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 January 11

Vibrant Vision: The Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman and Witness to History: Civil Rights Era Photographs by James Karales

(October 18, 2012 - Charleston, South Carolina) – The Gibbes Museum of Art is pleased to announce the opening of two special exhibitions on January 11, 2013, Vibrant Vision: The Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman and Witness to History: Civil Rights Era Photographs by James Karales. In the Main Gallery, Vibrant Vision will showcase Green and Weedman’s remarkable collection of modern and contemporary art in a variety of media including paintings, prints, and a number of impressive sculptures. The Rotunda Gallery will feature iconic images of the Civil Rights movement including photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

“Both exhibitions shed insight on an incredibly significant period of American history,” noted Gibbes Executive Director Angela Mack. “The photographs of James Karales offer an intimate glimpse of the Civil Rights movement in action, while Jonathan and Richard’s remarkable collection provides a broader perspective of the twentieth century and the diverse influences that have shaped American art and culture.”

Vibrant Vision: The Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman
On view from January 11 through April 21, 2013, Vibrant Vision features paintings, sculpture, and works on paper collected over the past thirty-five years by acclaimed artist Jonathan Green and his partner and studio manager Richard Weedman. The exhibition features works by artists of African American, Caribbean, Latin American, and American decent that reflect the diverse cultural influences that have shaped American art since the twentieth century.

Reflecting this diversity, the exhibition includes works created in a variety of styles, ranging from traditional, representational styles to fully abstract. Vibrant Vision explores the themes of ancestry, equality, love, and spirituality through the works of notable artists such as Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, and Sam Gilliam. Green and Weedman’s collection is particularly strong in works from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) era of the 1930s and 40s, as represented by William H. Johnson and Charles White, among others. The Social Realism of the WPA era went on to influence subsequent generations of artists, including Jonathan Green.

Vibrant Vision offers the unique opportunity to view the artwork that inspires Green and Weedman, along with five paintings created by Green himself. A resident of Charleston, Green studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the past thirty years he has earned acclaim for his vibrantly-colored paintings that reflect his upbringing in the Gullah community of Gardens Corner, South Carolina. Green has exhibited widely, and his work is included in numerous public and private collections, including the Gibbes Museum of Art.

Vibrant Vision: The Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman is sponsored by the member auxiliary group Gibbes, etc., BlueCross BlueShield of SC, and Art Mag.

Related Programming:

Exhibition Tours led by Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman
Thursdays January 14, February 21, March 14, and April 18 at 2:30pm
Free with museum admission

Society 1858 presents Habanera Rhythms
In celebration of Vibrant Vision: The Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman
Friday, February 8, from 8 – 11pm
Tickets: $50 Society 1858 Members; $75 Non-Members; $110 includes event ticket and an annual Membership to Society 1858 & the Gibbes Museum.

Witness to History: Civil Rights Era Photographs by James Karales

As part of the forthcoming 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of desegregation in South Carolina public education, the Gibbes Museum of Art is showcasing an iconic collection of Civil Rights era photographs by acclaimed photographer James Karales. Engaged as a photo-journalist for Look magazine, Karales witnessed and documented many historic events during the Civil Rights movement and created some of the era’s most iconic images. On view January 11 through May 12, 2013, this exhibition will feature forty vintage photographs from the Estate of James Karales that offer insight into this remarkable period of history—a period in which the visual image was crucial in communicating the struggle for justice to the world.

Born in Canton, Ohio, the son of Greek immigrants, James Karales (1930-2002) graduated from Ohio University in 1955 with a BFA in photography. He studied under celebrated photographer W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978) where he gained skills as a master photographic printer and learned the significance of photography not only as a creative medium but as an important means of communication. One of his first photo-essays documented Rendville, Ohio, a once prosperous, racially integrated coal-mining town that by 1956 had fallen on hard times. Karales’s insightful images of this struggling community were precursors to a career spent capturing the humanity of people struggling to be free. On assignment for Look magazine in the 1960s, Karales created some of the most indelible images of the Civil Rights movement. In 1962, Karales traveled extensively with Dr. Martin Luther King, and in 1965, he documented the Selma to Montgomery March for Voting Rights. Karales captured with his camera every aspect of this historic five-day march and in the process created some of his most powerful work.

Today, Karales’s works are in numerous public collections including the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Ga., and the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY. Two major publications, one through University of South Carolina Press entitled Controversy and Hope: The Civil Rights Photographs of James Karales, and another entitled James Karales published by Steidl and Howard Greenberg Gallery in NYC, are due for release during the exhibition and will underscore the significance of Karales and the impact of his work. In addition, Witness to History will be part of the College of Charleston’s 2013 Jubilee Project, a collaborative academic and cultural initiative extending across the Carolina Lowcountry, to acknowledge the forthcoming anniversaries. The Jubilee Project is an outgrowth of the College’s five-year Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration.

Witness to History: Civil Rights Era Photographs by James Karales is sponsored by Gateway Magazine.

Related Programming:

Curator-led Tours
Conducted by Sara Arnold, Curator of Collections
Thursdays, February 7 and March 7 at 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