Current Exhibits

War in the Persian Gulf: Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm, 1990-1991

March 4, 2017 – June 4, 2017

War in the Persian Gulf: Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm, 1990-1991, a special exhibition in partnership with the U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command, the National American History Museum, and private collectors. Opening March 4, 2017 at the Upcountry History Museum, the project commemorates the legacy and history of those who served during the Persian Gulf War through an exhibition, the expansion of the Museum’s oral history collection, and related public programming.

Featuring 45 original works from the U.S. Navy Art Collection, oral histories and related artifacts from the Smithsonian, the Upcountry History Museum, and private collectors the exhibition will trace the international conflict triggered by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990.

Known as the Gulf War and the Persian Gulf War, hostilities followed Iraq leader Saddam Hussein’s order to invade and occupy Kuwait with the objectives of acquiring Kuwait’s large oil reserves, canceling a large debt Iraq owed Kuwait, and expanding Iraq’s power in the region.

In response to the incursion, U.S. President George H. Bush ordered the organization of Operation Desert Shield on August 7, 1990, to protect Saudi Arabia from invasion. The order prepared American troops to become part of an international coalition in the war against Iraq through a dramatic increase in U.S. troops and resources in the Persian Gulf.

After Saddam Hussein refused to withdraw from Kuwait, Operation Desert Shield gave way to Operation Desert Storm on January 17, 1991. President Bush gave the order for U.S. troops to lead an international coalition in an air and ground attack on Hussein’s army.

Following the intense bombing of Baghdad, U.S. led coalition ground forces marched into Kuwait and across the Iraq border. After pushing Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait, Bush declared a ceasefire on February 28, 1991; and accepted the surrender of Iraqi generals on March 3.

The exhibition and its related public programming will provide a retrospective look at the two operations which responded to and ended the Persian Gulf War.


Ansel Adams: Distance and Detail

February 18, 2017 – June 4, 2017

An exhibition of work by American photographer Ansel Adams, best known for his black-and-white images of nature, will be displayed at the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University from Feb. 18 to June 4.

The exhibition, Ansel Adams: Distance and Detail, is composed of 29 photographs, with images that include dunes, lakes, trees, surf crashing on rocks, storms, sunsets and sunrises.

Adams (1902-1984) also was an environmentalist, writer and lecturer. He was known for his technical mastery of photography. He published eight portfolios from 1927 to 1976 of his original prints and 10 volumes of technical manuals. He also wrote more than 40 books.

Adams was born in San Francisco and from a very young age he was drawn to nature, although at one point he was focused on becoming a musician. But that changed when his father gave him a camera — a Kodak Brownie box — during a family vacation to Yosemite National Park in 1916. Adams’ love for the environment eventually became the subject of his work and photographs.

At 17, he worked as a summer intern in Yosemite Park with the Sierra Club, which is dedicated to preserving the natural wonders of the world. Adams created iconic images of  the Yosemite landscape and other parts of the American West, including national parks and Native American reservations.

While known for his black-and-white images, he also experimented with color with works ranging from portraits to landscapes to architecture. But experts on Adams say that he felt color could be distracting and divert an artist from achieving the full potential when taking a photograph.

His first solo museum exhibition — at the Smithsonian Institute in 1931 and featuring 60 prints taken in the High Sierra — elicited an excellent review from The Washington Post: “His photographs are like portraits of the giant peaks, which seem to be inhabited by mythical gods.”

Exhibit Partners and Sponsors:

Bank of America

Mikee & Cyndi Johnson – Cox Industries

See a preview of the exhibit in The Greenville News

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The Art of Dr. Seuss: A Retrospective and National Touring Exhibition

January 21, 2017 – May 21, 2017

Watch the WSPA Promo Now
tedscatThe works of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to his reading audience as Dr. Seuss, have entertained and educated children and their parents for over half a century. In fabricating tales and bringing fantastic creatures to life in the imaginations of young and old alike, he has given us the likes of the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Yertle the Turtle, the Grinch, and the Lorax.

Seuss’ style of flamboyant, colorful illustration, surreal surroundings, and clever yet simple rhymes has made his work recognizable throughout the world. These creations are fun, but with a serious purpose. They teach reading, self-confidence, and the wonderful possibilities of our imaginations.

January 21 – May 21, 2017, the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University will celebrate the work and life of Theodor Seuss Geisel and chronicle the common artistic links found throughout his nearly 70 years of creativity. This incredible exhibition explores known and unknown facets of Ted Geisel’s life including careers as an editorial cartoonist, advertiser, military propagandist, children’s book author, poet, sculptor, and influential artist.

Ted@easelVisitors will walk through Dr. Seuss’s life as they weave through a mind-altering collection of estate authorized artworks adapted and reproduced from Dr. Seuss’s original paintings, drawings, and sculpture. Works in the exhibition include materials and imagery from significant public and private collections, including the University of California San Diego archives, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, and the Dr. Seuss Estate, and feature rare and never-before-seen images from the 1920s to the 1990s.

Visitors young and old will enter the magical world of Dr. Seuss and experience almost seven decades of work that, in every respect is uniquely, stylistically and endearingly Seussian.

The Upcountry History Museum is honored to have been selected by Seuss Enterprises to be the final stop on the spectacular Dr. Seuss exhibition tour.

Exhibit Sponsors:

Seuss Sponsors for web1

Exhibit Partners:

Chase Group LLC            Seuss Enterprises


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.