The Charleston Renaissance Gallery regularly releases scholarly catalogues as complements to its exhibition offerings. Additionally, the gallery has produced several major volumes, including the definitive studies, The Charleston Renaissance and The Sunny South: The Life and Art of William Aiken Walker. To purchase any of our publications, please contact us.


Spot: Southern Works on Paper

In 1985, this gallery issued The South on Paper, a comprehensive overview of the intriguing development and singular character of Southern drawings, watercolors, and pastels. Considered a pioneering piece of scholarship in its day, The South on Paper served as a catalyst for what would become a far more ambitious publishing program. Everything has its day, however, and twenty-three years after The South on Paper’s release, it was clearly time for an update. Continuing in this venerable tradition, the Charleston Renaissance Gallery is pleased to present Spot: Southern Works on Paper, a full color catalogue and companion exhibition illuminating over sixty Southern masterworks and the artists who created them.

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 catalogue 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. Selections include Joshua Shaw’s pioneering 1820 view of Virginia’s famed Natural Bridge, Charles Shannon’s expressive Syncopation Number 1 (circa 1939), and William Dunlap’s contemporary landscape, Waterside—Iris Watch (2004), as well as works from the Charleston Renaissance.

The comprehensive catalogue opens 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.”

A foreword by Robert M. Hicklin, Jr. reminds readers that even the grandest creations begin with a simple spot, while Roberta Sokolitz’s preface sets the stage for a compendium of scholarly examinations of the featured works. Noted historians contributing to the catalogue include Ms. Sokolitz, Valerie Ann Leeds, Nancy Rivard Shaw, Alexander Moore, and Estill Curtis Pennington.

Catalogue copies are available for $25 postpaid. A companion exhibition will be on view at the gallery from November 8, 2008 – January 5, 2009. For more information on Spot: Southern Works on Paper, please contact us.