Current Exhibits

Norman Rockwell’s Home for the Holidays

November 5, 2016 – January 29, 2017

C225 Santa_and_Expense_Book-no-mastheadThe Upcountry History Museum – Furman University, in partnership with the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts is currently hosting the traveling exhibition Norman Rockwell’s Home for the Holidays. This beloved exhibition, featuring over 40 of Norman Rockwell’s most memorable and enduring holiday images, is now making its South Carolina debut at the Upcountry History Museum.

America’s most prominent twentieth-century illustrator, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), was an astute visual storyteller and a masterful painter.

For many Americans, Rockwell’s icons of living culture were first experienced in the most unassuming of places, in the comfort of home, or on the train ride at the end of a long day. Created for the covers and pages of our nation’s periodicals rather than for the walls of galleries and museums, Rockwell’s images were intimately understood by a vast and eager audience who saw the best in themselves reflected in his art and in the stories that he chose to tell.

Rockwell’s hopeful and admiring attitude toward humanity was the hallmark of his work. He loved to paint pictures that conveyed stories about people, their attitude toward each other, and his feelings about them.

During his forty-seven year affiliation with The Saturday Evening Post, Norman Rockwell was celebrated for his special holiday cover illustrations, which were commissioned to mark a full spectrum of annual events for an enthusiastic public, from Thanksgiving, Christmas, and The New Year to Valentine’s Day and April Fools’ Day. Whether it was the presentation of mouth-watering turkey at the Thanksgiving table or a rosy-cheeked Santa checking his list to see who’s naughty or nice, the illustrations simply conveyed Americana. In a rapidly changing world, Norman Rockwell’s art has been a reassuring guide for over six decades, and it continues to resonate today.


The exhibition’s original artworks and objects illustrate how Norman Rockwell helped shape and define the holiday season for twentieth-century Americans.

Locally Sponsored By: Coldwell Banker Caine, Embassy Suites, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, South State Bank, Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS,     Mr. and Mrs. James S. Whitten,           Ms. Ann P. Bryan, Mr. and Mrs. Griffin Bell, and Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Maddrey.

Hands-On Harley-Davidson

September 24, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Motorcycle history began in the second half of the 19th century. By 1880, dozens of designs and machines had emerged, particularly in Germany, England, and the United States.

In 1903, William S. Harley and his childhood friend Arthur Davidson, made history when they founded Harley-Davidson, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression, Harley-Davidson has become the world’s fifth largest motorcycle manufacturer and an iconic brand widely known for its loyal following – with owner clubs and events worldwide.

The Upcountry History Museum is making history as we host the sold out traveling exhibition Hands-On Harley Davidson. The 2,000 sq. ft. exhibition, invites visitors to a one-of-a-kind experience including a kid-sized motorcycle dealership and engineering lab. Visitors engage in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM education) concepts through hands-on activities designed to encourage guests to: Dream It! Build It! and Ride It!

The Hands-On Harley-Davidson experience features two Road King inspired motorcycles with interchangeable parts, accessories and decals to customize your ride, realistic throttle action, sound effects that pair with first-person ride videos, and opportunities to learn about safety gear and preparing to ride. An interactive world map incorporates some of the most challenging motorcycle tours in the world, along with travel themed math challenges and graphics about motorcycle design and engineering. The service department experience provides videos, costumes and large scale dealership photos for role play.

Along with the dealership, the exhibition includes a design engineer experience that introduces visitors to how acceleration, speed, friction, and gravity impact a motorcycle in motion. Guests conduct their own experiments in the Engineering Lab that includes tracks, ramps, and loops.

After learning about engine parts and how they work together to create a smooth and safe ride visitors grab a vest and helmet and get ready to ride.

National Tour Sponsored by: Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Locally Sponsored By: Iron Horse Motorcycle Law Firm,   Piedmont Natural Gas, General Electric, 3M, GBS Building Supply, WSPA, Harley-Davidson of Greenville, Elliott Davis Decosimo, WCM, Spinx, Rusty Nuts Originals, Iron Order MC of South Carolina, and Wiley X


 Things Come Apart

 September 3, 2016 – February 19, 2017Apart_FlipClock

The Smithsonian Institution for the second year in a row, has selected the Upcountry History Museum as the location to premiere its newest traveling exhibition Things Come Apart. Following its debut in Greenville, the exhibit will begin a three-year national tour.

Things Come Apart presents a brand new way to understand the material world around us. The 2000 square foot exhibition explores how things are designed and made and how technology has evolved over time. The exhibition features over three dozen photographs depicting everyday objects both carefully disassembled and “falling apart,” along with accompanying videos, hands-on learning opportunities, and disassembled objects. Embracing key STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts the exhibition is a thought-provoking way to reexamine the everyday objects around us, to embrace curiosity, and to think about ways we can create a more sustainable future.

Children and families can become a part of the design experience through activities from Spark!Lab, developed by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Things Come Apart is an exhibition organized by Todd McLellan and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The Spark!Lab Activity Kits are provided through a grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee and are available to guests during special events including Family Fun Days.

A visual investigation of design and engineering, Things Come Apart is a revelation for all who have ever asked the question of “How does that work?”

Flip Clock: Flip clock made by Sanyo in the 1970s. smithsonian-logo-TCA
Component count: 426
Photograph by Todd McLellan



Locally Sponsored By:


 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.