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Changing Exhibits

The Amazing Castle

January 25, 2020 – May 10, 2020

The Amazing Castle, an interactive bi-lingual (English and Spanish) exhibition featuring knights, kings, queens and a dragon, will invite visitors to travel back in time to a medieval village filled with opportunities for problem-solving,
storytelling and imaginative play.

King-sized learning adventures abound in the child-sized fortress. As they move through the 2,000 square foot medieval community, visitors become inhabitants of the castle village playfully exploring the interconnectedness of community members in a setting inspired by fantasy and history.

Designed specifically for children ages 2 to 10 and their caregivers, the exhibit focuses on literacy, inspiring imagination and supporting tangible life lessons: Share, Have Respect, Help Others, Work Together, Be Responsible, and
Believe in Yourself to help young children navigate their world and succeed in their own community.

As visitors explore The Amazing Castle and its eight themed areas, they are introduced to seven storybook characters. From the carpenter to the seamstress, the blacksmith to the court jester, each character has a special role. Trim, the tailor, represents the multiple facets of textile work, from spinning and weaving to designing cloth garments. Kipper, the Cook, represents the responsibilities of planning, preparing and serving a royal feast to members of the castle community.

From becoming a jester and putting on a show, to helping Herald the Dragon protect the castle, to constructing a bench in the carpenter’s workshop, children’s explorative learning is supported by the exhibit’s design, characters, interactives, costumes and props. The exhibit’s primary goal of strengthening awareness of the interconnectedness of individuals in a community is presented through purposely designed activities.

The Amazing Castle’s timeless lessons and multi-generation appeal, support adult-child engagement and a child’s growth
in 21st century skills laying a foundation for success in life, school and work.


Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad

February 15 – May 24, 2020

They left in the middle of the night – often carrying little more than the knowledge to follow the North Star. In the decades prior to the Civil War in 1865, an estimated 100,000 slaves became passengers on the Underground Railroad, a journey of untold hardship, in search of freedom.

Under the cover of darkness, “fugitives” traveled roughly 20 miles each night traversing rugged terrain while enduring all the hardships that Mother Nature could bring to bear. Occasionally they were guided from one secret, safe location to the next by an ever-changing, clandestine group known as the Underground Railroad. Whether they were slaves trying to escape or free blacks and whites trying to help, both sides risked everything for the cause of freedom.

Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales has spent more than a decade meticulously researching “fugitive” slaves and the ways they escaped to freedom. While the unnumbered routes of the Underground Railroad encompassed countless square miles, the path Michna-Bales documented encompasses 2,000 miles and is based off of actual sites, cities, and places that freedom-seekers passed through during their journey.

The national traveling exhibition, developed by ExhibitsUSA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, includes over 50 images and research tracing the collective steps of men, women and children in their steps toward liberation. Unforgettable color photographs, ephemera, and narratives featured in the exhibition share the story of the Underground Railroad.

Considered to be the first Civil Rights movement in the United States, the Underground Railroad included people of different races, genders, classes, faiths, and regions working together to covertly guide the enslaved from one safe location to the next, until they reached freedom.

Sponsored by: Becky & Bobby Hartness, North Greenville UniversityWSPA News Channel 7, and Greenville Technical College

Clifford the Big Red Dog

May 10 – October 26, 2020

The Upcountry History Museum and America’s beloved big red dog with a heart to match will invite visitors to board the Birdwell Island ferry and journey to the world of Clifford The Big Red Dog.

Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog, an interactive, bi-lingual (English and Spanish), exhibition featuring Clifford, Emily Elizabeth and all the residents of Birdwell Island will delight Upstate fans when it makes a stop at the Upcountry History Museum in the summer of 2020.

Inspired by Scholastic Entertainment’s top-rated TV show Clifford The Big Red Dog on PBS Kids, the 2000 square
foot multi-sensory experience offers numerous “paws-on” adventures that reinforce “Clifford’s 10 Big Ideas.” These
simple tangible life lessons are designed to help young children navigate their world: Share, Play Fair, Have Respect,
Work Together, Be Responsible, Be Truthful, Be Kind, Believe in Yourself, Be a Good Friend, and Help Others.

As visitors explore Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog, they encounter the people and places that make-up
Clifford’s world. From boarding the Birdwell Island ferry to greeting the nine-foot tall Clifford The Big Red Dog in
his own backyard, visitors playfully explore the exhibition’s themed areas and discover “Clifford’s Big Ideas”.

Designed for children ages 2 to 8 and their caregivers, the exhibition’s content and themed environments are
drawn from the places found on Birdwell Island. Each of the ten exhibit areas emphasize the importance of literacy
and social-emotional development. Activities are designed to offer safe and inviting experiences for the youngest
visitors while offering challenges for older children. Adult caregivers are addressed specifically through text and
graphics, which highlight the exhibit’s educational messages and “Clifford’s Big Ideas”.

Visitors will also meet Norman Bridwell, creator of Clifford The Big Red Dog at the Birdwell Island Library. Bridwell created the first Clifford The Big Red Dog book in 1962, based on the dog he dreamed of riding and sharing adventures with as a little boy. Today, the best-selling
book series includes more than 160 Clifford titles, 100 million books in print and an award-winning PBS Kids television show.

The exhibit’s timeless lessons, bolstered by the series’ enduring popularity and multi-generation appeal, support adult-child engagement and a child’s growth in 21st century skills laying a foundation for success in life, school and work.

The Night Before Christmas: The Art of Charles Santore

November 2, 2019 – February 2, 2020

No other text has been illustrated by picture-book artists as much as A Visit From Saint Nicholas or The Night Before Christmas, attributed to theologian Clement Clarke Moore.

The narrative poem, first published in the Troy (New York) Sentinel on December 23, 1823, has been reprinted in everything from almanacs to advertisements; it’s been dramatized, satirized, parodied, and set to music. It’s been published in newspapers, recited on stage, retold on film, read over the radio, performed on television and posted on the Internet. And most importantly it is a holiday tradition, a classic that has been read for over 196 years to countless children, poring over the books illustrations.

The poem was one of the first American children’s books to be illustrated in color and the verses are some of the most recognized in the English language. It has inspired- and is still inspiring – generations of artists.

In keeping with its tradition of presenting an annual holiday exhibition, the Upcountry History Museum will transport visitors back in time through an exhibit that features the watercolor paintings from The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by the renowned Charles Santore (born 1935). Santore’s beautiful images, filled with wreaths, stockings, flying reindeer, a moonlit night, and, of course, Saint Nick, bring to life the warmth and spirit of this holiday classic.

Santore began his career as a freelance illustrator working for advertising agencies and magazines. Since 1986, he has worked as a children’s book illustrator, becoming one of the most respected and acclaimed illustrators of today. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Woodmere Art Museum.

In addition to Santore’s 24 pieces of original artwork, visitors will step into the pages of the holiday classic through full-size wall murals, video interactives, and hands-on activities; along with nineteenth century children’s toys, holiday trimmings, seasonal greetings, and an extraordinary dollhouse from the Museum’s permanent collection.

Designed for visitors of all ages, the 1,000 square foot exhibition, organized in partnership with illustrator Charles Santore, will appeal to nostalgia-seeking visitors as well as new generations.

Sponsored by:  WSPA News Channel 7, Quality Business Solutions, and Piedmont Natural Gas


Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined

August 31, 2019 – February 16, 2020

Throughout the nineteenth century as Americans pushed west toward the Pacific, they were fascinated by westward expansion in North America. Printed imagery – lithographs and engravings – played an important
role in the dissemination of knowledge and understanding about the West and its inhabitants.

Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined, a special exhibition organized by ExhibitsUSA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, explores the potent imagery of these popular prints, produced in the decades following President Thomas Jefferson’s acquisition of 828,000 square miles from Napoleon, King of France in 1803. Known as the Louisiana Purchase it set the stage for great exploration and discovery,
migration and settlement, in addition to struggle and conflict.

Western expansion was one of the most transformational elements in American life throughout the 19th century. Convinced that God wanted the country to extend to the Pacific coast – an idea called “Manifest Destiny” – many American citizens, including painters and printmakers, moved west.

The Imprinting the West exhibition includes over 48 works of art that examine westward expansion. Prints and engravings created by artists, including George Catlin, Frederic Remington, John J. Audubon, Albert Bierstadt and many more, shaped perceptions of the West and its Native American inhabitants, some of whom were dislocated by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Several artists documented the so-called “vanishing race,” while others portrayed the western landscape. Much of this imagery was created with an east coast or international audience in mind, and it both drew and promoted fantasies about Native Americans and the west as much as it documented reality.

Whether real or imagined, these images and the exhibition examine the birth of the West as an idea in American popular culture.

Sponsored by: Dr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Mary Lawson and Mr. Hayne and Mrs. Anna Kate Hipp and WSPA News Channel 7

Call of Loan or Donation of Objects

Do you have a treasure in your attic? The Upcountry History Museum – Furman University is actively collecting artifacts related to the history of the Upcountry and upcoming special exhibitions. Please contact the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University regarding the possible loan or donation of objects and memorabilia via email at info@upcountryhistory.org.