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Past Exhibits

Picturing Nam: U.S. Military Photography of the Vietnam War

June 16 – October 21, 2018:   Photographs are a powerful part of our collective memory of the Vietnam War. Many of the iconic photographs were taken by photojournalists working for newspapers, magazines, or wire services. But there were also military photographers in Vietnam serving in our armed forces. They took thousands of photographs that covered every aspect of the conflict –photographs that are now a part of our National Archives.

Military photographers were sent everywhere: the jungles and swamps, forward bases, hospital ships, rivers, and air bases. Unsanitized and uncensored, these indelible images give an intimate view of the war and those who fought it.

The exhibition, divided into three themes, includes over 40 photographs, murals, and first-hand accounts from the men and women who documented American Armed Forces activities in Vietnam.

One Exhibit – Three Photographic Themes:

  • Landscapes – Most Americans knew almost nothing about Vietnam before the war. Many soldiers, sailors, and airmen seeing Vietnam’s dense jungles, rugged mountains, murky swamps,
    endless rice paddies, and brown rivers for the first time must have felt very far from home.
  • Objects – Wars are often summed up and remembered through artifacts. The Vietnam War created its own set of memorable objects, many of which appear in military photographs,
    including helicopters, M-16 rifles, graffiti-covered helmets, Phantom jets, peace symbol necklaces, and body bags.
  • Faces – War puts individuals into extraordinary and dangerous situations. Such circumstances fostered determination, anxiety, exhaustion, boredom, compassion,
    exaltation, and dread—-feelings that are seen in the faces of those who were there.

More than 50 years after the United States committed combat troops to the war in Vietnam, and more than 40 years since the war ended, the complexity of the conflict is still being unraveled. This groundbreaking exhibit uses original National Archives documents and photographs to provide a framework for understanding the decisions that led to the war, the events and consequences of the war, and its legacy.

Sponsored by: 3M, Lockheed Martin, WSPA Channel 7, Lima One Capital

Once Upon a Time: Exploring the World of Fairy Tales

June 2 – September 9, 2018:Long before books were made, people told stories. They told them to one another and to the children as they sat before the fire. Many of these stories were about interesting people, but most of them were about the ways of fairies and giants.

Children and adults will step inside beloved stories from around the world when the Upcountry History Museum presents Once Upon A Time…Exploring the World of Fairy Tales.

The bilingual exhibition (English and Spanish) is a unique and educational experience that emphasizes the importance of reading and the significance of fairy tales throughout history. From an African jungle to a giant’s castle, visitors explore larger-than-life pages of seven of the world’s most famous fairy tales: Anansi and the Talking Melon (Ghana), Beauty and the Beast (France), Jack and the Beanstalk (England), Cinderella (France, China), Thumbelina(Denmark), The Elves and the Shoemaker (Germany), and Lon Po Po (aka: Little Red Riding Hood, China).

Entering the exhibit via a magical portal, visitors will be surrounded by an enchanting storybook kingdom. Each tale is brought to life through its own large-scale environment, interactive components, and costumes.

Immersed in literature and story-telling, guests are encouraged to discover the meaning and history of tales they’ve known all their lives, as well as ones that may be new to them. Whether they crawl through the mole’s 8-foot tunnel like Thumbelina, ride in the pumpkin coach like Cinderella, or climb a magical beanstalk like Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk, children will discover the underlying meaning of each story and experience the story’s plot in the shoes of their favorite characters.

The project’s primary goals are: to awaken the power of imagination and creative thinking in children, to satisfy the play-spirit of childhood, to encourage reading aloud to children, to encourage a love of reading in children, to impart historical information, to encourage multi-generation storytelling, and to explore cultural diversity.

With seven storybook settings designed for children ages 3-10 years old and their caregivers, Once Upon A Time will take traditional story time to a new interactive level. The result is a three-dimensional, fully developed world that resonates with young visitors, while still appealing to the grown-ups in their lives who are just as fond of the beloved stories that were a major part of their own childhood.

Exhibit partners: The Magic House and Institute of Museum and Library Services

Sponsored by: Greenville Health System, Publix Super Market Charities and Becky & Bobby Hartness


Superheroes and Superstars: The Works of Alex Ross 

February 10 – June 3, 2018:  Superheroes are a part of our daily lives. They engage our imaginations on the pages of comic books, television and movie screens, as well as on the Broadway stage and in the virtual world of gaming.

Since their introduction in the late 1930s, superheroes have been powerful role models, inspirational and enviable. Based on mythological archetypes, they reflect, respond to, and offer ways to navigate the twists and turns of modern life.

In the Spring of 2018, superheroes will descend upon the Upstate of South Carolina as the Upcountry History Museum explores the world of superheroes and superstars through a special exhibition from the Norman Rockwell Museum. Superheroes and Superstars: The Works of Alex Ross includes over 100 pieces of original artwork; including paintings, sketches, and models created by Alex Ross, one of the greatest artists in the field of comic books.

With brilliant use of watercolor, Ross has spent most of his career revitalizing classic superheroes into works of fine art. His breakthrough work on Marvel Comics in 1994 propelled him into comic book superstardom at the age of 24. Ross’s paintings revolutionized the comic book industry and transcended the newsstand origins of his profession.

Captain America, Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Avengers and many more will come to life on the walls of the Museum. Popular culture icons, such as the Beatles, Star Wars, Monty Python, and Flash Gordon have also been drawn by Ross and are included in the exhibition.

Through the works of Alex Ross, visitors both young and old will be led on the journey of a superhero, including the moment in which we are all called to the adventure.

Sponsored by:  Blue Cross Blue Shield, WSPA, Spinx, SC Comicon and Borderlands Comics and Games


The Power of Children: Making a Difference

April 7 – May 23, 2018: The Power of Children – Making a Difference, a traveling exhibition from the National Endowment for the Humanities, aspires to show the power that words, action, and voice can have even when we are faced with hatred, racism, and discrimination.

A most timely project, designed for a broad audience, this major exhibition tells the story of three amazing young people – Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White – who endured so much at a young age, but didn’t let discrimination and hate define them.that words, action, and voice can have even when we are faced with hatred, racism, and discrimination.

What defined them was their courage and resilience.  The narrative thread through all of the stories is empathy, history, and being kind to one another. Immersive environments invite visitors into the spaces where each child felt safe: the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family spent two years in hiding; the first-grade classroom in which Ruby Bridges spent an entire school year alone with her teacher Mrs. Henry; and Ryan White’s bedroom, filled with the things he treasured.

The exhibit, which chronicles their lives, is not only about their individual stories; it is also about the challenges faced by today’s children, things like bullying and standing up for another person or cause, even when it’s not the easiest thing to do. Intertwining the past with the present, visitors are challenged to reflect and find ways that they can make a difference.

This powerful project encourages children and adults to explore problems of isolation, fear, and prejudice, by giving a personal face to three major issues of the 20th century: the Holocaust, the Civil Rights movement, and the AIDS epidemic. Focusing on how individuals faced these issues and highlighting the impact of each child, the exhibition shows how – even in the face of overwhelming circumstances – a single person can make a positive difference.

Sponsored by: Southern First


Spirited: Prohibition in America

January 27 – March 16, 2018: National Constitution Center in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, transports visitors back to the time of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists, and real-life legends, such as Al Capone and Carry Nation.

Spirited surveys the inventive and ingenious ways lawmakers and the American public responded to Prohibition. Legal provisions for sacramental wine, medicinal alcohol, the preservation of fruit, and the efforts of breweries to stay in business led to the popularization of products like “Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine,” “near beer,” and Coca-Cola. Visitors will learn how transportation networks and clever disguises were used to run liquor from state to state, how speakeasies gave way to the popularization of jazz, and the Charleston dance craze.The project explores the history of Prohibition, including the dawn of the temperance movement; the enactment of the 18th Amendment prohibiting the manufacture, sale or transport of intoxicating beverages; and the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment in 1933. Visitors experience America’s 1920s as the country was split between “wets” and “drys,” speakeasies flourished, legal authorities gave chase to gangsters, and people creatively discovered ways to circumvent the law.

The project features semi-immersive environments that encompass the sights, sounds, and experiences of this fascinating period in American history. Through the exhibition, visitors learn about the amendment process, the changing role of liquor in American culture, Prohibition’s impact on the roaring 20s, the changing role of women, and why current liquor laws vary from state to state.

Through strong visual and interactive elements, the exhibit demonstrates how America went from a nation drowning in liquor in the 1800s, to campaigns of temperance, and the upswing and downfall of outlawing Prohibition.

Sponsored by: WSPA and Budweiser of Greenville

Exhibit partners: National Endowment for the Humanities


The World of Jan Brett

September 23, 2017 – January 28, 2018: This special exhibition, presented in partnership with children’s author and illustrator Jan Brett, featured original artwork, immersive experiences, and themed reading environments fabricated by the Upcountry History Museum. This creative project invited visitors of all ages to enter a world of literacy adventures as they entered the pages of Jan Brett’s picture books.

Addressing the need to support literacy initiatives, the 1,200 square foot exhibit provided imaginative, book-based experiences and model early literacy experiences to adults. Exhibit programming included a visit from author Jan Brett in the Fall of 2017, a Gingerbread Holiday Workshop, Jan Brett Character Family Fun Days, and the Museum’s after school Kids Book Club.

Sponsored by: Duke Energy, North Greenville University, WSPA, Becky & Bobby Hartness,  and Greater Greenville Association of Realtors


Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen

October 14, 2017 – January 15, 2018: 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 from Kent State University Museum of Hepburn’s private collection featured over 35 free-standing costumes worn in 21 films and 6 stage productions spanning Hepburn’s illustrious career. The 2500 square foot project was the first major costume exhibition in the Upstate South Carolina.

Hepburn’s sixty-year career was 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 were film stills, photographs, posters, playbills and related objects.

 

Sponsored by: WSPA Channel 7 and Fairway Ford

See photos from our Red Carpet Chic Member Preview Party.


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.

Presented by Duke Brands with contributions by Duke’s Mayonnaise and Southern Living.


Curious George: Let’s Get Curious!

June 3 – September 24, 2017: The insatiable curiosity of Curious George came to life at the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University through a special exhibition titled Curious George: Let’s Get Curious! The project, designed and developed in partnership with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, introduced children ages 2-8 to Curious George’s world.

The bi-lingual (English and Spanish) exhibition took place in the neighborhood where Curious George lives with his friend, The Man in the Yellow Hat. Letting natural curiosity and inquiry be their guides, children explored familiar buildings and locales from the Curious George books and the television series, leading visitors on a fun and interactive adventure.

Visitors were encouraged to learn like George – through direct experience and problem solving, the exhibit emphasizes early STEAM concepts – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Learning experiences were based on educational standards developed by an advisory panel from the PBS KIDS series, as well as national science, math and literacy standards for young children.

Sponsored by: The Greenville Health System


Over the Top: American Posters from WWI

June 17 – September 10, 2017: The year 2017 marks the centennial of the official United States involvement in the First World War. In honor of these historical events and the men and women of South Carolina who served with distinction on the home front and in the battlefield, the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University in partnership with the Norman Rockwell Museum, hosted Over the Top: American Posters from World War I. This special exhibition featured 44 rare war bond posters, focusing on the Liberty Loan campaigns, the War Savings Stamp program, the Victory Loan and support for the Red Cross. The exhibition explored the role of illustrated images in rallying Americans to the cause and shaping public perceptions of the war.

This exhibit was organized by Norman Rockwell Museum.

Sponsored by: Piedmont Natural Gas and Public Strategy


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.

Sponsored By: 3M, Lockheed Martin, and Lima One Capital

Exhibit Partner:  Navy Art Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command


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 Sponsors:  Bank of America and Mikee & Cyndi Johnson – Cox Industries

See a preview of the exhibit in The Greenville News


 

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

The 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.

Visitors 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.

Locally Sponsored By:  WSPA, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Elliott Davis Decosimo, and QBS.

Exhibit Partners:  Chase Group LLC and Seuss Enterprises


Things Come Apart

September 3, 2016 – February 19, 2017: The Smithsonian Institution for the second year in a row, selected the Upcountry History Museum as the location to premiere its newest traveling exhibition Things Come Apart. Following its debut in Greenville, the exhibit began 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 became 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?”

Locally Sponsored By: Lockheed Martin, Tracy and Charles Hardaway, Cox Industries, Inc., and SC Future Makers


Norman Rockwell’s Home for the Holidays

November 5, 2016 – January 29, 2017: The 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:  The Upcountry History Museum made history as we hosted the sold out traveling exhibition Hands-On Harley Davidson. The 2,000 sq. ft. exhibition, invited visitors to a one-of-a-kind experience including a kid-sized motorcycle dealership and engineering lab. Visitors engaged 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 featured two Road King inspired motorcycles with interchangeable parts, accessories/decals to customize your ride, sound effects, first-person videos, and opportunities to learn about safety gear and preparing to ride. The service department experience provided videos, costumes and large scale dealership photos for role play.

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

After learning about engine parts and how they work together to create a smooth and safe ride visitors grabbed a vest and helmet and got 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


Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites

June 4, 2016 – September 11, 2016: Storyland and its related programming built upon the Museum’s philosophy that “stories are everywhere” and that literacy is a critical component to learning about history. The bi-lingual traveling exhibition (English and Spanish) immersed children and adults in favorite picture books, from the gardens of The Tale of Peter Rabbit to the super-sized world of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and the urban snowscape of The Snowy Day to the tropical island of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

Storyland was designed for children from birth through eight years old and adults. The featured books were transformed into three-dimensional play and learning environments that highlighted the six pre-reading skills defined by the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children. In this highly immersive project, families discovered the joy and power of reading. Activities included matching, rhyming, poetry and storytelling. Together they set the foundation for encouraging children to love books, learn words, tell stories, and hear sounds. The result was a lively exploration that combined the power of language, the pleasure of play, and the support needed for school readiness.

The seven picture books featured were: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numero, The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, Where’s Spot by Eric Hill, Tuesday by David Wiesner, and Abuela by Arthur Dorros.

Sponsored by: Greenville Health System.


Sign of the Times: The Great American Political Poster, 1844-2012

May 14, 2016 – August 16, 2016: Commemorating the 45th Presidential election, the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University presented Sign of the Times: The Great American Political Poster, 1844-2012, a traveling exhibition from the Mid America Arts Alliance.

The short-lived hardworking political poster tells the story of American politics through the years and how a dignified portrait, a catchy slogan, bold graphics, and the selling of the American dream are part of the campaign process. The exhibition traces the political campaign posters humble beginnings in the 1840s, to its modern day message, tested tag lines and trendsetting designs. Exploring a variety of styles, design trends, and printing technology the exhibit encourages visitors to contemplate past political contests and look more closely at the 2016 Presidential race to the White House.

Sign of the Times was curated by Hal Wert, Ph.D., collector and professor of history at Kansas City Art Institute, and organized by Exhibits USA/Mid-America Arts Alliance.

Sponsored by: American Services, Erwin-Penland, Nelson-Mullins, Blue Cross Blue Shield of the Carolinas, and WSPA.


Strom Thurmond & the 1948 Presidential Election

May 14, 2016 – August 16, 2016: On November 3, 1948, the morning after the 1948 presidential election, the Chicago Daily Tribune‘s headline read, “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.” That’s what the Republicans, the polls, the newspapers, the political writers, and even many Democrats had expected.

The Democratic Party had been split into thirds, President Harry S. Truman had to run against former Vice President, Henry Wallace (Progressive Party), and South Carolina Governor, Strom Thurmond (States’ Rights Party), in addition to Thomas Dewey of the Republican Party. Against the odds, the polls and the headlines, Americans awoke on Wednesday, November 3 to discover Harry S. Truman was President, winning 57% of the Electoral College.

The Election of 1948 is more than just an underdog story. Thurmond’s candidacy highlighted the fracturing within the once Solid South and the gradual party realignment that would conclude in 1964, when Thurmond joined the Republican Party. But most importantly, it was his coming out party. Following Thurmond’s Senate write-in victory in 1954, he would remain there until 2003, casting over 16,000 votes. When he retired, at 100, his last words were “that’s all.”

Exhibit Partners: Clemson University’s Special Collections, the Harry S. Truman Library, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, and the National American History Museum.

Sponsored by: American Services, Erwin-Penland, Nelson-Mullins, Blue Cross Blue Shield of the Carolinas, and WSPA.


Backstage Pass: Baron Wolman and the Early Years of Rolling Stone

April 6, 2016 – May 22, 2016: Immortalized by writers, filmmakers, and musicians from Stephen King to Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, the cover of Rolling Stone magazine has embodied generations of popular culture. For artists, the cover is a coveted career achievement, and for many readers, it represents a fantasy realm of the rock-n-roll lifestyle.

The artifact based exhibition made its South Carolina debut at the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University as part of a 5- year national tour. Contextualized in 35 framed photographs, contact sheets, and original cover, Backstage Pass presents an intimate view during a crucial period of cultural transformation in American history. As Chief Photographer for Rolling Stone from 1967-1970, Baron Wolman pioneered a new genre of iconic rock photography. The exhibit allowed visitors to go backstage and explore how photographers and editors of Rolling Stone guided the creation of the “rockstar.”

Backstage Pass is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Sponsored locally by: William R. McKibbon III, Attorney at Law


A David Small World

February 13, 2016 – May 1, 2016: Award-winning children’s book illustrator and author, David Small tackles the universals – greed, evil, folly, peace, and understanding in a clear-eyed, playful celebration of personal integrity, eccentricity, and even silliness. His stories are praised for stimulating lively discussions between adults and children.

The exhibit featured seventy original works of art by David Small including the Caldecott-winning classic So You Want to Be President?, as well as George Washington’s Cows, and My Senator and Me, an insider’s look at a day on Capitol Hill from a press conference to a meeting with a school group to a vote on the Senate floor.

A David Small World was organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas.

Sponsored locally by: American Services, Inc., WCM Global Wealth, LLC, WSPA Chanel 7, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Recover, IAG, and Vital Care EMS


Legacy of a Great Idea: 100 Years of Rotary and Greenville

February 27, 2016 – April 24, 2016: One hundred years ago twenty-five Greenville businessmen joined together with the idea of creating an organization that would help make Greenville a great city. On March 1, 1916 this organization officially became the Rotary Club of Greenville. Since that time, the club has not only helped make Greenville a great city but also has made a significant impact throughout the world, promoting “service above self.”

The Legacy of a Great Idea exhibit highlighted local achievements including building Textile Hall on Washington Street in 1917, the courageous work of Rotary members during the influenza epidemic of 1918, building a gymnasium at Furman University, the creation and building of Camp Greenville and the development of the Rotary Civic Chorale which is now the Greenville Chorale. The exhibit also examined current projects of the Rotary Club of Greenville including efforts in Haiti and Honduras, the Literacy Association of Greenville, a Veterans mentor program, the annual recognition of outstanding law enforcement officers and teachers, and the major fundraiser, Roper Mountain Holiday Lights.


Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow:
Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965

January 30, 2016 – March 16, 2016: The dropping of the atomic bomb in 1945 marked the end of World War II but resulted in a new threat: The uncertainty of the atomic age.

Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965, a traveling exhibition from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, explored the ways in which Americans lived with the daily fear of atomic war, and how the government responded to the growth of atomic powers and the onset of the Cold War.

The artifact rich Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow exhibition examined how Americans were inundated with multimedia propaganda that warned of the dangers of atomic energy and reflected a nervous public and shifting global politics.


 Pocketful of Posies

October 17, 2015 – February 14, 2016: Pocketful of Posies featured original artwork by nationally recognized fiber artist and author, Salley Mavor. Twenty-five hand-made fabric reliefs from the picture book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes celebrates classic childhood verses and the art of fiber illustration. Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes was the 2011 winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Picture Book and the Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Sponsored by:  Becky and Bobby Hartness


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

September 19, 2015 – January 18, 2016: Over the rainbow, and many miles East of nowhere, lies the Magical Land of Oz. Created in the mind of American author, Lyman Frank Baum, and illustrated by W.W. Denslow in 1900, the exhibition serves as a larger than life pop-up book. Created by the Great Explorations Children’s Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, it celebrates “America’s first fairytale.”

Sponsored by: Pelham Medical Center, 3M, the City of Greenville, The Greenville News, WSPA Channel 7, Greater Greenville Association of Realtors, Triangle Construction, and the Jolley Foundation


The Forgotten War: Korea 1950-1953

September 5, 2015 – January 31, 2016: The Forgotten War was a special exhibition in conjunction with the U.S. Navy Art Museum and the Naval History & Heritage Command to commemorate the service, sacrifice, and great contributions of those who fought in Korea.

Sponsored by: Lockheed Martin, Lima One Capital, and SCTAC


Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation

June 20, 2015 – August 11, 2015: Our Lives, Our Stories is a major traveling exhibition from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibition honors the men and women who experienced the Great Depression and World War II. Exhibition and program support came from NEH on the Road and the Mid-America Arts Alliance.


Magic Tree House

June 6, 2015 – September 6, 2015: A major traveling exhibition which originates from The Magic House in St. Louis, MO, the Magic Tree House exhibition made it’s Southeastern debut at the Upcountry History Museum. Based on the best-selling children’s book series written by Mary Pope Osborne, the exhibition is fully interactive, inspiring children to read and learn about history, through engaging playscapes.

Sponsored by: Greenville Health System, the Jolley Foundation, Triangle Construction, Bonitz, and WSPA Channel 7


William Joyce: Guardian of Childhood

March 7, 2015 – June 7, 2015: Organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, TX, this exhibition features eighty-four pieces of original artwork about the author, illustrator, filmmaker, and animator, William Joyce.

Sponsored by: Becky and Bobby Hartness


Searching for the Seventies: The Documerica Photography Project

February 14, 2015 – May 3, 2015: Searching for the Seventies takes a look at the ’70s using 90 remarkable color photographs taken for a federal photography project called Project DOCUMERICA (1971-1977).

Sponsored by: Piedmont Natural Gas, Community Journals, Duke Energy, Wyche Attorneys at Law, Southern First, Greenville Heritage Federal Credit Union, and Tracy and Charles Hardaway


The Vietnam War

October 25, 2014 – April 12, 2015: U.S. Marine John Steel produced thousands of sketches as a combat artist during the Vietnam War. This exhibit presents a first-hand account of the machines of war, the dangers of battle, and the complexity of Vietnamese culture.


Wartime Escape

November 8, 2014 – January 25, 2015: More than three generations of Americans have grown up reading the stories of an irrepressible little brown monkey known in this country as “Curious George.” But few people know about the incredible journey made by his creators, Margret and H.A. Rey, to escape the Nazi invasion of Paris at the start of World War II. Touring exhibition organized by ExhibitsUSA and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sponsored by: Greenville Federal Credit Union and Spinx


Hidden History: The Upcountry’s Underwater Treasures

October 11, 2014 – January 11, 2015: Lakes Jocassee and Keowee are two jewels of the Upcountry, providing an outdoor paradise for boaters, hikers, and campers. But unbeknownst to many, another world lies underneath these waters. Duke Power created these lakes to provide electricity to thousands of South Carolinians. Water flooded the towns that dotted the mountain valleys, forever drowning houses, churches, and stores. The structures may no longer exist, but the communities’ history remains. Fort Prince George, a colonial outpost, and Attakulla Lodge, a rustic summer resort, are two underwater treasures explored in this exhibit on the hidden history of the Upcountry.


Treasure!

October 11, 2014 – January 11, 2015: Treasure! is the interactive exhibition that brings to life the long history of treasure hunting from around the world. Through artifacts, activities, and videos, visitors explore the way science, history and technology come together on the thrilling hunt for treasure.

Sponsored by: Greenwood, Inc., the City of Greenville, The Graham Foundation, 3M, TD Charitable Foundation, the Simpson Foundation, and Duke Energy


Star Spangled History: The 200th Anniversary of Our National Anthem

May 17, 2014 – September 17, 2014: On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem. Star Spangled History was a special in-house, curated exhibit that explored the origins of the song and the relatively little known War of 1812 that helped establish the credibility of the young United States.

Sponsored by: Spinx, Lockheed Martin, and Hucks Financial Services


The Amazing Castle

June 28, 2014 – September 28, 2014: The Amazing Castle sparks children’s imaginations! In this traveling exhibit from Minnesota Children’s Museum, children and their families go back to a magical place and become inhabitants of a castle village. Children and their caregivers playfully explore the interconnectedness of community members in a setting inspired by fantasy and history. From becoming a jester and putting on a show to helping the cook prepare a feast, or even constructing a bench in the Carpenter’s Workshop, children’s play and learning are supported by the exhibit’s design, characters, narrative, interactives, costumes, and props. The goal of the exhibit is to strengthen awareness of the interconnectedness of individuals in a community through playful imaginative activities.

Sponsored by: Bank of America, Furman Family Foundation, and The Greenville News


The World of Jan Brett

February 8, 2014 – May 4, 2014: The World of Jan Brett brings to like the stories of the beloved children’s author/illustrator through original artwork, and reading environments. Designed to invite visitors to travel the globe and become part of their favorite books, this exhibition is an immersive art instillation. Featuring over 50 original works of art from over 10 of Jan Brett’s classic books. The exhibition is organized by the Oshkosh Public Museum, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Sponsored by: 3M


Protest, Prayers, and Progress: Greenville’s Civil Rights Movement

January 18 – June 15, 2014: Though equality and justice are American ideals, the struggle to reach them has shaped our history. The fight for ravial equality during the Civil Rights Movement fundamentally changes like in the nation and in Greenville. Greenville residents offer different perspectives about this pivotal time. This exhibition followed the journey of protests and prayers across Greenville County in pursuit of progress.

Sponsored by: 3M, Becky and Bobby Hartness, the Bill and Connie Timmons Foundation, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, Certus Bank, the City of Greenville, The Daniel-Mickel Foundation, Elliott Davis, The Graham Foundation, Greenville County, Greenville Health System, the Greenville News, Greenville Tech, Haynsworth Sinkler and Boyd, Hollingsworth Funds, Inc., Piedmont Natural Gas, TD Bank


To the Moon: Snoopy Sours with NASA

October 5, 2013 – December 29, 2013: This exhibit – organized by Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA – examines the history of Apollo 10 and the Peanuts characters’ role in that flight and in the NASA Manned Flight Awareness safety program.


Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl: Home Sweet Home

June 15, 2013 – September 22, 2013: Two beloved American icons come to life in this interactive educational exhibit that inspires children to discover and care for the natural resources that sustain our world.


Looking Through the Lens: A Photographic History of Greenville

October 9, 2012 – July 2, 2013: Explore the city of Greenville through a century of photographs.

Sponsored by: Greenville Hospital System, Spinx, The Greenville News, Emedia Group, Greenville First, Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A., Fast Frame, Chef360, and TD Bank


Uniquely Southern Folk Art

Closed September 2, 2012: Uniquely Southern Folk Art explored Southern culture through the art work of 25 fold artist from the Southeastern United States.


Mud, Sweat, and Cheers: Football in the Palmetto State, 1989-Present

Closed February 12, 2012: In 1889, college football came to the Palmetto State. South Carolina would never be the same again.

Sponsored by: TD Bank and Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A.


The Language of Clay: Catawba Indian Pottery and Oral Traditions

December 18, 2010 – June 12, 2011: Explore the history of the Catawba people through their pottery and oral histories.


Weaving Our Survival: Upcountry Stories of WWII

November 7, 2009 – November 4, 2010


Eyes to the Hills: Travelers Rest to the Dark Corner

April 23, 2009 – September 20, 2009


Comic Stripped

September 23, 2008 – January 7, 2009


Audubon Naturalists

April 25, 2007 – September 7, 2008