Amateur Art History Reports: McKissick Museum

Author Note:  Just want to let you know, I am not totally satisfied with this article and I will probably do another piece on the museum.  This other piece will focus on the artists featured.

Plus, I have other blog entries I need to work on, and this held me back.

McKissick Museum

In the University of South Carolina, they have the McKissick Museum.  The owners dedicated this building to the arts and sciences as it so proudly says in the advertisements.  The theme of this museum ranged from state pride to nature.  When visiting, the first exhibition I saw had the title ‘Summertime! And the Art is Good Lookin’  The artists featured came from all over South Carolina, with artwork ranging from 2007 to 2010.  The styles and mediums ranged from sculpture, renderings of flat abstract forms that would make the Formalists proud to photographs of real places.  Also, they pepper the show with a piece centered around the Gullah/Geechee culture.

Opposite of the Summertime! show featured a show about the Columbia’s Township Auditorium.  The place consisted mostly of posters of people who performed there from the forties to the present.  There, they exhibited a who’s who of people who performed there, from Dizzy Gillespie to Elvis Presley to André the Giant.  Civil rights wise, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke there.  Politics wise, John Kerry and Barry Goldwater spoke there. One cute installation came from their collection of business cards and pennies that people put in a time capsule.  One especially odd installation came from a poster called the Bugs Bunny Follies. The poster showed people wearing costumes of Bugs Bunny, Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman.  Furthermore, the Piggly Wiggly store chain sponsored this.  However, the show included one really cool exhibit: live audio.  The artists ranged from Bruce Springsteen to classical medleys such as Porgy and Bess and Debussy to Pink Floyd.  By the way, they did not just give snippets of the recordings, they played the whole song.  Furthermore, On The Run live?  So beautiful and ethereal.  However, the caption box near it did have a typo in the word  ‘performances’.

On the third floor, they had a show on the Natural sciences.  They had the usual rocks, minerals, and animals stuffed via taxidermy that decorated the walls.  They also profiled famous scientists and naturalists such as Albertus Seba, who wrote Cabinet of Natural Curiosities.  The show also discussed the very concepts of  souvenirs and collecting.  All in all, this museum represented the pride of Columbia and South Carolina.

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