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McKissick Museum

  • Woman photographs a costume from the exhibit "Well Suited"


Our exhibitions reflect the museum’s broad, interdisciplinary approach, educating visitors about the diversity and richness found throughout the South. Find out what you can see, learn and experience on your next visit. 

Physical Exhibits

David Drake, A Pretty Little Girl, 1857

From Earth to Art: Alkaline-Glazed Pottery in the American Southeast January 27 through July 17, 2024 North Gallery, second floor, McKissick Museum

From Earth to Art: Alkaline-Glazed Pottery in the American Southeast highlights the rich legacy of stoneware masterpieces in McKissick Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition is a travel through time and tradition. A selection of functional wares made by southern hands between the 1840s and early 2000s are featured. Each object is a celebration of the distinctiveness of its maker and the artistry of the applied glaze. This exhibition was curated by Abby Rivers, an art history major and former McKissick Museum intern.   David Drake, A Pretty Little Girl, 1857

Voice on Cloth is: Peggie Hartwell, The Market Place, 201

Voice on Cloth: Exploring the Quilts of Peggie Hartwell January 20 through April 20, 2024 South Gallery, second floor, McKissick Museum

Drawing upon her experiences growing up in rural South Carolina, Peggie Hartwell’s quilts are largely autobiographical. While they detail her life and family, they also feature the lives of South Carolina farmers from whom she descended. Growing up during the 20th century, added inspiration comes from African American folklore and history that has happened over her lifetime. The color and movement in her quilts draw from her many years as a dancer in New York and abroad. As an artist and educator, she works with young people to tap into their memories and to express their voices on cloth. This exhibition weaves together a patchwork of places and people whose lives and lessons she believes are important to tell.  Voice on Cloth is: Peggie Hartwell, The Market Place, 201  

Voice on Cloth is: Peggie Hartwell, The Market Place, 201

Voice on Cloth: Exploring the Quilts of Peggie Hartwell Opening reception and artist talk Thursday, January 25, 2024, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm 2nd floor, McKissick Museum Free and open to the public

On Thursday evening January 25, McKissick Museum will host a conversation between Dr. Minuette Floyd, Professor, Art Education, USC, and artist Peggie Hartwell beginning at 6:00 pm. Hartwell will discuss her work and her experiences teaching children to make story quilts.   Voice on Cloth is: Peggie Hartwell, The Market Place, 201


Digital Exhibits

Child's Play

Showcasing a wide range of toys—everything from teddy bears and Barbies to Lincoln Logs, Legos, and Nintendo 64--Child’s Play will be both a walk down memory lane and an invitation to consider the serious business of play for children and adults. The exhibit mines the many messages we send and receive with toys—especially messages about social norms. 

Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection

Since the 1980s, McKissick has documented and celebrated quilting traditions, produced several publications, and developed programs exploring the topic. The quilts in this exhibition illustrate the evolution of this textile tradition over the past two hundred years. From the early use of chintz fabrics to the widespread popularity of solid colors, these quilts reflect traditions with roots in Europe, Africa, and the American South.

Folded paper dolls of President Ronald Reagan

A Laughing Matter

This new digital exhibit from McKissick Museum surveys the use of humor in an array of objects produced for American political campaigns from 1896 to 2016. "A Laughing Matter" contains a variety of political memorabilia. Some of the humor is light-hearted and good-natured. Some of it can be seen as quite dark, having misogynist, homophobic, and even violent overtones. It is a hopeful sign of the times that we now recognize when—from some Americans’ perspectives—political campaign materials meant to be funny in their day, were perhaps not all that funny. Still, as the old saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine.” 

3 women in front of horseshoe

A Woman's Right Part 2

Utilizing original research from Guest Curator, Dr. Jennifer Gunter, Director of the South Carolina Collaborative on Race and Reconciliation, this exhibit continues in a digital space. Part 2 of "A Woman's Right" features the stories, objects, photos and more from the fight for women's rights from World War II to the present. 

three women in front of a building

A Woman's Right Part 1

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, McKissick Museum planned a spectacular two-part exhibition entitled "A Woman's Right." This exhibit set out to uncover the challenges and triumphs of women at UofSC. While the museum is closed, curators have been hard at work creating a digital catalog of the 1st part of "A Woman's Right". This downloadable pdf contains the exhibit's original text panels, photographs, captions and more! 


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.