For Immediate Release

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


Two Special Exhibitions Open at the Gibbes on September 21

Sound and Vision: Monumental Rock and Roll Photography and Willard Hirsch: Charleston’s Sculptor

(July 9, 2012 - Charleston, South Carolina) – The Gibbes Museum of Art will have two special exhibitions on view from September 21 through December 30, 2012, Sound and Vision: Monumental Rock and Roll Photography and Willard Hirsch: Charleston’s Sculptor. In the Main Gallery, Sound and Vision will feature images taken by the foremost photographers of contemporary rock and roll, blues, and hip-hop musicians over the past five decades. The Rotunda Gallery will feature a body of work from Charleston’s premier sculptor of the 20th century, Willard Hirsch.

“The South has always had a tremendous impact on American culture and these exhibitions allow us to continue to tell the story of American art from a southern perspective. This fall, we will share the works of a beloved born-and-bred Charleston sculptor as well as iconic photographs of contemporary musicians, whose musical roots are based in the South,” notes Angela D. Mack, Executive Director.

Sound and Vision: Monumental Rock and Roll Photography

Organized by The Columbus Museum in Columbus, Georgia and guest curator Christopher Murray of Govinda Gallery in Washington, D.C., Sound and Vision presents an extraordinary look at the intersection between popular music and great photography. Since the 1950s, rock and roll has developed as the most significant musical movement in contemporary culture. Helping define fashion, language, politics, and community, rock music continues to inspire and entertain audiences throughout the world.

This exhibition presents forty stunning large-scale prints of many of the most notable musicians, songwriters, and performers of the last half of the 20th century. Taken by twenty of the most accomplished photographers of the genre, these photographs in many ways define the way we look at the musical artists who created rock and roll. Starting with photographs of influential Blues musicians and early innovators such as Elvis Presley, through the British Invasion, protest music and the Psychedelic 60s, soul music, metal, glam rock, reggae, punk, grunge, and ending with hip-hop recording artists such as Tupac Shakur and Jay-Z, Sound and Vision: Monumental Rock and Roll Photography explores the dynamic connection between the power of music and photography.

Sound and Vision: Monumental Rock and Roll Photography is sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of SC, the member auxiliary group Gibbes, etc., Y102.5 radio, and Charleston magazine.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Planters Inn, a 64-room Relais & Chateaux property situated in Charleston’s historic City Market is offering the Little Bit Country, Little Bit Rock n’ Roll package, which includes accommodations, breakfast, valet parking, tickets to Middleton Plantation, and tickets to the Gibbes to see Sound and Vision. Call (843) 722-2345 or visit for package pricing and details.

Related Programming (additional programming will be added at a later date)
Art and Fame Lecture Series
Lectures are at 6pm, followed by a wine and cheese reception
Sponsored by Music with Friends
Wednesday, September 21 - Sound and Vision Curator Chris Murray and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Donovan on the intersection between popular music and photography.
Wednesday, October 12 – Elvis Historian Warren Perry on how Elvis\'s legend fits into the greater framework of American culture.
Wednesday, October 26 – Stanfield Gray, Music Editor of Charleston Magazine, moderates discussion about art and fame with a panel of South Carolina-based musicians.
Per lecture: $20 Members, $30 Non-Members
Series of 3: $50 Members, $80 Non-Members

Curator-Led Tour
Conducted by Pam Wall, Gibbes Curator of Exhibitions
Thursdays, September 27 and October 25 at 2:30pm
Free with museum admission

For ticketed events, visit or call (843) 722-2706 x22.

Willard Hirsch: Charleston’s Sculptor

As Charleston’s premier sculptor of the twentieth century, this exhibition will examine the body of work Willard Hirsch (1905–1982) developed over the course of his fifty-year career. A native of Charleston, Hirsch trained at the National Academy of Design and the Beaux Arts Institute in the 1930s. He returned to Charleston after serving in the military during WWII and established a studio where he welcomed sculptural commissions from private collectors and public institutions. He worked in a variety of media, ranging from terracotta and plaster, to wood and metal. Over the course of his career, Hirsch exhibited his work at the National Academy of Design, National Sculpture Society, Whitney Museum of American Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and in numerous galleries and museums in the Southeast.

Some of Hirsch’s best known work is on permanent exhibition in Charleston’s public parks, including bronze sculptures in Washington Square Park, White Point Garden, the Gibbes Museum of Art garden, and Charles Towne Landing. During the exhibition, the Gibbes will distribute a guide of Hirsch’s sculptures on view throughout Charleston. An accompanying cell phone audio tour will also be produced so that art lovers can tour Hirsch’s work inside and outside of the museum.

A companion catalog, “Art is a Powerful Language” Willard Hirsch: The Man, The Artist—compiled by Jane Hirsch with photography by Doug Pinkerton and edited by Amy Fluet—is scheduled to be published by Home House Press in September 2012. In conjunction with the Gibbes exhibition, the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library will offer an exhibition of artifacts, photographs, and manuscript materials relating to the artist and his family. The College of Charleston exhibit will be on display on the third floor of the library from September 21 to December 21, 2012. For more information, contact the Addlestone Library at (843) 953-5530.

Willard Hirsch: Charleston’s Sculptor is sponsored by the member auxiliary group Gibbes, etc.

Related Programming (additional programming will be added at a later date):

Curator-Led Tour
Conducted by Sara Arnold, Gibbes Curator of Collections
Thursdays, October 11 and November 15, 2:30pm
Free with museum admission

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