Each year, the Charleston Renaissance Gallery sponsors a series of carefully curated exhibitions showcasing Southern masterworks from our holdings, as well as recent pieces by select contemporary artists.









Southern Still

Robert Henri—whose significance in the history of American art rests as much in what, and whom, he taught as in what he created—was on the front edge of a turning tide that rejected the strictures of the formal nineteenth century academicism that defines Andrew John Henry Way’s classic Apples and Pottery. Exhorting his students to paint “what is real,” Henri’s oeuvre often centered on urban scenes and people of the streets. Still, Henri saw aesthetic value in any native subject, and, in The Art Spirit, opined that “a still life in great art is a living thing. The objects are painted for what they suggest, and their presentation” is intended to “carry the mind of the observer to the fancy they aroused in the artist.”

More often that not, Southern artists took their cues from the rich historical tradition of still lifes, celebrating the natural bounty and beauty of the region in tableaus of fruit and serving pieces in the Dutch manner or recording the hanging game borne of a successful hunt. These artists--Andrew John Henry Way, George Beattie, William Aiken Walker, George Biddle, Hal Morrison, Adalbert Volck, Paul Lacroix and  Alice Ravenel Huger Smith--captured the essence of their subjects, bringing them to life again and again for succeeding generations of observers.






An Even Dozen
Twelve Southern Masterworks for 2012

Elliott Daingerfield (1859-1932), whose scholarship and spirituality informed his aesthetic as powerfully as his sheer genius, titled this luminous, windswept scene The Promise. Perhaps, its energy and enigmatic sky spoke to him of what was yet to be, the sun breaking just beyond clouds of storm. As a new year dawns, promise abounds. All is possible, and the potential for brighter days beckons us on.

 To celebrate 2012, we’ve selected an even dozen paintings by such artists as George Henry Andrews, John James Audubon, William Gerard De Brahm, Elizabeth Boott Duveneck , Stephen James Ferris, Everett B. D. Julio, Rockwell Kent, Paul Sawyier, Henry Merwin Shrady, William Posey Silva and Joseph B. Smith to mark the occasion. From allegory to genre scene, seascape to sculpture, each work showcased in this virtual exhibition signifies an artistic apex worthy of fresh consideration.





Old Dominion
Virginian Visions

In recognition of their loyalty to his rule during the colonial period, King Charles II regularly referred to Virginians as “the best of his distant children.” To that end, in the mid-1600s, the monarch bestowed an elevated status upon his oldest and most favored American settlement, that of “dominion,” the same honorific granted to England, Scotland, Ireland and France. Since that time, the “Old Dominion” has played a pivotal role in this country’s history and heritage. From Jamestown to Williamsburg, from Hampton Roads to Manassas, the once vast province has been the backdrop for seminal events of national consequence, the home place of larger than life leaders. The “mother of statesmen” and presidents alike has also been the inspiration for countless artists’ imaginations, a selection of whom are featured in our latest exhibition. The commonwealth’s varied beauty—stretching from the Blue Ridge to the Chesapeake Bay—and its storied scenes and citizens find their rightful places in this selection of Virginian visions.






Southern Season

From his vantage point at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson observed the Virginian seasons in all their variation and vibrancy. From September through May each year, the great statesman often went out into his woods to hunt the wildlife that ran freely through the countryside. While never as passionate a hunter as the new nation's first president, Jefferson, like so many of his fellow Southern gentleman, considered the sport as fine an outdoor pursuit as any. Writing to a young nephew in 1785, he offered this endorsement of the pastime: "I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion of your walks."






Southern Sesquicentennial
Enduring Images of the Civil War

On April 12, 1861, incendiary political problems—states’ rights, slavery and secession—brought a band of Confederate forces to the federal fortress of Fort Sumter in Charleston’s harbor, where they launched the opening salvo of the War Between the States. For the next four years, the country would be torn apart from within, testing the republic’s very foundation and future. One hundred and fifty years later, many of the issues “at the heart of the Civil War remain relevant: equality for all Americans, the appropriate reach of the federal government and the effort to reconcile differing cultural values under a single national flag.”

The “Great Unpleasantness” occupied artists’ imaginations and canvases from those first moments: historic battles, heroic valor, scarred lands and unprecedented loss of life that “carried mourning to almost every home.” Whether informed by political sympathy, regional fidelity, economic savvy or aesthetic appeal, the works offered here are representative of the postbellum artistic response to both the honor and horror of what General Robert E. Lee described as "a terrible ordeal [and] necessary expiation, perhaps, for our national sins.” Perhaps, each in his own turn and singular style, these artists were in mind of President Abraham Lincoln’s 1865 inaugural admonition, the call to all Americans to “strive to bind up the nation’s wounds … and do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”






Charleston Calling

On the eve of Charleston’s twentieth century cultural rebirth, one visiting artist-correspondent sang her high praises to a national audience: “Her moods are infinite; and, as you press on, you are thrilled with a sense of the endless variety and superabundance of beauty that lures you in a zigzag course across the city, fearful that something might escape you.” Other writers—both “from off” and native born—described the city with equal ardor, deeming it “a God-made garden, a paradise where man walks reverently,” a place “so unlike the typical modern American city that to the traveler it must be a bit of the old world.” Today, the charm endures, as do the images created by many of the South’s leading artists. From Thomas Sully and Thomas Wightman to William Halsey and Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, colonial portraiture to modernism and still life to landscape, our latest exhibition celebrates the quintessential art and artists of Charleston, spanning some 240 years. Many of the featured works will also be showcased at the upcoming Charleston International Antiques Show, scheduled for March 18-20. As it did in the early 1920s, Charleston can still “claim honors as an art center in America,” a mecca where artistic pilgrims go “to worship at the shrine of spring.”









Southern Sisters
Opening Reception
Friday, November 5, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

For the women artists featured in our upcoming exhibition, the ideal room of one’s own held an easel or sketchbook—as well as the promise of time and space to create freely. With careers spanning the last 150 years, these women balanced home and hearth with palette and brush, and, in many cases, helped pioneer professional paths for the fairer sex. In the hallowed halls of academic proving grounds and at leading galleries of the day, this select sorority—including Emma Lambert Cooper, Clara Davidson  (Woman with Poinsettias, above), Elizabeth Boott Duveneck, Lena Gurr, Marie Atkinson Hull, Anna V. H. Huntington, Nell Choate Jones, Augusta Denk Oelschig, Hattie Saussy, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Mary Russell Smith, Alice Barber Stephens, Anna Heyward Taylor, Martha Walter and Ludmilla Pilat Welch —lived out Georgia O’Keeffe’s belief that “to create one’s own world in any of the arts takes courage.”

The opening reception for Southern Sisters is the centerpiece of our participation in the 2010 Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association’s Fine Art Annual, scheduled for November 5-6. Now in its eleventh year, the FAA weekend—offering exhibitions, lectures, artist demonstrations and social gatherings—has been hailed by Charleston Magazine, American Art Collector, American Style and Art & Antiques as the most important fine arts festival in South Carolina. For more information on the Fine Art Annual, please visit our website, which provides full details. We welcome your company.










Southern Scribe
Works by Anna Heyward Taylor

Our latest exhibition celebrates the recent publication of Selected Letters of Anna Heyward Taylor, edited by Edmund Taylor and Alex Moore. Published by the University of South Carolina Press, this heavily illustrated volume chronicles the globe-spanning travels and aesthetic development of one of the state’s most accomplished artists. A pivotal force in the Charleston Renaissance, Anna Heyward Taylor lived a life of adventure and art, and faithfully shared her stories through prolific and highly detailed correspondence to friends, family, and colleagues.






Southern Seas
August 12 - October 15, 2010

“Water,” wrote Leonardo da Vinci, “is the driver of Nature.” And, since time in memoriam, man has sought to drive water—to master its rhythms, harness its force, plunder its riches, absorb its lessons. In humble craft and mighty vessel alike, for purposes noble and national, common and commercial, man’s search for sovereignty on the sea has taken myriad forms and provided endless inspiration for artists through the ages. Robert Henri asked and answered, "Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think."

Southern Seas, our latest virtual exhibition, showcases marine subjects, naval battles, seascapes, and coastal vistas. Monumental canvases of Confederate frigates share billing with sketches of lowly skiffs; mighty ocean waves contrast tranquil rural ponds. Works by Edward Everard Arnold, Edmund Marion Ashe, Reynolds Beal, John-Baptiste Henri Durand-Brager, John Kelly Fitzpatrick, Emile Albert Gruppe, Andrew W. Melrose, Charles Sidney Raleigh, William Posey Silva, Xanthus Russell Smith (Palmettos at Port Royal, above) and Alexander Charles Stuart span the centuries and genres, offering a collective glimpse into Southerners’ enduring fascination with water as both means and end.








Gulf Coast Unspoiled

Joseph Rusling Meeker (1827-1889)      
Bayou, 1884
Oil on canvas,27 x 22 inches
Signed lower left: JR Meeker 84

Down Gulf Coast way, there is a bridge over the Mobile River and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, two parallel spans of coreten steel on concrete pilings anchored in the river and swamp below. Though it lacks the drama of some, this viaduct is, all the same, as pretty as any in America, lifting in natural harmony from the watershed that feeds the city and offering spectacular views to both the left and right. I pay attention when on this bridge, drinking in the changing scene by season, in weather, over time. I have risen early to watch the break of morn on the delta and have likewise cut short a day's travel in hopes of catching the last light of an afternoon from the bridge’s loft.

This is a landscape I know and love, a landscape now threatened by man and malfunction. Even today, I see the land the artists saw—minus booms and tar balls—and because I know their work, I know the land as they knew it. This, for me, is profound. As I drive west, I am in search of Meeker's Louisiana sky and know that, absent the road on which I travel, he painted what I see. In discovering the Gulf’s lush landscapes and bayou bends, Meeker made it ours, if only we will open our eyes. 

This is the story of Southern, in pictures.







The Color of Surface: Recent Paintings by Linda Fantuzzo
May 7 - June 19, 2010  

A stunning selection of new works by Charleston artist Linda Fantuzzo will be on view at the Charleston Renaissance Gallery from May 7 – June 19, 2010. The Color of Surface features thirty recent paintings, each characterized by Fantuzzo’s eloquent handling of atmosphere and luminosity. These latest pieces are further distinguished by the artist’s remarkable facility with medium, leading to striking surface contrasts between heavy impasto and sheer color and glaze.

Comprised primarily of landscapes, the paintings featured in The Color of Surface have an ethereal quality and appear to “exist in an ambiguous space—one that is both a deep, representational space filled with elements that sometimes take on metaphorical significance, and more abstract arrangements of geometric and organic shapes.” One reviewer described Fantuzzo’s interpretations of ordinary scenes or objects as anything but ordinary. "Unexpected juxtapositions give many of her paintings a quietly surreal quality. She emphasizes texture, tone, atmosphere, and, above all, an inner light created by very careful purposeful handling of cool and warm colors."










Southern Semblance
March 4 - April 5, 2010

"Nothing in a portrait is a matter of indifference. Gesture, grimace, clothing, decor—all must combine to realize a character,” wrote Charles Baudelaire. Across continents and centuries, the axiom has been borne out, in every medium and mode. Our latest virtual exhibition, Southern Semblance, features thirty likenesses that, en masse, offer a survey of the regional form. In the antebellum South, portraiture was a mark of social status, critical to the decorum and decoration of the distinguished home. To that end, Swiss-born Jeremiah Theus, based in Charleston, maintained a thriving colonial studio, recording the visages of the wealthy and powerful (Portrait of John Habersham, 1772, above). By contrast, present-day realist Clint Herring captures body and soul in Study for Attitude, a 2005 watercolor of an anonymous young child posed against a wall of distressed clapboard. The extremes beg the timeless question. Is a portrait a portrait of the sitter or the artist?










Southern Specimens
The Art & Science of John Abbot

February 4 - March 4, 2010

An introspective man whose thoughts were "ingrossed [sic] by natural history," John Abbot was one of the first and most prolific artist-naturalists to work in America and in the South. Born to privilege in London, Abbot was fascinated early on by insect specimens. Encouraged in his increasingly consuming passion and formally trained in drawing, he arrived in this country in 1773, ultimately settling near Savannah where he remained for five decades. It was there that Abbot began the work on which his fame rests: the recording of the birds, insects, and plants of Georgia in meticulous sketches numbering in the thousands.

Abbot's contributions to ornithology, entomology, and botany are today considered on par with those of his more famous contemporaries, William Bartram and John James Audubon. To the connoisseur of Southern art, his watercolor drawings are prized not only for their scientific accuracy and historical value, but also for their creator’s enthusiasm for the natural wonder of this corner of the New World.






Southern Lens
Works by Bayard Wootten
January 6 - February 4, 2010

One of the South's leading photographers of the early twentieth century, Bayard Wootten created a highly selective body of work ranging from evocative nature studies and botanicals, to haunting images of rural laborers and Appalachian mountaineers. Originally trained as a painter, Wootten worked in photography's pictorial tradition, emphasizing artistry in her images at a time when documentary and straight photography increasingly dominated the medium.

Born to a cultured North Carolina family, Wootten first visited Charleston around 1932 as part of a photographic tour of Southeastern gardens. Some of the images included in this exhibition first appeared in Charleston: Azaleas and Old Bricks, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1937. Accompanied by text by historian Samuel Gaillard Stoney, reproductions in the book were by photogravure. Wootten considered it her crowning achievement. "This is my great adventure," she declared. "In a way, it is for me the fruition of my long career as a photographer."










Southern Icon
Works by Elizabeth O'Neill Verner
October 9 - November 1, 2009

 Thirty years after her death at the age of ninety-six, Elizabeth O’Neill Verner’s legacy as the matriarch of the Charleston Renaissance remains unrivalled. In pastels and etchings, Verner created images that have come to be viewed as the quintessential aesthetic definition of picturesque Charleston and the Carolina Lowcountry. "From my earliest days, the beauty of Charleston has been a conscious blessing," Verner acknowledged. "I owe my native city incalculably much." In the words of one contemporary critic, "Charleston belongs to Mrs. Verner."

The daughter of a rice broker, Verner began drawing as a child. She studied locally before spending two years under Thomas Anshutz's tutelage at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Returning to Charleston in 1903, she married and raised two children. In 1923, she took up etching and established her own studio. Later, she studied extensively in Europe and the Orient. Verner was a frequent exhibitor, and her work was acquired by such notable institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. An extremely articulate artist, Verner taught, lectured, and authored four books.

Along with Alice Smith, Anna Heyward Taylor, and Alfred Hutty, Elizabeth O’Neill Verner played a pivotal role in Charleston's dramatic mid-century cultural renewal. Her works showcased Charleston 's natural beauty and charm, including live oaks draped in moss, tall cypress trees in abandoned rice preserves, colorful flower women, and the streets and alleyways of the city. Today, the state of South Carolina’s highest honor for the arts is named in her memory.









Southern Moss
November 6 - December 31, 2009

"I entered through rows of old live oaks, their branches and twigs hung with a delicate fringe of gray moss, and their dark shining green foilage, meeting and intermingling naturally but densely overhead. The light streamed through and played aslant the lustrous leaves, fluttering, pendulous moss; the arch was low and broad; the trunks were huge and gnarled. I stopped my horse and I held my breath; for I have hardly in my all my life seen anything so impressively grand and beautiful." Frederick Law Olmstead, 1856

Featuring works by  Howard Chandler Christy, Horace Day, Linda Fantuzzo, G. Howard Hilder, Joseph Rusling Meeker, Andrew Melrose,  Thomas Addison Richards, William Posey Silva, Anna Heyward Tayor, Walter W. Thompson (The Black Pool, Charleston South Carolina, above), Elizabeth O'Neill Verner, Ludmilla Pilat Welch, Bayard Wootten, and George Hand Wright, Southern Moss will be on view online and on Church Street from November 6 through December 31, 2009.










Southern Block
Prints by Anna Heyward Taylor
September 10 - October 9, 2009

One of the pivotal figures of the Charleston Renaissance, Anna Heyward Taylor is best known for her woodblock prints, executed both in brilliant color and dramatic black-and-white. Born to a distinguished South Carolina family, Taylor studied under William Merritt Chase, William Lathrop, and the colony of pioneering printmakers in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Powerfully influenced by their innovations and by her own extensive travels through Europe and the Far East, the Columbia heiress pursued printmaking with a passion, filtering traditional Lowcountry subject matter through a distinctly modern aesthetic.







Southern Heights
August 7 - September 9, 2009

Generations of Southerners—heat-weary vacationers and artists alike—have sought relief from sweltering summer days in the cooler climes and verdant greens of mountain heights. As early as the 1880s, native Charlestonian William Aiken Walker discovered the pleasures of such retreats, regularly spending warmer months in Arden, North Carolina, where he “set forth each day to capture the beauties of the mountain country.” For other artists, the sheer majesty of the topography is inspiration enough, providing endless subject matter for dramatic landscapes, no matter the season of the year. “Climb the mountains,” beckoned the great American naturalist John Muir, “and get their good tidings.”

Now on view in our gallery and at the Crossnore School in western North Carolina, Southern Heights features views and good tidings from the brushes of George Beattie, Eliot Candee Clark, Rudolph Ingerle, Lawrence Mazzanovich, Thomas Addison Richards, Hattie Saussy, Paul Sawyier, Joshua Shaw, John Adams Spelman, William Sonntag, and Anthony Thieme (Mountain Cabin, above).









Southern Taste
July 10 - August 6, 2009

"Within the South itself, no other form of cultural expression, not even music, is as distinctively characteristic of the region as the spreading of a feast of native food and drink before a gathering of kin and friends," to invoke the claim of one Southern food critic. And, certainly, the melding of cuisine and culture is nothing new to Charleston. On Friday, July 17, the Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association will once again sponsor the Palette and Palate Stroll, an evening dedicated to fine art, food, and wine. We will be delighted to welcome the chefs from High Cotton to our kitchen--and connoisseurs of fine culinary and visual arts to our tasting room. For more information on Palette & Palate tickets, please visit the CFADA website or contact us.

Southern Taste showcases a selection of appetizing views, including works by Wayman Adams, Edmund Marion Ashe (Pot of Tea and Ice Cream, above), George Biddle, Tarleton Blackwell, John George Brown, Hal Morrison, Karl Oberteuffer, William Aiken Walker, Andrew John Henry Way, and Thomas Wightman.








Southern Contemporary
June 8 - July 9, 2009

There’s nothing old about the new South—or its art. Today’s Southern art finds its vision and verve in the aesthetic genius of a select few, a handful of whom we are honored to represent. Whether they offer modern interpretations of classic subjects or craft artisan treasures, their works reflect what is both constant and current in the story of Southern. Proving our point in this exhibition: Tarleton Blackwell, Don Cooper, Terry DeLapp, Bill Dunlap, Linda Fantuzzo, Jonathan Green, Clint Herring, Carole Hetzel, Phillip Moulthrop, Dan Ostermiller, and Stephen Scott Young.






Southern Economy:
Images of Life and Labor

May 1 - June 7, 2009

From its agrarian past to post-modern present—through slavery, reconstruction, industrialization, and globalization—the South is a place built on hard work. Life and labor have been inextricably intertwined throughout Southern history and, consequentially, in Southern art. Whether in scenes of cotton plantations that flourished on the backs of generations of African American slaves or through compassionate images of black domestics who tended generations of advantaged families, artists have, over the centuries, offered commentary on both the work ethic and ethical implications of the business of Southern.
This collection of works features red clay fields and bustling docks, cotton mills and back alleys, places where artists as varied as George Biddle, Nicolino Calyo, Elliott Daingerfield, Elizabeth Boott Duveneck, Stephen Morgan Etnier, John Kelly Fitzpatrick, Emile Gruppe, Wilson Irvine, Harry Roseland, and William Aiken Walker recorded commercial realities and telling truths about the economy and ethos of the South.










The Heart of Southern:
Twentieth Century Scenes from Charleston Proper

March 12 - April 12, 2009

In the early half of the twentieth century—and especially between the years 1915 and 1940—the city of Charleston experienced a cultural rebirth. Visual artists, both resident natives and visiting luminaries, plumbed deep into the city’s wealth of subject matter, recording the city’s iconic landmarks, high style and vernacular architecture, and charming street vignettes. Accompanied by a concerted effort on the part of local business leaders, the Charleston Renaissance ignited the city’s rise from faded glory to its present-day status as a premier tourist destination, a romantic repository of Old South lore and loveliness.

It was Charleston proper—those few square miles located "South of Broad" and centered at the strategic “four corners of law” intersection—that attracted scores of artists’ eyes then—and now. Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, the matriarch of the Charleston Renaissance, acknowledged her hometown’s pivotal role in her own artistic pursuits: “From my earliest memories the beauty of Charleston has been a conscious blessing. I owe my native city incalculably much.” As do so many others.

The Heart of Southern features over twenty examples of distinctive downtown sites, streets, and scenery by such noted artists as Reynolds Beal, George Biddle, Colin Campbell Cooper (seen above, St. Philip’s Church, Charleston), Alfred Hutty, Hobson Pittman, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, William Lester Stevens, Anna Heyward Taylor, Anthony Thieme, and Bayard Wootten. Contemporary views by Terry DeLapp, Linda Fantuzzo, and Clint Herring offer modern interpretations of the timeless subjects.










Southern Wildlife
February 11 - March 7, 2009

"There is a passion for hunting, something deeply implanted in the human breast,” wrote Charles Dickens. The British tradition of the gentleman’s hunt was one of many cultural mores imported to the American South in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Southern aristocrats explored the natural environs of their new colonies—and then states—usually accompanied by African American guides, as well as carefully bred bird dogs.

 In the nineteenth century, Charlestonian Charles Fraser recorded the prizes of patrons’ days in the country or on water, painting birds or fish displayed hanging against trompe l’oeil backgrounds. Working just years later, distinguished South Carolina artist William Aiken Walker found both inspiration and commissions in Fraser’s examples.

 By the early twentieth century, wealthy Northern sportsmen found new use for former rice fields, establishing private preserves on antebellum plantations for outdoor pleasure. Situated in the scenic Lowcountry and strategically located along migration routes, these camps promised premier shooting and successful outcomes for the gentlemen fortunate enough to gain access.

 The works featured in this exhibit—from wildlife sculpture to plein air landscapes to tranquil river views—celebrate the tradition of Southern sport at its best across the centuries. Featured artists include Fraser, Edmund Marion Ashe, Frank Weston Benson, Arthur Bowen Davies, John Adams Elder, Kilby Webb Elwell, Crawford Gillis, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Hal Morrison, Dan Ostermiller, John Adams Spelman, and Andrew John Henry Way.



Winter Escape:
Southern Impressionism in the Early Twentieth Century
January 5 - February 10, 2009

In the early decades of the twentieth century, the Southeast was a magnet for artists seeking winter escape from the cold climes of Chicago, Boston, and New York. While the South had long been an attraction for painters seeking picturesque subject matter, by 1910 impressionism had become the dominant aesthetic in the United States, and the coastal towns of Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans proved ideal destinations. Along with an array of social amenities, these locales offered striking motifs for the plein air landscapist, as Alfred Hutty discovered after arriving in Charleston in 1919. "Come quickly," he famously wired his wife back in New York, "have found heaven." Utilizing a wide range of strategies and techniques, the impressionists created atmospheric images of verdant gardens, bucolic vistas, and quaint city views, capturing the unique character of these historic places and their marshy surroundings.

The impressionists featured in this exhibition include a sampling of the nation's most honored artists of the day, such as Gilbert Gaul,  William Posey Silva, Eliot Candee Clark, Anthony Thieme, and John Kelly Fitzpatrick. In addition to eastern seaboard locales, these painters--and the others highlighted from the gallery's holdings--also recorded the coastal scenery around Biloxi and Mobile, as well as streams and woodland settings in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Lush floral landscapes, figurative works, and evocative nature studies from the Carolina Blue Ridge complete the exhibition offerings.


Spot: Southern Works on Paper

November 7, 2008 - January 5, 2009

Charleston Renaissance Gallery is pleased to present Spot: Southern Works on Paper, an exhibition of sixty-four works on paper related to the American South. This exceptional selection ranges from Joshua Shaw’s pioneering 1820 view of Virginia’s famed Natural Bridge to Charles Shannon’s expressive Syncopation Number 1 (circa 1939) to William Dunlap’s contemporary landscape, Waterside—Iris Watch (2004). In both style and subject matter, the showcased works reveal evolving approaches and varied subjects, including topographical and romantic landscapes, figure studies, and genre and city scenes. The exhibition examines classical, realist, impressionist, modernist and post-modernist styles over the course of two centuries, as well as the distinctive mediums of pencil, watercolor, pastels, and gouache on paper.

Accompanying Spot: Southern Works on Paper is a comprehensive catalogue with an introductory essay by Dr. Philip L. Brewer. A noted expert on drawings and co-author of Lines of Discovery: 225 Years of American Drawings, Dr. Brewer offers keen insight into the works themselves and to their context in American history. “Through the drawings and watercolors of this collection, artists tell of the last two hundred years of Southern history in distinctly personal ways. Encounters with Native Americans and with the natural world, slavery, King Cotton, a war in which over six hundred thousand Americans died, the poverty of Reconstruction, the awakening of Henry Grady’s New South, agrarianism, civil rights, regionalism, and the late arrival of modernism: all are touched on.”

Copies of the catalogue are available for purchase. For more information on Spot: Southern Works on Paper, please contact us.











Brays Island Outdoor and Shooting Exposition

The Charleston Renaissance Gallery will be a featured exhibitor at the seventh annual Brays Island Outdoor and Shooting Exposition. This private three-day event--featuring informative seminars, shooting exercises and social hours--is tailored to sportsmen and nature lovers alike. Held on the pristine grounds of Brays Island Plantation, it promises to be an exciting and enjoyable way to spend a Lowcountry weekend. A detailed schedule of events can be found on our website's Happenings page. Reservations to this exclusive expo are required and must be made in advance through the plantation at  exporeservations@braysisland.org.


I have been blessed to build a relationship with one of our greatest collectors of American art over a period of 35 years, a relationship which continues today.  Jack Warner is principal among the giants of collectors of American painting.  The day before Thanksgiving this past November Mr. and Mrs. Warner came to see me in Charleston and asked that I represent the Warner Foundation in the sale of various works from that collection.  On the first of several visits I left with eight works by William Aiken Walker, each as fine as anything the artist painted, to include the first of 54 paintings Jack purchased from me beginning in 1981.  The second trip to Tuscaloosa afforded me the opportunity to reacquire Charles Peale Polk’s Portrait of Thomas Jefferson, from Life.   This is the only portrait of our third president painted at Monticello, one of but two painted in Virginia, and the only one which remains in private hands.

While other works from the Warner Foundation have now gone in different directions I have been fortunate to secure an additional 15.  One of these appears below while an illustrated list of additional paintings can be found here.   Your inquiry is invited.









Southern City

"They tell me she is beautiful, my City.” In his 1922 ode to Charleston entitled “Dusk,” DuBose Heyward sang the praises of his hometown, lauding “her gardens, and her dim old faded ways,” her “glamour in the quiet park,” and her “hidden music.” What Heyward voiced in verse, visual artists have transcribed in paint, celebrating the streets and skylines of the South’s most picturesque urban centers. Of course, Charleston and New Orleans’ charms are legend, attracting tourists and artists alike over the centuries. Yet other municipalities—towns such as Athens, Beaufort, Richmond, and Savannah—found equal favor with those who, over the years, drank in their particular sights, sketchbooks at the ready. Featuring works by Sandor Bernath, Joseph Lambert Cain, James Wells Champney, Colin Campbell Cooper, Emma Lampert Cooper, Horace Day, Jean Nevitt Flanigen, Abbott Fuller Graves, Alfred Heber Hutty, Nell Choate Jones, James Augustus McLean, Irene Hodes Newman, May Paine, Paul Sawyier, James Milton Sessions, and William Lester Stevens, our latest virtual exhibition pays homage to the unique ambience and allure of Southern cities.