Art Exhibition: “An Eye for Opulence: Charleston through the Lens of the Rivers Collection”

On Display: Saturday, November 21, 2015 to Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Gallery admission is $5; no charge for Four Arts members and children 14 and younger.

In the early capitol of the South, Charleston’s citizens enjoyed unprecedented economic prosperity. This wealth, generated in part as a result of enslaved labor, fueled a robust urban community, and the finest goods were sought to define social status among the city’s white population. Charleston’s insatiable appetite for luxury items and the market’s ability to absorb both imports and locally made goods attracted skilled craftsmen from other American cities and Europe. “An Eye for Opulence” tells the story of Charleston’s golden era—from the colonial to antebellum city—through the lens of the Rivers Collection and enhanced by decorative and fine arts from Charleston’s public institutions.

Featuring more than 200 objects, this exhibition comprises the exceptional holdings of John M. Rivers Jr. in addition to key loans from the Gibbes Museum of Art, Historic Charleston Foundation, and select objects from Drayton Hall and The Charleston Museum. Recognizing that significant examples of Charleston furniture and silver were dispersing outside the Charleston area, John M. Rivers Jr., whose family has been in Charleston continuously since 1670, began forming the Rivers Collection in 1988.

Related Events

Brandy CulpIllustrated Lecture, “An Eye for Opulence: Colonial to Antebellum Charleston,” with Brandy Culp,
curator at the Historic Charleston Foundation in Charleston, SC
11:00AM – 12:00PM, Saturday, December 12, 2015
Walter S. Gubelmann Auditorium
No charge for lecture admission
Click here for more details

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