Gibbes Museum of Art

Downtown. 135 Meeting St. 722-2706

Ten years is a drop in the bucket to the Carolina Art Association, which will soon celebrate its 150th Anniversary. But since the CAA’s Gibbes Museum of Art — 101 years young itself — was first voted top museum by readers in 1998, the institution has remained a rock-solid attraction for history and art buffs, staging a number of memorable shows and making a few ripples along the way.

During Executive Director Paul Figueroa’s reign, stately (i.e. incredibly boring) retrospective exhibitions far outweighed edgy contemporary shows. Betsy Fleming took a slightly more experimental tack, testing local tastes with a heavier emphasis on abstract work. The newest director, Todd Smith, seeks to stretch what visitors expect to find in a museum with more progressive art by new, young artists. That makes the Gibbes the only place where you can find video art, macramé sculptures, and 18th-century landscapes all under one roof.

All three recent directors have been sure of one thing — part of the Gibbes’ success is due to its visual take on Southern history, whether you’re intrigued by life 300 years ago or only 10.

1998

* From Desert & Oasis: Arts Of The People Of Central Asia

* American Impressionism From The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery

* The Charleston Renaissance: Anna Heyward Taylor

* Bearing Witness: Contemporary Works By African American Women

1999

* Edward Rice: Selected Architectural Paintings, 1978-1998

* In Pursuit Of Refinement: Charlestonians Abroad 1740-1860

* Trains that Passed in the Night: The Railroad Photography of Winston O. Link

*Water: A Contemporary American View

2000

* Picasso Ceramics & Picasso — Mon Ami

* Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto

* Beyond the Spanish Moss: The Contemporary Perspective in Charleston

* Communion Of The Spirits: The Stories Of African American Quilts

2001

From Ship to Shore: Marine Paintings from the Butler Institute of American Art

Frank Stella – Imaginary Landscapes

The Charleston Photographs Of George W. Johnson

The Rothschild Family Gift: Works By Otto Neumann (1895-1975)

2002

Director Paul Figueroa resigns. New Director Betsy Fleming starts.

* Ansel Adams: A Celebration

* Visions And Views: The Landscape Prints Of Hiroshige

* A Portion of the People: 300 Years of Southern Jewish Life

* Reality And Imagery: Selections From The Photography Collection

2003

* Works By Warhol: From the Cochran Collection

* Face Lift: Fresh Encounters with Portraiture at the Gibbes Museum of Art

* The Human Comedy: Portraits by Red Grooms

* In Love with the Lowcountry: Photographs by Tom Blagden, Jr. and Michael Johnson

2004

* Myths and Metaphors: The Art of Leo Twiggs

* Rhythms of Life: The Art of Jonathan Green

* Whistler and Japonisme: Etchings from the Vreede Collection

* Framing a Vision: Landscapes by Linda Fantuzzo and Manning Williams

2005

Betsy Fleming resigns to become Converse College President.

* Beyond Representation: Abstract Art in the South

* An American Impressionist: The Art and Life of Alson Skinner Clark

* 100 Years at the Gibbes

* Ernest Hemingway and Walker Evans: Three Weeks in Cuba, 1933

2006

Todd D. Smith made director.

* Edward Hopper in Charleston

* Made in China: Export Porcelain from the Leo and Doris Hodroff Collection at Winterthur

* Now!

2007

Grandeur Saved: Photographs of the Aiken-Rhett House by Michael Eastman

Southern Masterpieces: Charleston before 1835