With development in South Carolina’s metropolitan areas, our state fortunately has a long tradition of realist artists choosing urban landscape as their subject. In Vanishing Charleston, the Gibbes Museum provides a rich description of the city’s vernacular architecture, lush vegetation, and daily activities as seen through the eyes of eight artists—Grace Albee, Julyan Davis, Horace Talmage Day, Linda Fantuzzo, West Fraser, William Halsey, William McCullough, and Robert Merrill Sweeney. The exhibition records the ever-shifting landscape of Charleston and its surrounding communities in oil, ink, watercolor, and prints. Some of the artists have deep ties to the Lowcountry while others were regularly lured by Charleston’s picturesque streets, Antebellum architecture, and historic waterfront. Collectively, their vision offers a glimpse of Charleston’s past, and through art, ensures this historical city is forever preserved.
Vanishing Charleston will be on display at the Gibbes Museum of Art through October 21. This exhibition coincides with Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston’s premier arts festival that runs May 25–June 10. The Gibbes Museum is located at 135 Meeting Street in downtown Charleston, and is open Tuesday, Thursday–Saturday 10am–5pm; Wednesday 10am–8pm; and Sunday 1pm-5pm.
Line Street Railroad Crossing, 1991, By William McCullough; Oil on canvas; 30 1/2 x 40 1/4 inches (framed); Image courtesy of the Gibbes Museum of Art/Carolina Art Association