natural specimens and artifacts, how we display them, and what they tell
us about our relationship with and obligations to the natural world. Through an examination
of approaches to building and maintaining the natural science collections at the University
of South Carolina, this exhibition also offers a glimpse of the impressive array of
specimens collected and displayed over the past 200 years for the purposes of education,
research, and even entertainment.
Ongoing, 3rd floor gallery
Saturday, January 1, 2011 to Sunday, December 31, 2017
Fall into Sports
Fall Into Sports will explore the University of South Carolina’s rich sports heritage utilizing memorabilia,
photos, and objects from all sports played in the fall semester. From basketballs,
banners, and even our friend Cocky, this exhibit is a must see!
July 15, 2017 to Saturday, December 16, 2017
WELL SUITED: The Costumes of Alonzo V. Wilson for HBO’s® Treme
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August 1, 2017 through July 21, 2018
Nostalgia for Nature
By the late nineteenth century industrialization had transformed Western society.
Dominating cities were machine-filled factories and buildings constructed in Revivalist
architectural styles. Urbanization had taken hold creating a great divide between
artists/designers and end products. Individuals looking to resist the Machine Age
created their own artistic movements, specifically the Arts and Crafts Movement and
Art Nouveau. What these styles had is common was the goal of reviving the applied
arts and making them affordable to the general public. This exhibition will feature
examples of decorative art glass and pottery, representing the two aforementioned
art movements, from the William S. Belser and Richard D. Mandell Collections at McKissick
Museum. Objects representing important individual artisans and reputable companies
such as Emile Galle,ˊ Reneˊ Lalique, Tiffany Studios, and Rookwood Pottery are included.
Saturday, August 19, 2017 to Saturday, December 9, 2017
WTF?: What They Found
Saturday, September 9, 2017 to Saturday, December 16, 20177
Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.