Current Exhibits

Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen

October 14, 2017 – January 14, 2018

The Upcountry History Museum brings Hollywood chic to the Upstate as it hosts the Katharine Hepburn-Dressed for Stage and Screen exhibition.

With a stage and film career that spanned six decades, Katharine “Kate” Hepburn is an American icon who dazzled silver screen, television, and theater audiences with her extraordinary talent, keen sense of contemporary fashion, and fiercely independent spirit.

This exclusive exhibition of Hepburn’s private collection will make its Southeastern United States debut in Greenville, South Carolina. Featuring over 35 free-standing costumes worn in 21 films and 6 stage productions spanning Hepburn’s illustrious career, the 2500 square foot project will be the first major costume exhibition in the Upstate South Carolina.

Hepburn’s sixty-year career is further highlighted through the display of costumes worn for publicity shots and in private life; including Hepburn’s signature look, an ensemble of tailored beige trousers and linen jackets. Also on exhibit are film stills, photographs, posters, playbills and related objects.

In addition to introducing visitors to the renowned actress, role model, and fashion icon, the project also showcases some of the best costume designers of the time. Valentina, Howard Greer, Cecil Beaton, and Jane Greenwood, who designed stage costume for Hepburn; Walter Plunkett, Irene, Muriel King, Edith Head and Margaret Furse, who designed her film costumes.

Katharine Hepburn is the most honored actress in the history of American film, with four Academy Awards for Best Actress and eight other Academy Award nominations. Hepburn’s “star power” appeal, the allure of fashion, the mystique of Hollywood, and the exhibit’s proven success in drawing large audiences both nationally and internationally ensures both local and out-of-town attendance.

On loan from Kent State University Museum, the project will include an extensive list of related programming.

Sponsors: WSPA Channel 7 and Fairway Ford

See photos from our Red Carpet Chic Member Preview Party.


The World of Jan Brett

September 23, 2017 – January 28, 2018


The Upcountry History Museum – Furman University will welcome The World of Jan Brett, September 23, 2017 to January 28, 2018. This special exhibition, presented in partnership with children’s author and illustrator Jan Brett, will feature original artwork, immersive experiences, and themed reading environments fabricated by the Upcountry History Museum. This creative project will invite visitors of all ages to enter a world of literacy adventures as they step into the pages of Jan Brett’s picture books.

Tropical rain forests, Arctic igloos, a Chinese farmyard, Scandinavian bakeries and a Russian fairy-tale castle are just some of the discovery zones that will take visitors on a journey around the world as they explore faraway places and cultures through Brett’s literary works.

Designed for children from birth through ten years old and their caregivers, the three-dimensional play and learning environments will provide children with hands-on literacy based experiences, adults with tools for cultivating literacy through everyday activities, support formal education, and guide visitors to the discovery that it is never too early to begin the love of reading.

Addressing the need to support literacy initiatives, the 1,200 square foot exhibit will provide imaginative, book-based experiences and model early literacy experiences to adults. Exhibit programming will include a visit from author Jan Brett in the Fall of 2017, a Gingerbread Holiday Breakfast, a Jan Brett Character Pajama Party, and the Museum’s after school Kids Book Club.

The World of Jan Brett exhibition and its associated programming will advance the Museum’s educational mission of connecting people, history, and culture, while providing early literacy development benefits for children and access to literacy tools for their caregivers.

Sponsored by:

NGU Logo Stacked 2015 trans Black

Becky & Bobby Hartness,  and Greater Greenville Association of Realtors

Eugenia Duke – A Centennial Celebration

September 7, 2017 – January 7, 2018


In 1917, a woman with little more than a family mayonnaise recipe and a dream launched a business that would become a Southern institution. Eugenia Duke’s empire began when she decided to sell homemade chicken salad, egg salad and pimento cheese sandwiches to soldiers at Camp Sevier. Her creations were an instant hit, and just like that, Duke Sandwich Company was born.

At a time when women didn’t even have the right to vote, Eugenia was an astute businesswoman, independent entrepreneur and expert cook. Now more than a century later, we honor the pioneering spirit of a woman ahead of her time whose legacy continues today.

Presented by Duke Brands with contributions by Duke’s Mayonnaise and Southern LivingEugenia Duke – A Centennial Celebration is currently on display now through January 7, 2018.

Sponsored by: Duke Brands, Duke Sandwich Company, and Southern Living


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


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.

Sponsored by:

SC Humanities logo Bon Logo


See an article about the exhibit here!


The Ripple Effect: How Saving a River Revitalized a Community

February 14, 2015 – 2017

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.



Katharine Hepburn

Through January 14, 2018

Capturing that spirit of independence and personal sense of style, “Dressed for Stage and Screen” features more than 40 free-standing costumes worn in 21 films and six stage productions spanning Hepburn’s illustrious 66-year career. It also showcases an ensemble of her signature look tailored beige trousers and jackets, as well as a display of film stills, posters, photographs, lobby cards, playbills, and stage makeup.

The first major costume exhibition in upstate South Carolina, this exceptional display not only presents an up-close look at the defining style of one of the most recognized actresses, it also introduces visitors to some of the best costume designers of the time: Valentina, Howard Greer, Cecil Beaton and Jane Greenwood, who designed Hepburn’s stage costumes; Walter Plunkett, Irene, Muriel King, Edith Head and Margaret Furse, who designed her film costumes.

“Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen,” is on loan from the Kent State University Museum. It is curated by Jean Dreusedow, director of Kent State’s Museum of Costume & Decorative Art.


Friday Flicks – Join us for afternoons filled with film and fun facts from behind the scenes. Learn more.

Monday Movie Matinee – Join author Kathryn Smith for a look at the history behind the story of “Holiday” on Monday, December 18 at 2:00 pm. Learn more.

Exhibit Tours – Every Friday from November 17 through January 12 we will be offering a tour of the Katharine Hepburn collection at 3:00 pm. Tours are admission plus $2. No registration required. **Please note, if you are a group of 10 or more we ask you to book a private tour by calling 864-467-3100.**

In the press:

Read and watch to learn more about the exhibit:

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Did you miss our Red Carpet Chic Member Preview Party? Did you attend and want to keep a picture from the night? See our gallery of images from October 13!

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The World of Jan Brett

Through January 28, 2017

“The World of Jan Brett,” an interactive and educational exhibition, brings to life the stories of the beloved children’s author/illustrator. Featuring 51 original paintings from 10 of Jan Brett’s bestselling books, along with multiple immersive environments, this extraordinary exhibition will take visitors on a journey around the world to tropical rain-forests, Arctic igloos, a Chinese farmyard, Scandinavian bakeries and a Russian fairy tale castle as they explore new places and cultures.

Of particular note in this unique exhibit are the three-dimensional play and imaginative book-based learning environments that provide children with hands-on literacy based experiences while giving adults tools for cultivating literacy through every day activities and supporting formal education to foster a love of reading.

“The World of Jan Brett” is a traveling exhibition organized by the Oshkosh Public Museum, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in partnership with Jan Brett. The exhibit’s display at the Upcountry History Museum is part of a nationwide tour.


Visit from Jan Brett – That’s right! Jan Brett is coming to the Upcountry History Museum on November 30th. Make sure you get your ticket today! Learn more.

Mrs. Claus’s Gingerbread Workshop – Mrs. Claus and Jan Brett both love gingerbread. Join Mrs. Claus for a special holiday workshop and take home your gingerbread creation! Learn more.

Family Fun Days – Bring the whole family for a special monthly day of play as we turn the Museum over to our littlest guests with games, crafts, stories and more. Learn more.

Snack & Story Time with Hedgie – Hedgie is stopping by the Museum at 2:00 pm on Friday, January 5, 2018 for a story. Join us from a tasty treat and hear one of Hedgie’s favorite stories by Jan Brett.


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