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The Gibbes Museum of Art to Reopen Following COVID-19 Related Closure

Central to Their Lives

CHARLESTON, S.C., May 25, 2020 – The Gibbes Museum of Art will reopen to the public on June 1, after temporarily closing its doors on March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Gibbes has enacted new safety precautions to ensure the safety of all museum visitors and has revised their special exhibition schedule to focus on the riches of our region through special private collections and featured artists.

“We are anxious to welcome guests back to the museum after the COVID-19-related closure,” says Angela Mack, executive director of the Gibbes Museum of Art. “While safety is our number one concern, we recognize the healing power that art has for so many in our community, and we are thrilled to be able to open the museum as a respite for those struggling during these uncertain times.”

The Gibbes’ new safety precautions include:

· Guests will be required to wear face masks. Gibbes team members are also required to wear face masks. Masks will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.

· Guests must maintain a 6-foot distance from others while visiting the museum.

· Guests are asked to follow the posted one-way path through the museum to limit contact with other visitors.

· Groups are limited to three people or immediate family members.

· The museum will be limiting occupancy to 50% in accordance with city and state regulations.

· Guests are encouraged to purchase advanced tickets online to reduce unnecessary contact with staff.

· Hand sanitizer stations are provided throughout the museum for your convenience.

· Antiviral sweeps are conducted every hour to ensure all surfaces are routinely sanitized.

In addition to the museum’s permanent collection of American art that touches Charleston, the Gibbes will be displaying special exhibitions that include the private collections of local art enthusiasts. Due to popular demand and the museum’s untimely closing resulting from COVID-19, the Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection, A Return to the Grand Tour: Micromosaic Jewels from the Collection of Elizabeth Locke and Charleston Collects: British Sporting Art from the Penkhus Collection exhibitions have been extended.

Special Exhibitions

Cane River Baptism, ca. 1950–1956, by Clementine Reuben Hunter
Cane River Baptism, ca. 1950–1956, by Clementine Reuben Hunter (1886–1988); Oil on paper board; 19 x 23 7/8 inches; The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina

Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection
On view through August 9, 2020

Spanning the decades between the late 1890s and early 1960s, Central to Their Lives brings together for the first time, the paintings and sculptures of 42 diverse women artists who made significant contributions to the art of the South. Presented in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the exhibition examines the challenges female artists faced during a period in which women’s social, cultural and political roles were being redefined and reinterpreted. The artists showcased made remarkable impacts by fostering future generations of artists through instruction, incorporating new aesthetics into the fine arts and challenging the status quo. The exhibition includes works by leading figures in the so-called Charleston Renaissance such as Alice Ravenel Huger Smith and Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, as well as Corrie McCallum, Minnie Evans, Anne Goldthwaite, Clementine Hunter and Augusta Savage.

Roman Forum, Rome, 19th century; Micromosaic set in gold as a brooch, with alternating 6-mm cabochon aquamarines with side gold dots and 5-mm faceted aquamarines around bezel; 54 x 62 mm; Collection of Elizabeth Locke; (Photo: Travis Fullerton, © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)

A Return to the Grand Tour: Micromosaic Jewels from the Collection of Elizabeth Locke
On view through January 10, 2021

Contemporary jewelry designer Elizabeth Locke first became fascinated with micromosaics when she lived in Florence, Italy. These miniature mosaics were once popular mementos sold to travelers on their Grand Tour through Italy, but the delicate jewels faded from fashion toward the end of the 19th century. Locke purchased her first micromosaic in 1989—a small rectangle of the Temple of Vesta—and reset it in her own distinctive neoclassical style, using hand-hammered 19K gold and cabochon stones. From there, her collection grew and now comprises more than a hundred examples, many of which she has mounted as precious jewels. A Return to the Grand Tour features 92 brilliant examples from Locke’s private collection and presents a fascinating juxtaposition of antique and modern craftsmanship.

Grand National Canal Turn, 1907, by Lionel Dalhousie Robertson Edwards
Grand National Canal Turn, 1907, by Lionel Dalhousie Robertson Edwards (British 1878-1966);Watercolor on paper, 14 x 20 inches; Image courtesy of Penkhus Collection

Charleston Collects: British Sporting Art from the Penkhus Collection
On view through October 4, 2020

The Charleston Collects series at the Gibbes aims to highlight significant fine art collections created by Lowcountry residents. This exhibition features exceptional British sporting art paintings from the private collection of Dr. Stephen and Mrs. Martha Penkhus. The Penkhus’ began collecting their prized paintings in 1986 when they purchased a portrait of the famed nineteenth-century English racing horse, Cotherstone, by John Frederick Herring, Sr. (1795–1865). Their passion for British sporting art and culture continued to blossom, taking them on many unexpected adventures that led them to build a first-rate collection of animal and sporting paintings. The collection includes paintings by notable English sporting painters including Frederick Herring, Sr., James Ward (1769–1859), Sir Alfred Munnings (1878–1959) and many more.

Fishing Spot, 2011, by Jonathan Green
Fishing Spot, 2011, by Jonathan Green (American, b. 1955), oil on canvas, 11 x 14 inches. Courtesy of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman.

Building a Legacy: The Vibrant Vision Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman
August 21, 2020 – January 10, 2021

Over the past 40 years, acclaimed artist Jonathan Green and his partner and studio director, Richard Weedman, have amassed an astonishing collection of nearly 1,300 paintings, sculpture and works on paper. Building a Legacy: The Vibrant Vision Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman presents a selection of 45 works of art from this significant private collection, offering a rare glimpse at the couple’s aesthetic interests and the artistic

inspiration behind Green’s own artwork. Building a Legacy explores the themes of work, love, belonging and spirituality. Works in the exhibition portray tender moments between a parent and child, struggles for racial equality, pride in ancestral heritage and strength derived through personal faith. The collection also expands the traditional notion of American art and identity, embracing a Pan-American approach that goes beyond the United States to include art and artists of African, Caribbean and Latin American descent. This approach provides a broader look at our nation’s history and a better understanding of what it means to be American today. In addition to Green’s own work, the collection highlights include works by artists such as, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Charles White, David Driskell, Sam Gilliam, Ruben Gonzalez and Reynier Llanes.

Wild Horses in the Forest, 1534; By Hans Baldung Grien
Wild Horses in the Forest, 1534; By Hans Baldung Grien (German, 1475–1545); Woodcut, 8 5/8 x 12 7/8; Courtesy of a private collection

Charleston Collects: Devotion and Fantasy, Witchcraft and the World’s End
October 9, 2020 – June 27, 2021

This selection of Northern Renaissance paintings and prints, from a major private Charleston collection, introduces a world of intensely, and sometimes disturbingly, vivid imagery. Created in the Low Countries of Europe and Germany between 1440 and 1590, this is a world of contradictions and unease—whether the subject is a troubled Virgin Mary contemplating her young son, a menacing group of malevolent figures inspired by Hieronymus Bosch, or Albrecht Dürer’s famous scenes from Revelations. In the turbulent era of the Renaissance and the beginning of the Reformation in Northern Europe, viewers found their hopes, desires and anxieties mirrored in images of those inspiring pious belief or depicting fantastic visions of good and evil. Guest curated by Larry Goedde, Ph.D., professor of art history, University of Virginia.

The Gibbes will be open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. For more information about the Gibbes Museum of Art, visit

About the Gibbes Museum of Art

Home to the Carolina Art Association, established in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art is recognized among the oldest arts organizations in the United States. Housing one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present, the museum’s mission is to enhance lives through art by engaging people of every background and experience with art and artists of enduring quality and by providing opportunities to learn, to discover, to enjoy and to be inspired by the creative process. For more information, visit


Media Contacts
Lou Hammond Group
Lauren Van Liew / Abby Adelman [email protected] / [email protected]
(843) 410-4688 / (843) 410-5306

Top image: Gallery view of Central to Their Lives. Photograph by MCG Photography.

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