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, and nourish our souls.

Cheers to 10 Years at the Society 1858 Winter Party X

This week on the blog, Augusta Cole and Mary Mac Wilson, Society 1858 Winter Party co-chairs, share what party-goers can look forward to this year’s fete and why you won’t want to miss this fabulous celebration of 10 years of Society 1858 here at the Gibbes Museum!

“Among the whisperings, and the champagne, and the stars…” F.Scott Fitzgerald

Join us at Winter Party X on Friday, February 8 from 8-11pm for a memorable evening among the art, the champagne and the stars in celebration of ten years of Society 1858. Here’s what you need to know:

WHO: Society 1858 & The Gibbes Museum of Art
Society 1858 is a group of dynamic professionals that support the Gibbes Museum of Art with social and educational programs. Members of Society 1858 have access to private exhibition previews and receptions, invitations to social events throughout the year, and free or reduced admission to Society 1858 programs. Sophisticated and exciting programs combined with extensive networking opportunities make membership an unparalleled experience.

WHAT: Winter Party X
Whether you attended Graffiti in the Garden or heard about Habanero Rhythm, you may be familiar with our annual February fete, but this year is going to be extra special as we toast ten years of Society 1858 and the Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art.

WHEN: Friday, February 8 from 8-11pm
Because the evening will begin fashionably late, be sure to make a night of it and grab a bite before! We will be sure to balance your champagne intake with oysters from Oysters XO and southern classics by Cru Catering.

WEAR: Black Tie (or artful interpretation thereof)
While the simple answer is to don your most fashionable black tie finery, Winter Party X is a celebration of contemporary art, so we welcome you to give “black tie” your own unique spin. The party will be in the beautiful Beaux Arts museum building as well as outside in the Lenhardt Garden, so please be sure to select your dress – and shoes! – accordingly.

MCG Photography

WHY: Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art
Your participation in Winter Party X contributes directly to funding the Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. Presented annually, the Prize awards $10,000 to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South and recognizes the highest level of artistic achievement in any media.


1. Let’s be honest: where else do you have the potential to take home a Tim Hussey original for $15? By purchasing tickets to the event, you are automatically registered with Bidr and eligible to purchase bids ($15 each) towards thirty original works by some of Charleston’s most well-known contemporary artists. Jill Hooper, Nathan Durfee, Kate Long Stevenson, Madame Magar, Chambers Austelle, and Alex Waggoner, among others, have contributed 10 x 10 pieces on tin – the traditional material for tenth anniversaries. Preview images of the art on our website and come ready to take one with you at the end of the evening!

Brick and Teal by Alex Waggoner

2. If you want a semi-private viewing experience, be sure to sneak upstairs to take in the Gibbes’ galleries in a new light with after hours access to the whole collection. The museum will be open during the party and perusing the art is a lovely way to spend a quiet part of your evening – or perfect your selfie in the gorgeous rotunda!

3. After an idyllic perusal of the collection, head out to the garden to toe tap to the twinkling sound of Elan Artists’ very own Bon Musique, and indulge in custom cocktails featuring Blade and Bow Bourbon and beer by Frothy Beard Brewing.

4. While you are busy sipping these delicious beverages and your eyes are feasting on the art, be sure to keep your stomach happy by sampling delectable passed hors d’oeuvres from Cru Catering. The bite sized Southern staples from tomato pie to lowcountry boil skewers will not disappoint.

MCG Photography

5. Leave your oyster knives at home and allow the glamorous team from Oysters XO to handle the shucking for you! We can’t think of anything that will compliment your glass of bubbly more than a roaming raw bar.

6. You won’t want to miss the elevated photo booth, designed by Charleston’s own Lucy Cuneo! It will be anything but typical and will have your social media buzzing. Be sure to grab your friends and strike a pose for a sophisticated portrait, in the Vanity Fair style, to commemorate a lovely evening!

7. And we would be foolish not to mention our leading design partners for the fete! SYG Designs will be dazzling us with her artful compositions and nack for old world ambiance. Look forward to lounging a la Snyder Events and admiring the signature lighting installation by our friends at Technical Events. Whether cloudy or clear, it will be a starry night at The Gibbes!

8. Last but not least, we have given you the perfect excuse to continue to ring in 2019… this time in your finest, with your fabulous friends, all the while celebrating the continued growth of the contemporary art scene in our fair city!

Mary Mac is most excited about:
“The fabulous art! I am so impressed with each new piece that comes in and cannot wait to see all thirty small works hung together. We have such a tremendously talented and generous community of artists in Charleston, and it will be a joy to celebrate them!”

Augusta is most excited about:
“I have loved the creative collaboration among our Society 1858 board members and our incredible event sponsors. Our design and culinary partners are all so inspired to deliver an especially signature evening to celebrate our contemporary artists … I can’t wait to see it all come together!”

—Augusta Cole and Mary Mac Wilson, guest bloggers and Society 1858 Winter Party co-chairs

Published February 1, 2019

Top image: Party-goers enjoying the Winter Party festivities in years past. 

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