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Oscar Wilde, then the poster boy of the inherently queer British Aestheticism Movement, visited Charleston in 1882. That same year, a local newspaper would attribute the popularity of yellow Easter egg dyes to the influence of “aesthetic fever.” Something Terrible May Happen: The Art of Aubrey Beardsley and Edward Ned I.R. Jennings will expand on the lasting influence of “aesthetic fever” as it relates to Charleston’s visual arts specifically. Recontextualizing the work of Charleston Renaissance artist Edward “Ned” I.R. Jennings, and examining the stylistic affinity of his work to British Aesthete, and famed illustrator, Aubrey Beardsley, Something Terrible May Happen will open new doors for exploring the LGBTQ+ influences on the Charleston Renaissance and one of its most original artists.
This exhibition is generously support by the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation and is curated by Chase Quinn, Curator of Education and Programs at the Gibbes Museum of Art.