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McKissick Museum

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

Exhibitions

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. 


Digital Exhibits

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! 

 

Physical Exhibits

Close-up of University Mace

Invitation to Explore

This exhibit gives visitors an introduction to the many types of objects that McKissick Museum collects, including university history, fine art, southeastern folklife, natural history, and more. Visitors can also see the University’s mace and medallion, which are on display when they are not in use at commencement ceremonies. This exhibition is changed out annually to rest objects that have been on display and to highlight new acquisitions.  

Specimen of Coal

 Natural Curiosity:  The University of South Carolina and the Evolution of Scientific Inquiry in the Natural World  

 Explore your own “natural curiosity” in this exhibit that highlights the treasures of nature, and the evolution of the field of natural history.  Visitors can learn from  authentic objects or use newly installed touchscreens to dive deeper into McKissick collections and explore the lives of Historic Southern Naturalists. 


Upcoming Exhibits

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. 

It is through play that we develop and test our physical and social skills. Play creates the safe space where we try out diverse social roles and scenarios. The social norms toys communicate are easier to identify in unfamiliar toys of the past. But today’s toys are no less burdened with meaning. 

Museum Management Program alumna Leslie Yarborough conceived of and developed the idea as part of an independent study class on museum exhibitions. Applying the skills she acquired in the program, Leslie conceptualized the exhibition's thematic structure and educational goals. Child’s Play gently prods us to think more critically about the toys we fondly recall as dear companions, as well as those that perhaps were objects of our desire yet remained out of reach. 

Discover the lives of Southern quiltmakers and their creations in the third iteration of Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent CollectionSince the 1980s, McKissick has documented and celebrated quilting traditions, produced several publications, and developed programs exploring the topic. The quilts in Piece by Piece 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.  

 


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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