Photo by James McGavick
Gibbes Museum of Art
The Gibbes has served as Charleston’s art museum since 1905, but it’s far more than a repository of dusty colonial oil paintings. A $13.5-million renovation, completed in 2016, effectively relaunched the Gibbes into the upper echelon of American art museums. Permanent collections include a miniature portrait gallery, the Mary Jackson Gallery of Gullah art (including many of the world’s most exquisite sweetgrass baskets), and the Campbell Rotunda Gallery, featuring 300 years of the art of the American South. Special exhibitions often include works created on-site, including a 2017 residency by natural sculptor Patrick Dougherty. Outside, the Lenhardt Garden is a free classical garden and greenspace, and the Café Gibbes offers upscale sandwiches, soups, and salads (and a wine bar) in a quiet, contemporary setting.
By Stratton Lawrence, AFAR Local Expert
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Revived Charleston Classic
The Gibbes isn't just Charleston's oldest art museum: it's one of the oldest art museums in the country, with a history that stretches back to the 1850s. The museum's gorgeous Beaux Arts building reopened in 2016 after a two-year renovation. It's free to explore the museum's first floor, which hosts artist studios and classrooms and provides access to the beautiful Lenhardt Garden.
135 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
Sun 1pm - 5pm
Tue, Thur - Sat 10am - 5pm
Wed 10am - 8pm