Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

When Art Imitates Reality

Charleston, South Carolina

(All Photos by Scott Henderson Photography)

From l-r: Army Wives cast member Terry Serpico, Lisa Ripa, Thomas Ripa, Caroline Ripa, Garrett Hoppin, Sue Hoppin, and Army Wives cast member Brian McNamara arrive at the Gibbes Museum.

This morning, Army Wives met real army wives at a private tour of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the more than 850 museums nationwide participating in Blue Star Museums.

“It’s something we can do to say 'thank you,'" said Army Wives cast member Brian McNamara, who attended the tour with his son Tyler. McNamara jokingly referred to his role as Major General Michael Holden as “senior ranking spouse.” He was joined by his fellow cast member Terry Serpico, who plays Colonel Frank Sherwood on the show, drawing from his experience as the son of a retired Army colonel.

A display case of miniature portraits at the Gibbes Museum, part of its permanent collection of more than 10,000 art works from Charleston and the South.

Together with military spouses Sue Hoppin and Lisa Ripa and their children, Garrett Hoppin and Caroline and Thomas Ripa, the actors toured the Gibbes collection, which encompasses more than 10,000 works of fine and decorative art from Charleston and the South. 

One particular gallery caught everyone’s attention. Tiny, detailed portrait paintings of 19th-century men and women---none larger than a deck of cards---which had been used as intimate keepsakes for loved ones. Some of these paintings were even bordered by tiny braids of a loved one’s hair, reflecting a curious Victorian-era custom. While the aesthetics of memorabilia may have changed, all agreed that the sentiment---keeping those far away close at hand---remains the same.

Check back later this week for more pix from our Charleston Blue Star Museums visit, and you can learn more about the Blue Star Museums program here.

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