the gibbes museum of art
Right: Moon Flower Hawk Moth, ca. 1918, by Alice Ravenel Huger Smith (American, 1876 - 1958). Woodblock print on paper. Gift of Mrs. W.E. Simms. 1962.002.0058.002

Literary Gibbes: A Book Club Discussion

August 20, 2021 @ 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Gibbes Museum of Art


Join us for a book club-style discussion in collaboration with Charleston County Public Library inspired by two exhibitions, Japonisme in Charleston: Alice Smith and Her Circle and Light Effects: The French Impressionists.

A companion exhibition to Lasting Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Read-Simms Collection, Japonisme in Charleston explores the wave of enthusiasm for the Japanese aesthetic in Charleston through the works of early 20th century Charleston artist Alice Ravenel Huger Smith and other American artists who embraced the tenets and techniques of Japanese art in response to the western dissemination of Japanese prints.

Light Effects (opening September 3, 2021) highlights the works of French masters Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Auguste Renoir, Paul Gaugin, and others drawn to the short loose brushstrokes, bright colors, and focus on modern life that became the language of Impressionism.

Edmund de Waal, a world-famous ceramicist, inherited a collection of 264 tiny Japanese wood and ivory carvings, called netsuke, acquired by Charles Ephrussi, a cousin of his great-grandfather, during the first wave of Japonisme in Paris in the 1870s. Charles Ephrussi, the model for Swann in Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time, was an early acquirer of works by the Impressionists and appears in Auguste Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party. The Hare with Amber Eyes is de Waal's memoir of discovering the story of the netsuke and how they survived over five generations and of his family, the Ephrussis, whose fortune and extensive art collection was stolen by the Nazis.

Our discussion will focus on the book and works in the exhibition. Please read the book so you can participate in the discussion. For more information, contact Becca Hiester at 843-722-2706x237 or [email protected].

We are offering this conversation as a hybrid model, both in person at the Gibbes Museum of Art and virtually through Zoom. This program is free for all to attend, but does not include museum admission. Discounted admission coupons will be available for all in-person participants. All in-person program attendees are now required to wear a mask or face covering.

NOTE: We are currently at capacity for our in-person meeting, but feel free to register to join us virtually.