Shorter days, warmer coats, and fewer leaves on the trees; these all come to mind when we think about fall and Thanksgiving. It’s a great time of year for traditions and for appreciating the things that are really important in our lives. The true meaning of the holiday can become lost sometimes in the busyness of the preparations though, which is why it is so important to slow down and give thanks for both the big and little things in our lives.
One thing I give thanks for everyday is the beautiful city of Charleston that I proudly call my new home. Not only can I walk out the front door of the Gibbes Museum and witness firsthand this vibrant city, but the works depicting Charleston within the walls of the museum are also cause for thanks. I feel blessed to work at the Gibbes each day where the city’s beauty and history have been captured by such talented artists. I’m reminded of all those who have come before us and called Charleston home when I look at John William Hill’s Panorama of Charleston and wonder how Charlestonians in years past marked the Thanksgiving holiday.
I’ve called many places home over the years, and the distance has kept me from being near family and friends on several occasions. I feel instantly closer to my family in New Hampshire though when I see the Gibbes Museum’s painting Autumn Foliage by William Aiken Walker . I can see them fighting over the last apple cider donut a few days from now as the remainder of the leaves fall from the trees. Emma Gilchrist’s painting On the Arno, Florence reminds me of the Thanksgiving I spent in Italy, where the occasion was marked with $10 cans of cranberry sauce and an unsuccessful search for a turkey. Art has the power make our memories more vivid when we see them come to life on the canvas. We each have our own traditions and versions of home that will always be uniquely special to us. This Thanksgiving, no matter where or how you celebrate, remember to slow down and appreciate those details you might otherwise miss.
—Amanda Breen, Membership Coordinator, Gibbes Museum of Art