Current Exhibits

Spider-Man001-CMYKSuperheroes and Superstars: The Works of Alex Ross

February 10 – June 3, 2018

Superheroes are a part of our daily lives. They engage our imaginations on the pages of comic books, television and movie screens, as well as on the Broadway stage and in the virtual world of gaming.

Since their introduction in the late 1930s, superheroes have been powerful role models, inspirational and enviable. Based on mythological archetypes, they reflect, respond to, and offer ways to navigate the twists and turns of modern life.

In the Spring of 2018, superheroes will descend upon the Upstate of South Carolina as the Upcountry History Museum explores the world of superheroes and superstars through a special exhibition from the Norman Rockwell Museum. Superheroes and Superstars: The Works of Alex Ross includes over 100 pieces of original artwork; including paintings, sketches, and models created by Alex Ross, one of the greatest artists in the field of comic books.

With brilliant use of watercolor, Ross has spent most of his career revitalizing classic superheroes into works of fine art. His breakthrough work on Marvel Comics in 1994 propelled him into comic book superstardom at the age of 24. Ross’s paintings revolutionized the comic book industry and transcended the newsstand origins of his profession.

Captain America, Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Avengers and many more will come to life on the walls of the Museum. Popular culture icons, such as the Beatles, Star Wars, Monty Python, and Flash Gordon have also been drawn by Ross and are included in the exhibition.

Through the works of Alex Ross, visitors both young and old will be led on the journey of a superhero, including the moment in which we are all called to the adventure.

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Spirited: Prohibition in America

January 27 – March 16, 2018

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Detroit, 1919, black-and-white photograph, courtesy Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

Spirited: Prohibition in America, a traveling exhibition from the National Constitution Center in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, transports visitors back to the time of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists, and real-life legends, such as Al Capone and Carry Nation.

Spirited surveys the inventive and ingenious ways lawmakers and the American public responded to Prohibition. Legal provisions for sacramental wine, medicinal alcohol, the preservation of fruit, and the efforts of breweries to stay in business led to the popularization of products like “Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine,” “near beer,” and Coca-Cola. Visitors will learn how transportation networks and clever disguises were used to run liquor from state to state, how speakeasies gave way to the popularization of jazz, and the Charleston dance craze.The project explores the history of Prohibition, including the dawn of the temperance movement; the enactment of the 18th Amendment prohibiting the manufacture, sale or transport of intoxicating beverages; and the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment in 1933. Visitors experience America’s 1920s as the country was split between “wets” and “drys,” speakeasies flourished, legal authorities gave chase to gangsters, and people creatively discovered ways to circumvent the law.

The project features semi-immersive environments that encompass the sights, sounds, and experiences of this fascinating period in American history. Through the exhibition, visitors learn about the amendment process, the changing role of liquor in American culture, Prohibition’s impact on the roaring 20s, the changing role of women, and why current liquor laws vary from state to state.

Through strong visual and interactive elements, the exhibit demonstrates how America went from a nation drowning in liquor in the 1800s, to campaigns of temperance, and the upswing and downfall of outlawing Prohibition.


 Back Where I Come From: The Upcountry’s Piedmont Blues

Open Now

Guitar playerBack Where I Come From, the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University’s newest upcoming, semi-permanent exhibition will take visitors on an enlightening experience through the roots and evolution of the Upcountry South Carolina’s blues history.

Through an in-house exhibition, diverse programming, and musical performances, the project will explore the history of the Upcountry’s Piedmont Blues, including its origins, its unique style, and the musicians who created a musical legacy.

The project will include archival materials, oral histories, and historic film footage that embody the unique style, sound, stories, and emotions associated with the Upcountry’s blues. Together, these engaging experiences will preserve and disseminate the legacy of the Piedmont Blues while introducing diverse audiences to this enriching genre.

Piedmont Blues, also known as East Coast Blues, resulted from a unique guitar finger-picking method. Compared to the Delta Blues, which is purely rooted in African culture, the Piedmont Blues in the Carolinas and Georgia has more diverse elements. This characteristic was a result of white gospel, ragtime, country, and pop music influences that allowed Piedmont Blues artists to display greater instrumental range compared to their Delta counterparts.

The Upcountry South Carolina served as a hub for Piedmont Blues pioneers. Back Where I Come From will spotlight these early blues vanguards including: Josh White, the Reverend Gary Davis, Pinkney “Pink” Anderson, Arthur “Peg Leg Sam” Jackson, “Blind Willie” Walker and Charles Henry “Baby” Tate, who created a musical movement, inspired future musicians, influenced rock ‘n’ roll, and called the Upcountry South Carolina home.

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See an article about the exhibit here!


 

The Ripple Effect: How Saving a River Revitalized a Community

Open Now

Markley Manufacturing on the banks of the Reedy River in downtown Greenville

The Ripple Effect: How Saving a River Revitalized a Community tells the story of the Reedy River and Lake Conestee, Greenville’s own environmental crisis and the community’s response to it. Decades of industrial waste polluted the Reedy’s water and created hazardous conditions in Lake Conestee. Through the diligence of local citizens and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Reedy was cleaned up, Lake Conestee transformed from a chemical wasteland to a nature preserve, and Falls Park created to become the pride and icon of Greenville.

This project is funded in part by The Humanities Council (SC), a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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