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Collection of Photographs by William Eggleston on Display at the Gibbes Museum of Art

Installation shot with 6 framed photographs

The Gibbes Museum of Art is now exhibiting a collection of photographs by William Eggleston, an American photographer whose portraits and landscapes of the American South revolutionized the medium and its relationship to color photography. William Eggleston Photographs from the Laura and Jay Crouse Collection will be on display in the museum’s Galleries 2 & 3 until Oct. 9, 2022.

“William Eggleston’s unique ability to conflate the epic and the everyday and his incredible use of color has made him a pivotal figure in late 20th century photography,” says Angela Mack, executive director of the Gibbes Museum of Art. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to display these works, by such an impactful southern artist, at the Gibbes.”

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Eggleston first photographed his local environs in the 1950s in black-and-white but became one of the first fine art photographers to use color to record his observations in a more heightened and accurate way. Today, his strikingly vivid yet enigmatic images of parked cars, billboards, storefronts, diners, and other artifacts of the ordinary world are considered groundbreaking.

The photographs presented in this edition of the museum’s ongoing Charleston Collects exhibition series were selected from the Laura and Jay Crouse Collection and represent many of the pioneering artist’s most notable works. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalog with an essay on the artist by Simon Constantine, Ph.D., professor of photographic history at Birkbeck, University of London, and Sotheby’s Art Institute.

The Gibbes will host these special programs in connection with William Eggleston Photographs from the Laura and Jay Crouse Collection:

  • Depth of Field: Perspectives on 20th Century Photography | William Eggleston, March 3, 1PM (VIRTUAL)

A part of an ongoing virtual lecture series, this program will focus on the contributions of the god father of American color photography, William Eggleston with Simon Constantine, Professor of Art History at Birkbeck University of London and contributor to the exhibition catalogue. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3gJF8L4.

  • Tour of Exhibition with Collector Jay Crouse, March 10, 2:30PM (IN-PERSON)

Explore the exhibition with the collector, Jay Crouse. This tour will be in-person and is free and open to the public. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3BivbOo.

  • Photographing Charleston Walking Tour, May 9, 9AM (IN-PERSON)

Inspired by William Eggleston, explore highlights of Charleston’s historic district and discover the best locations to capture stunning photographs with a phone or camera. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3uQb3SG.

  • The New South and Modern Photography, May 10, 1PM (VIRTUAL)

Inspired by the trailblazing color photography of William Eggleston, join Mark Long, co-curator of the landmark 2018 Halsey Institute at the College of Charleston exhibition Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, for a virtual discussion that will consider contemporary photographic works and perspectives of photographers included in Southbound. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3sN1aCC.

  • Sea to Shining Sea: A New Muse Concert, July 14, 6PM (IN-PERSON)

The Gibbes will investigate how the everyday becomes art, and how a contemporary Southerner and a romantic Czech composer translate the sights and sounds of America, in connection with the exhibition. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3rNbBGK.

Published February 28, 2022

Top image: Installation shot of William Eggleston Photographs. Photo by MCG Photography

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