For Immediate Release

Media Contacts: Melanie Mathos / Hannah Nuccio
Lou Hammond & Associates /
(843) 371-1363 / (843) 410-5306


Gibbes Museum of Art Awarded National Endowment for the Arts Grant

Gibbes is the only museum in South Carolina to receive the NEA Grant in 2007

(Charleston, SC) – The Gibbes Museum of Art has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of a major traveling exhibition and accompanying publication titled Landscape of Slavery: The Plantation in American Art. In its 40-year history, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded more than 120,000 grants that have brought art to Americans in communities large and small. Past funded projects include the Sundance Film Festival, PBS’s Great Performances series and Spoleto Festival USA. The Gibbes is the only museum in South Carolina to receive an NEA grant in 2007.

“The National Endowment for the Arts, through its support of this exhibition, has made an important statement about the significance of the Gibbes Museum of Art and its contributions to the study of American art” says Todd Smith, Gibbes Executive Director.

A genre predominantly tied to the Southern region of the United States, the plantation view has traditionally received marginal scholarly attention in studies of American history and landscape painting. In recent years however, plantation imagery has attracted the interest of social historians who have identified the genre as a rich source for exploring issues of wealth, race, memory, nostalgia and resentment. An outgrowth of this broader interest in plantation imagery, Landscape of Slavery: The Plantation in American Art aims to bridge and expand upon previous scholarship and explore the aesthetic motives and social uses of works of art featuring plantations from the eighteenth century through the present.

For several centuries and continuing today, artists of diverse backgrounds and experiences have used the plantation as a site for artistic expression. Organized thematically and including objects from numerous public and private collections throughout the United States, Landscape of Slavery aims to unravel the realities and fictions inherent in the subject matter.

To ensure a dynamic, engaging and rigorous approach to the plantation subject, a strong roster of scholars have been involved with this project from its inception. Each has contributed an essay to the accompanying publication that furthers the discussion of the plantation as inspiration and residue.

Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905 in historic Charleston, S.C. The Gibbes houses one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present. The Gibbes is currently undergoing major renovations and will reopen in the spring of 2016. The renovated museum will properly showcase its extensive collections and will feature an admission-free ground floor, providing a place to watch artists at work in studios and stroll through a world-class garden.

135 Meeting Street | Charleston, SC | 29401