Letter From The President

As a southern art museum with a global perspective, our mission is not only to enhance lives through art, but to expand the ways that art can reflect and reshape our communities. Our four pillars of social justice, conservation and the environment, innovation, and health and wellness offer a framework that guides our selection of rotating exhibitions and our corresponding educational programming.

It is our hope that as you explore our museum you are able to connect your own stories, ideas, and interpretations to the works that you see on view.

Together we continue the story of art and Charleston.

Gibbes Museum Executive Director Angela Mack


The Gibbes enriches lives through art. Charleston’s only art museum, we are committed to telling the story of Charleston’s ever-changing landscape and its people. Including historical, modern, and contemporary works, our collection spans 350 years and features some of the country’s most celebrated artists. With world-class rotating exhibitions and a dynamic visiting artist residency program, there’s so much to see inside. Set in the heart of downtown Charleston, the Gibbes is a southern museum with a global perspective.

The Gibbes Museum of Art is home to the foremost collection of American art that incorporates the story of Charleston. The Museum connects the city and region’s artistic past to a vibrant contemporary art scene. This is what we believe.

Art is the reason.

A bustling seaport in the 1700s, Charleston was a melting pot of cultures, religions, and traditions. Powered by the labor of enslaved peoples in the rice and indigo trades, it was the 4th largest city in America in 1790—and the wealthiest. Like Philadelphia, Boston and New York, what distinguished Charleston then—was art.

While we were home to some of America’s earliest art, collectors, and artists, who made the City both muse and subject—and took our turn as one of the nation’s richest cities—in money and culture—so were we also home to America’s original sin, slavery—and a war that divided our nation.

In 1888, when Charleston was financially and culturally on its knees, benefactor James Gibbes left a bequest to the City to build an art museum. When the Gibbes Museum opened in 1905, the nation celebrated what Charleston has always understood: the power of art—to inspire our imagination, heal our hurt, revel in our experience, rebuild what’s broken, nourish our souls, and release all that holds us back.

In Charleston, we believe art is the difference between merely existing and being truly alive. That’s why we immerse ourselves in every part of it—from fine art to craft—from nurturing its creation and celebrating its multicultural presentation to inviting its interpretation and ensuring its preservation.

In the presence of art, we have the opportunity to see inside the artist’s heart, mind, and soul and feel what the artist felt. That understanding and compassion make us more understanding, compassionate people, who, in turn, create a more compassionate, understanding world.

That is art’s gift.


The Gibbes Museum of Art is recognized among the oldest arts organizations in the United States. Home to the Carolina Art Association, established in 1858, the Gibbes has played a significant role in both enriching the aesthetic and cultural lives of its visitors and shaping the careers of American artists for over a century.


Board Members

The Gibbes Museum of Art Board of Directors is made up of a diverse and dedicated group of business and community leaders, educators, collectors, and philanthropists.

  • Society 1858

    Join a group of young professionals supporting the museum with social and educational programs made for up-and-coming art patrons.

  • Women's Council

    Volunteer time and talent for events and programs that benefit the Gibbes and support its mission of enhancing lives through art.

  • Sustainability

    We actively encourage sustainable practices and implement small but lasting actions to conserve natural resources. Sustainability allows us to meet the needs of the present, build an environmentally conscious culture for the future, enhancing both our mission and the community’s experience.

  • Work With Us

    We believe art is a calling – and a career.