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Changing Exhibits

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


Under the Arctic: Digging into Permafrost

September 21, 2019 – January 12, 2020

The Upcountry History Museum will invite visitors to explore real Ice Age fossils, ancient ice cores, climate change, and engineering challenges posed by thawing permafrost when it hosts Under the Arctic, Digging Into Permafrost.

Organized by the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI), in partnership with the University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute and a Native Alaskan advisory team, the 2,000 square foot immersive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) exhibition transports visitors to the Arctic using the sights and smells of the world’s only permafrost research tunnel.

Sixteen miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska, behind the door of a shed on a frozen hillside, is one of the world’s most remarkable research facilities. The underground Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility offers a unique opportunity to view and study 40,000-year-old frozen soil, along with the ice, plant material, bacteria, fossils, and bones frozen within it. Dug by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s to study permafrost excavation, the tunnel now supports a wide and growing body of scientific research related to numerous topics, among them: climate change.

Few people have the opportunity to enter the Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility, but thanks to the Under the Arctic exhibition, visitors will experience first-hand what it is like to journey underground, back to the Pleistocene.

Designed for families, life-long learners, and school groups, Under the Arctic has a special emphasis on reaching audiences ages 9-14, as they step into the shoes of climate science researchers. The exhibition’s research stations introduce students to diverse STEM-based careers.

In addition to the 30-foot long walk-through replica of the tunnel, visitors join the research team to learn from hands-on experiments, interactive models, and exciting games that explore the causes and consequences of climate change.

Through engaging experiences, visitors of all ages explore how the dramatic permafrost landscape provides clues to our past, present, and future, as well as consider realistic ways they can positively impact the environment and establish professional careers within the STEM field.

Sponsored by:  Jolley Foundation, International Paper, Fluor, GE, WSPA News Channel 7, and HDR


Love a Vet: Honoring Our Military Veterans

July 6, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Since its inception in 1983, the Upcountry History Museum has committed to honoring the sacrifices, courage, and patriotism of the men and women who have worn a military uniform. Dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating the legacy and dignity of all United States military veterans,
the museum shares the stories of America’s conflicts.

The Museum annually honors those who served and their families through military exhibitions, recording and preserving local veteran’s oral histories, participating in the national Blue Star Museum program, delivering military history lectures, and hosting Veteran’s Day and Armed Forces Day events.

The Museum, in partnership with the Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation and the 52 Reasons to Love A Vet charitable organization, will host the national traveling exhibition Love A Vet: Honoring Our Veterans, July 6,
2019 – January 5, 2020.

Through art and artifacts the Love A Vet exhibition, and its related programming, will encourage the public to appreciate the sacrifices made by veterans and their families and educate on the challenging issues that veterans face upon their re-entry into civilian life.

The exhibit features 40 paintings, drawings, and prints by a diverse group of contemporary illustrators; many of whom have been involved in the military themselves. Nationally recognized artists represented in the exhibit include Gail Anderson, art director for Rolling Stone magazine; Steve Brodner, political cartoonist; and Mike Wimmer, illustrator for Disney’s Lion King. Upstate artist Tina LeMay, is featured in the exhibition. A Clemson University Alum and Creative Director for Student Affairs at Clemson University, LeMay’s contribution to the exhibition is dedicated to the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families.

The Love A Vet project was founded by Ella Rue, an award-winning graphic designer and artist, whose son is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghan wars. Ms. Rue established the 52 Reasons to Love a Vet nonprofit and its companion traveling exhibition to generate awareness and to help veterans further their education and assist with medical, dental, or mental health resources following their return home.

Sponsored by: 3M, Lockheed Martin, Lima One Capital, Sig Sauer, ECPI, Greenville Heritage Federal Credit Union, and WSPA News Channel 7


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


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.

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.