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The Gift of the Gibbes

I’ve been working at the Gibbes for a little over a year now and I’ve been sharing my love for this fabulous institution with family and friends. I’ve taken my sister to parties and my mom to lectures. I encouraged my niece to take summer camp and some friends to take a studio art class with me. They all loved it! So this holiday season I decided to give the gift of the Gibbes to my Aunt Julie: I bought her a membership to the Gibbes (and a bottle of wine).

Becca and her sister Julie Foster celebrate La Belle Epoque

Becca and her sister Julie Foster celebrate “La Belle Epoque” at the Gibbes on the Street party in May.

Gibbes CFO Jim Dixon, Becca, and her friend Hannah Hosemann, at the 1858 Prize Unveiling Party in September.

Gibbes CFO Jim Dixon, Becca, and her friend Hannah Hosemann, at the 1858 Prize Unveiling Party in September.

Aunt Julie and I are very close. She is my mom’s only sibling, never married or had children, and has always loved to travel. As a young adult she traveled to amazing places with her aunts, going to Egypt, Alaska, Hawaii, France and Italy (to name a few). Over the past few years we’ve started travelling together and have enjoyed visiting museums, among other things, across Europe. Our first travel experience together was while I studied abroad in Venice, Italy. She and my mom came for a week and we had a great time exploring the city and even ventured to a local soccer match. That was an experience. Our next adventure together was to the motherland in Poland with my mom and some of their cousins. We all had a great time eating pierogi and learning the language (or at least trying).

Aunt Julie and Becca enjoying a whisky tasting at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland.

Becca and Aunt Julie enjoying a whisky tasting at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland.

The next year she found a tour to London called “Theatre in the West End” with Road Scholar (if you don’t know, this is a tour company that caters to the retired set). I told her she needed a travel companion and she said she’d love to take me along. We haven’t looked back since! We’ve been on organized tours and also toured on our own to Cornwall, England and Scotland. Most recently we went on a Danube River Cruise which was an amazing experience that took us to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. The two of us have had a blast tasting regional specialties, admiring old churches, attending performances, exploring grocery stores, and, of course, visiting all different types of museums. Some museum highlights include the London Transport Museum, the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow (home of da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine), the Culloden Battlefield in Scotland, and the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest.

She has given me so much over the years, especially a taste for adventure, a full passport, and a love for museums. She has shared her passion for travel and many of her travel tips. She has also inspired me to have a very close relationship with my niece, and I hope one day to take her on wonderful trips when she’s older. With everything she has given me, the least I could do was give her unlimited access to one of my favorite places in Charleston.

Becca Hiester, Curatorial Assistant, Gibbes Museum of Art

Published December 23, 2015

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