For Immediate Release

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


Historic Photographs of Charleston Landmarks on View at the Gibbes Museum of Art

The photography of George W. Johnson is on view September 8, 2006 – April 15, 2007 in the Works on Paper Gallery

(Charleston, SC) – The Gibbes Museum of Art presents a unique opportunity to view photographs of Lowcountry landmarks now vanished or altered in the exhibition A Souvenir of Charleston: The Photography of George W. Johnson.  Featuring such striking images as the Morris Island Lighthouse with the original lightkeeper’s house and the South Carolina and West Indian Exposition of 1901-1902, this exhibition showcases images of Charleston’s architecture 1890-1930.  A Souvenir of Charleston: The Photography of George W. Johnson is on view September 8, 2006 through April 15, 2007.

The photographs of George W. Johnson represent one of the most comprehensive and historically significant visual records of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Charleston in existence. Photographing both rural and city scenes, Johnson captured images of Charleston’s architecture and environs that provide an intimate portrait of the city’s landscape.

Moving about Charleston with his homemade camera Johnson actively documented the city’s landmark architecture, people and events over a period of nearly fifty years. His work depicts Charleston as it transitioned from a city recovering from its failed agrarian based economy to a city emerging as a nationally renowned tourist destination. His photographs were frequently used in visitor’s guides and brochures of the time period and he often sold his images to tourists shopping in his family’s umbrella store.

The Johnson collection at the Gibbes is comprised of over 1200 glass-plate negatives that were donated to the Gibbes in the 1960s. In 2006 a portion of the collection was conserved and digitized with grant funds provided by the Museum Loan Network. An invaluable resource to historians and preservationists, Johnson’s photographs remain an irreplaceable souvenir of Charleston’s history.

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