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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 

Four Handled Jar by Thomas Chandler

Swag & Tassel: The Innovative Stoneware of Thomas Chandler                        through July 20th, 2019, 2nd Floor, South Gallery  

Swag & Tassel: The Innovative Stoneware of Thomas Chandler,  is the first retrospective exhibition of a 19th century Edgefield, SC, potter since I Made This Jar: The Life and Works of the Enslaved African-American Potter, Dave. Building upon the research in Philip Wingard's 2014 Ceramics in America article, "From Baltimore to the South Carolina Backcountry: Thomas Chandler's Influence on 19th Century Stoneware," the exhibition brings archaeological and archival research to bear on our understanding of the nature and scope of Chandler's technical and aesthetic innovations within the context of mid-19th century Edgefield District pottery manufacturing.

Eugene Pottery

Place It/Face It: Pottery by Eugene                                                                   through December 15th 2018, 2nd Floor, North Gallery

Place It/Face It: Pottery by Eugene is the first retrospective exhibition of ceramic art by self-taught African-American potters Winton and Rosa Eugene of Cowpens, SC.  For thirty years, this husband and wife artistic team has produced a body of functional wares that speak to southerners’ shared experience of place and sculptural works that seek to address issues of particular concern to them.  The exhibit will survey both the wheel-turned, painted plates and pitchers that Winton creates to document the vernacular architecture, flora and fauna of the south, as well as the series of sculptural works Rosa hand coils—Minority in Relief, The Struggle, and Beauty to name a few.   

Fort Jackson Class Photo

 The Great War in the Capital City: Reflections on World War, 100 Years Later                                                                                                                               through December 17th, 2018, 3rd Floor, Lobby

Opening for the centennial of U.S. involvement in World War I, this exhibition will discuss the importance of WWI at the University of South Carolina, as well as in the greater Columbia community. The Great War in the Capital City explores the use of art as propaganda, the ways in which material culture provides a glimpse into the past, and the ethics of rewarding wartime service. The exhibition will feature items from the collection of Army Chaplain and USC alumnus George K. Way, wartime sheet music and posters, and various commemorative medals, among other objects.

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 not only the treasures of nature, but also the evolution of the field of natural history.  Beginning soon after UofSC 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