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.

Spring in Charleston, 1925, by Childe Hassam


Spring in Charleston, 1925, by Childe Hassam

Spring in Charleston, 1925
By Childe Hassam (American, 1859 – 1935)
Etching on paper; 7 ¼ x 11 ¾ inches
Gibbes Museum of Art (1993.003)

Between late March and early April 1925, Childe Hassam traveled south to Savannah, Georgia, stopping in Baltimore, Richmond, and Charleston along the way. Though he likely arrived in Charleston while the city’s vibrant spring foliage was nearing its peak, the renowned American Impressionist chose to depict his surroundings in black-and-white. However, his etchings emphasized the significance of the city’s native vegetation; while the focal point of Spring in Charleston is the striking entrance of a Charleston single house, the adjacent garden illustrated in the print is barely restrained by the iron fencing depicted in the foreground. The abundant shrubs and vines intertwine the fence posts, climb the balcony banisters, and frame the grand doorway, demonstrating the close interconnection between the city’s historic architecture and lush gardens.

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