Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

Five Questions with the Gibbes Museum of Art

Charleston, South Carolina

Young campers take in Childe Hassam's 1920 work April (The Green Gown) during a field trip to the Gibbes Museum of Art.

Last Friday, the Gibbes Museum of Art played host to actors Brian McNamara and Terry Serpico (from the Lifetime show Army Wives) who joined real life army wives and their families for a private tour of the museum.  Here are some more pictures from that visit along with a Five Questions with. . . .interview with Angela D. Mack, the museum's executive director and chief curator. (Photos by Scott Henderson Photography)

Tyler McNamara joined his dad Brian for the Army Wives Blue Star Museums visit.

NEA: Please tell us a little bit about the Gibbes Museum of Art and what makes it unique.

ANGELA D. MACK: The Gibbes was built at the turn of the twentieth century during the great age of museum building in America with a bequest from James Gibbes to the City of Charleston. It houses the collection of the Carolina Art Association, one of the oldest arts organizations in America, founded in 1858. The Gibbes was built in the Beaux Art style and was intended to offer studio spaces for living artists and display spaces for the collection. The Collection is considered to be one of the most comprehensive collections on American art of the South.

NEA: What’s your favorite part of the museum and why?

MACK: My favorite part of the museum is the rotunda space on the second floor. The dome is Tiffany-style, and the architectural features reflect the Beaux Art style at its best.

Portrait miniatures are among the many 19th century artworks on display at the Gibbes Museum.

NEA: What’s on exhibit now? 

MACK: We always feature treasures from our permanent collection dating from Charleston’s beginning as a British colony through today in the ongoing exhibition entitled The Charleston Story. In addition, we are currently showcasing two special exhibitions through August 22: Modern Masters from the Ferguson Collection and JoAnn Verburg: Interruptions.  Selected from the private collection of local residents Esther and James Ferguson, Modern Masters from the Ferguson Collection includes paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by significant twentieth-century artists such as Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, and Christo. JoAnn Verburg:  Interruptions, an exhibition for which we have partnered with Spoleto Festival USA , features photographs of the architecture and residents of Spoleto, Italy.

NEA: What do you hope visitors to the Gibbes Museum of Art will take away from the experience?

MACK: A new insight and appreciation for the landscape, architecture, and people of the South. One of Charleston's most significant exports is artistic creativity and the Gibbes is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting this legacy.

Novelist and NEA National Council member Bret Lott(left), who teaches at the College of Charleston, was also on hand for the visit.

NEA: Aside from the Gibbes Museum of Art, what’s your own favorite museum to visit and why?  

MACK: Every museum has something interesting to offer. I have yet to find one I don't like.

The Gibbes Museum of Art is located in Charleston's Historic District at 135 Meeting Street. Visit the museum's website to learn more about what's on view.

You can see more pics from the Army Wives cast visit here.

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