Our exhibitions reflect the museum’s broad, interdisciplinary approach, educating visitors about the diversity and richness found throughout the South. Here you will find our current and upcoming digital exhibitions for you to explore.
Quilts from the Permanent Collection
“Piece by Piece” illustrates the evolution of this textile tradition over the past one hundred and fifty years. From the early use of chintz fabrics to the widespread popularity of solid colors, these quilts reflect traditions with roots in Europe, Africa, and the American South. Visitors will have the opportunity to view 40+ quilts over the course of the show, chosen from McKissick Museum’s extensive quilt collection. Due to the fragile nature of historic textiles, individual quilts will be only be displayed for a limited time, with three rotations occurring throughout the year.
Utilizing original research from Guest Curator, Dr. Jennifer Gunter, Director of the South Carolina Collaborative on Race and Reconciliation, this exhibit continues in a digital space. Part 2 of “A Woman’s Right” features the stories, objects, photos and more the fight for women’s rights from World War II to the present.
This new digital exhibit from McKissick Museum surveys the use of humor in an array of objects produced for American political campaigns from 1896 to 2016. “A Laughing Matter” contains a variety of political memorabilia. Some of the humor is light-hearted and good-natured. Some of it can be seen as quite dark, having misogynist, homophobic, and even violent overtones. It is a hopeful sign of the times that we now recognize when—from some Americans’ perspectives—political campaign materials meant to be funny in their day, were perhaps not all that funny. Still, as the old saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
Showcasing a wide range of toys—everything from teddy bears and Barbies to Lincoln Logs, Legos, and Nintendo 64–Child’s Play will be both a walk down memory lane and an invitation to consider the serious business of play for children and adults. The exhibit mines the many messages we send and receive with toys—especially messages about social norms. It is through play that we develop and test our physical and social skills. Play creates a safe space where we try out diverse social roles and scenarios. Child’s Play gently prods us to think more critically about the toys we fondly recall as dear companions, as well as those that perhaps were objects of our desire yet remained out of reach.
Connecting to the Natural World
Throughout the 19th century, significant mineral, rock, and fossil collections were acquired by USC for research and instruction. These collections are integral to the understanding of Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history—one that is filled with climate and landscape changes, magnetic pole migrations, landslides, volcanoes, floods, and earthquakes. Geological collections, both modern and historic, provide a framework to build both a bridge to the past and a window to the future.
The Lepidoptera of Dr. Richard B. Dominick
Explore the collection of amateur lepidopterist Richard B. Dominick to learn about the differences between moths and butterflies and the life cycles that both groups share.
Unraveling Molluscan Mysteries
While the Lewis R. Gibbes collection of Mollusca (snail and clam shells) was acquired by USC in 1894, it was long thought to have belonged to Gibbes’ cousin William G. Mazyck who was also a noted amateur conchologist. Recent research suggested, and later confirmed, that the collection was amassed by Gibbes himself a 19th century naturalist and Mazyck’s cousin and mentor. The collection of more than 4300 snail, clam, oyster, and other molluscan shells are presented here along with their documentary labels to illustrate the biology of these creatures, as well as collecting practices.