My Visit to the GibbesMuseum of Art

					                                                  http://www.ggarts.com/
                                                  450 West 31st Street, Loft 2N
Gloria Garfinkel                                  New York, NY 10001
                                                  Tel: 212.643.9545
                   My Visit to the Gibbes Museum of Art


                                   I was recently given a private tour of the
                                   Gibbes Museum in Charleston, South
                                   Carolina, with the head curator, Pat Wall
                                   and had a fortuitous introduction to the
                                   director Angela Mack. Established as the
                                   Carolina Art Association in 1858, the
                                   Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors
                                   to the public in 1905. Located in
                                   Charleston’s historic district, the Gibbes
                                   has an impressive collection of over
                                   10,000 works, principally American
                                   works with a Charleston or Southern
                                   connection and presents a wide variety of
                                   special exhibitions annually, to
                                   complement a wide range of outreach
                                   and educational activities.
                                                          http://www.ggarts.com/
                                                          450 West 31st Street, Loft 2N
Gloria Garfinkel                                          New York, NY 10001
                                                          Tel: 212.643.9545
                        My Visit to the Gibbes Museum of Art


Walking down the hall where antique portraits from the permanent collection
were on exhibit, I became enchanted with the wonder of capturing an image of a
personality. Sometimes the image is so intimate one could almost see the sitter
thinking… of what? His or her status? Is the business doing well? Do I look
fat? Who will be running for President?

They were all striking. One portrait in particular that intrigued me was of a man,
well dressed looking as if he had no problems. He was about 45 and married. His
wife’s portrait was to his right and it had an entirely different feel. She was not so
composed, a little stiff and worried looking. He was debonair waiting to be invited
to tea or drinks.

His hair was not styled but a bit fly-a-way. He was very relaxed. His skin looked
healthy and well kept. But it was his eyes. They looked straight at you as if asking
a question. I kept going back to that portrait thinking I could perhaps hear the
question. I had some for him: What did he do? Who was his spouse and was she
educated? And what are his children doing?
                                                           http://www.ggarts.com/
                                                           450 West 31st Street, Loft 2N
Gloria Garfinkel                                           New York, NY 10001
                                                           Tel: 212.643.9545
                        My Visit to the Gibbes Museum of Art


In the main galleries of the Gibbes Museum there is another portraits exhibit:Mary
Whyte: Working South. Her medium is watercolor, very realistic and
extraordinary in her subjects. She has painted blue collar workers at their work.

The fisherman next to his boat, the woman who works in a thread spinning factory
holding the spindle and stretching out the thread. Many different subjects, many
different faces and all of them so interesting, arresting and beyond beautiful. Her
skill at watercolor is in the genius range, as are her pencil sketches.

As this is so technically perfect, we have the framing. It is about as subtle a use of
gold as I have ever seen. Watercolors are not generally framed in gold, but in this
case the frames are all hand carved and gilded by Mary Whyte’s husband.
Each frame perfect for each of her portraits. They are a remarkable twosome.

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Description: I was recently given a private tour of the GibbesMuseum in Charleston, South Carolina, with the head curator, Pat Wall and had a fortuitous introduction to the director Angela Mack. Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the GibbesMuseum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905.