Upcoming City Gallery exhibit examines South Carolina's perspectives on the war that changed America

Image by City Gallery

The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs will present two exhibits at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park from April 8th through May 8th in observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

Located on the lower level of the gallery, Post Civil War Charleston – 1865: A Photographic Retrospective features photographs from the archives of The Library of Congress that were taken in 1865 and accurately reflect a war-torn Charleston in the immediate aftermath of the five-year conflict of the War Between the States. Many of Charleston’s well-known landmarks are documented in these images, including the Battery and City Hall, as well as images of the flag raising ceremony at Fort Sumter, which occurred near the end of the Civil War on April 14, 1865, denoting the fourth anniversary of the surrender of Fort Sumter.

Some of these photographs were originally taken with large glass plates, while others were taken with twin lens stereoscopic cameras in order to create a stereo view. In recent years, the photographs have been fully restored by Charleston native Rick Rhodes, as photographs deteriorate over a long period of time. However, Rick Rhodes Photography & Imaging fully restored these significant photographs, as to effectively highlight all of the detail of Fort Sumter and Charleston, South Carolina, in 1865.

Civil/Uncivil: The Art of Leo Twiggs, located on the upper level of the City Gallery, features works by Orangeburg, S.C., native Dr. Leo Twiggs, and documents the path from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. The works represent aspects of the South’s legacy as it relates to these events and how they have impacted Southern society, both in a historical sense and as it relates to today.

Dr. Leo Twiggs is widely seen as the country’s main pioneer of batik as a modern art form. As one of the most noteworthy South Carolina artists since the 1960s, Twiggs’ art is about subjects, topics, issues, and people close to his Southern upbringing. But through familiar specifics, Twiggs addresses broader themes including race, black culture, politics, and relationships between generations. He does so through modern imagery and narrative scenes that are seldom straightforward snapshots but instead abstracted, symbolic tableaus dominated by shapes, lines, and fields of color.

The exhibit opens on April 8th, and the public is invited to attend a reception in honor of the artists from 6 to 8 p.m. Rick Rhodes and historian Robert Rosen will give a combined lecture on Post Civil War Charleston – 1865: A Photographic Retrospective on Saturday, April 9th, at 2 p.m. Dr. Leo Twiggs will give an artist’s lecture for the exhibit Civil/Uncivil: The Art of Leo Twiggs on Sunday, April 10th, at 2 p.m.