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February Issue 2005

Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, Launches Centennial Anniversary Year with Special Exhibitions

The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, announces the launch of its centennial anniversary year in 2005 with several special exhibitions, including: un | spoken [SPACES] Inside and Outside the Boundaries of Class, Race and Space, on view in the Museum's Main Gallery from Feb. 5 through May 8, 2005; (un)dwelled: Photographs of Endangered Southern Architecture, featuring works by Gaston Callum, on view through Apr. 17, 2005, in the Garden and Balcony Galleries; and Encircling: An Installation by Janet Orselli, on view through May 8, 2005, in the North, South, and Central Rotunda Galleries.

Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century paintings of Charleston not only reinforce the city's significance as a prominent colonial and antebellum metropolis, as well as tourist destination of today, but also present subtle and oftentimes not-so-subtle distinctions between class, wealth, and racial status. un | spoken [SPACES] Inside and Outside the Boundaries of Class, Race and Space investigates the complex relationships between these variables.

Ray Huff and Mario Gooden of Huff Gooden Architects in Charleston, approach the Main Gallery of the Gibbes as a multi-dimensional landscape in which selected works from the permanent collection are re-contextualized through a manipulation of spatial boundaries and interpretive texts. Breaking traditional boundaries between architecture, installation art, and museum display, the exhibition encourages new inquiries into issues of race, class and space in the City of Charleston, and indeed throughout the United States.

The exhibition, (un)dwelled: Photographs of Endangered Southern Architecture, showcases the work of Gaston Ward Callum II (American, b. 1961), a native of Wilmington, NC, who documents dormant vernacular architecture in ten states throughout the South. Presenting an exquisite photographic inventory of endangered early American architecture, Callum explores the significance of historic preservation in the context of "the ruin." Provocative black-and-white images of forgotten plantation mansions, slave cabins, mills, churches and farmhouses engender the exhibition with a rich, haunting appeal.

Installation artist Janet Orselli, of Columbia, SC (American, b.1954), uses old, discarded objects and ephemeral natural materials to create an entirely original museum experience for Gibbes' visitors. A site-specific installation designed exclusively for the Gibbes' Rotunda Galleries, Encircling: An Installation by Janet Orselli encourages viewers to consider connections between man-made and natural architecture, and the relevance of preservation.

Also on view at the Gibbes are the exhibits: The Lowcountry Landscapes of Horace Day, in the Charleston Renaissance Gallery, on view through Mar. 20, 2005, and Birds, Beasts and Bugs, featuring 17 prints from the Read-Simms Collection created during the Edo period in Japan (1615-1868), on view in the Japanese Print Gallery through June 12, 2005.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 843/722-2706 or at (www.gibbesmuesum.org).

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