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McKissick Museum

Natural history exhibits

Current and Future Exhibitions

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.

Current Exhibitions 

"Total Excitement" Album Cover

Thank You! Love, McKissick                                                                                          through December 7, 2019, North Gallery

Every so often, McKissick Museum exhibits recently acquired objects to showcase the work that goes on in our collections department and to demonstrate our sincere appreciation for donors and visitors. In this version, we are excited to highlight new additions of art, silver, quilts, minerals, pottery, political memorabilia, and objects related to UofSC history. These new acquisitions come to the museum through gifts, bequests, transfers, or purchases. It's only through the generosity of donors that we can continue telling the story of Southern life. Thank you! Love, McKissick.

Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection                              through July 18th, 2020, South Gallery

“Piece by Piece” illustrates the evolution of this textile tradition over the past one hundred and fifty years. From the early use of chintz fabrics to the widespread popularity of solid colors, these quilts reflect traditions with roots in Europe, Africa, and the American South. Visitors will have the opportunity to view 40+ quilts over the course of the show, chosen from McKissick Museum’s extensive quilt collection. Due to the fragile nature of historic textiles, individual quilts will be only be displayed for a limited time, with three rotations occurring throughout the year.

"Autograph" by David Van Hook

Abstract Art from the Permanent Collection                                                   through December 16, 2019

McKissick Museum's abstract art from the 1960s and 70s makes an appearance in our third-floor lobby. Expect to see bold colors and geometric shapes on display. The six artists featured here abandoned the traditional landscape and portrait painting that permeated South Carolina's arts history. Instead each in his or her own way dismissed figuration and embraced abstraction, choosing to produce non-objective art based on progressive artistic styles. 

Lion Specimen in Natural Curiosity

Natural Curiosity:  The University of South Carolina and the Evolution of Scientific Inquiry in the Natural World                                                           Ongoing, 3rd Floor, South Gallery

Explore your own “natural curiosity” in this exhibit that highlights the treasures of nature, and the evolution of the field of natural history.  Beginning soon after Carolina was founded as South Carolina College, professors and students alike collected samples of animal, vegetable, and mineral to study and grow their understanding of the world around them.  Today, visitors can still learn from these real and authentic objects or use newly installed touchscreens to dive deeper into the collections and explore the Historic Southern Naturalists. Where will your natural curiosity take you?


Upcoming Exhibits

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, this exhibition explores how Carolina women fought for their rights on this campus, including the right to enroll, to live on campus, to participate in sports, and have control over their bodies and their lives. 

As the repository for the South Carolina Broadcasters' Archive, McKissick is proud to present an exhibition on the life and career of Joe Pinner, a pioneering television broadcaster with WIS. Come see artifacts from his 55 year career and reminisce about his most famous program, Mr. Knozit!

Bladesmithing, or the art of making knives, has a long history in North and South Carolina. The artisans featured in this exhibition use a variety of materials to combine beauty and functionality in masterful blades.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.