Here is a full list of what is happening and where in this historical South Carolina coastal destination.
Before you go, check out the Essential Charleston Passport, which includes admission to CHF’s five historic houses, the Charleston Museum and the foremost gallery of American art at the Gibbes Museum of Art. An additional fee allows for entry into the country’s oldest landscaped gardens at Middleton Place and the oldest preserved plantation house at Drayton Hall.
Garden Club of Charleston Holiday Decorations at the Joseph Manigault House
December 4-27, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Garden Club of Charleston uses this impressive house each year as a backdrop for creative holiday arrangements, using only plant material that would have been available in the Lowcountry during the first quarter of the 19th century. This year, the GCC has chosen the theme “Hark! The Harald Angels Sing.” Free for Members and free with admission to the Joseph Manigault House. For more information, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Virtual Book Club – Gullah Spirituals with author Eric Sean Crawford at Drayton HallDecember 16. 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Musicologist Eric Crawford traces Gullah Geechee songs from their beginnings in West Africa to their height as songs for social change and Black identity in the twentieth century American South. While much has been done to study, preserve and interpret Gullah culture in the Lowcountry and sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia, some traditions like the shouting and rowing songs have been all but forgotten. This work, which focuses primarily on South Carolina’s St. Helena Island, illuminates the remarkable history, survival and influence of spirituals since the earliest recordings in the 1860s. Advance registration is required. For tickets and more information, visit https://bit.ly/3dkLejo.
Homeschool History Day: Snow Science at the Charleston Museum
December 16, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Since snow is rare in Charleston, join the Charleston Museum for Snow Science and make some in the lab. Guests can use chemistry to create crystals and enjoy a tour of our latest exhibit in the Lowcountry Image Gallery, A Winter Wonderland in Color: Snow Scenes of Charleston. Homeschool History Day programs feature a field trip experience, a chance to go through the Museum and an activity. Reservations required. FREE for Members and FREE with admission to The Charleston Museum. Register online or call 843.722.2996 ext. 236. For more information, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Speaker Series: Stuart Bennett at the Charleston Library Society
December 16, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Join the Charleston Library Society in welcoming author Stuart Bennett into our Main Reading Room, for an illustrated discussion of his newest book, The Charleston Gambit. The presentation will focus on the people and places featured in the novel, which paints a romantic yet realistic picture of the Revolutionary War in South Carolina. By addressing many pressing social issues such as slavery, plantation life and gender dynamics through the lens of a wartime love story, the novel both informs and entertains its readers from beginning to end. This event is in person. Tickets: $15 | Members: $10. For tickets and more information, visit https://bit.ly/3rohZod or call 843-723-9912.
Discovery Day: Shape Up at the Joseph Manigault House
December 21, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Explore the architectural details and decorative items of the Joseph Manigault House while searching for shapes and geometric designs. Curious guests will also have the opportunity to create shape houses and build with bricks in the garden of this ca. 1803 home. Discovery Day is a new program designed for young learners (ages two to five years) to explore the Museum, historic houses and Dill Sanctuary with a parent or guardian. Program fee includes admission for one child and one adult. Reservations are required, Tickets: $15 | Members: $10. Register online or call 843.722.2996 ext. 236. For more information, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Kid Tours: Fur & Frost at the Charleston Museum
January 5, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Enjoy a tour of the latest Historic Textiles exhibit, Fur & Frost: Carolina Winters. Learn about warm clothes for different occasions and what makes a garment suitable for the winter in different time periods from the 19th century to today. Kid Tours is a series designed to highlight artifacts from our collection that have fascinated children for years. Kid Tours meet the first Wednesday of the month (August to May) and includes a tour highlighting the program theme and an engaging craft project or educational activity. FREE for Members and FREE with admission to The Charleston Museum. For more information, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Fossil Friday with Curator of Natural History Matthew Gibson at the Charleston Museum
January 7, 14, 21 and 28 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Join Matthew Gibson, Curator of Natural History on select Fridays in the Bunting Natural History Gallery lab. Gibson will be on hand to share projects he is currently working on and to help identify your fossil finds. FREE for Members and FREE with admission to The Charleston Museum. For more information, visitwww.charlestonmuseum.org.
Homeschool History Day: Patriots, Protests, and Parliament at the Charleston Museum
January 10, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Students will portray colonists, parliament and the King to learn about the causes of the American Revolution. Explore the Becoming Americans: Charleston in the Revolution exhibit and the ways patriots protested against the taxes being implemented by Parliament. Homeschool History Day programs feature a field trip experience, a chance to go through the Museum and an activity. Reservations required. FREE for Members and FREE with admission to The Charleston Museum. Register online or call 843.722.2996 ext. 236. For more information, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Discovery Day: Fur and Feathers at the Charleston Museum
January 11, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
The young ones can take a scavenger hunt through the latest exhibit Fur and Frost: Carolina Winters and handle fabrics in our classroom that are soft, scratchy, shiny and sheer. Discovery Day is a NEW program designed for young learners (ages two to five years) to explore the Museum, historic houses and Dill Sanctuary with a parent or guardian. Program fee includes admission for one child and one adult. Reservations are required, Tickets: $15 | Members: $10. Register online or call 843.722.2996 ext. 236. For more information, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
The Charleston Museum’s 249th Birthday
January 12, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Celebrate the Charleston Museum’s birthday with a visit to the Museum! For more information, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Drayton Hall Webinar: Drayton Hall and Soane Foundation on Classicism that Defies Expectations: Eclecticism, Porosity, and Rule-Breaking
January 13, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Drayton Hall teams up with Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation for a thought-provoking program that looks at Classicism from four surprising perspectives. This multi-disciplinary roster of presenters will take guests from rural America to Georgian London and introduce participants to Classicism in diverse contexts that defy expectation. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3FnZ3ts.
Speaker Series: Bruce Ragsdale at the Charleston Library Society
January 13, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Calling all history buffs. The Library Society is thrilled to host author Bruce Ragsdale for an evening lecture on his new book, Washington at the Plow: The Founding Farmer and the Question of Slavery. In this thoroughly researched and fascinating read, Ragsdale explains how George Washington spent more of his working life farming than he did at war or in political office. For over forty years, he devoted himself to the improvement of agriculture, which he saw as the means by which the American people would attain the “respectability and importance which we ought to hold in the world.” As Ragsdale shows, it was the inefficacy of chattel slavery, as much as moral revulsion at the practice, that informed Washington’s decision to free the enslaved people at Mount Vernon after his death. Ticket prices and availability to come. For more information, visit www.charlestonlibrarysociety.org or call 843-723-9912.
Conversations with a Curator: Early Days Gallery with Curator of Historic Archaeology Martha Zierden at the Charleston Museum
January 14, 10:30 a.m.
The Charleston Museum, founded January 12, 1773, is America’s first museum. Celebrate the Museum’s 249th birthday with a tour of the Museum’s history and its earliest collections. The Early Days gallery reflects the Museum’s long history from its founding before the American Revolution to the late twentieth century. This gallery recreates the Museum in the late 19th century when the institution served as a “window to the world” for visitors and Charleston residents. The Museum featured antiquities, curiosities and natural history specimens from around the world, many collected by famous naturalists and explorers. Join Curator of Historical Archaeology Martha Zierden in the unique Early Days gallery for the story of the Museum’s institutional history and a closer look at some of its earliest antiquities. All Conversations with a Curator programs are open to the public and FREE for Members and FREE with admission. For more information, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Candlelight Tours of Drayton Hall
January 15 and February 12, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Create a very special historic memory this year in Charleston. Take a candlelight tour of Charleston’s Drayton Hall ca. 1738. After the tour, guests are invited to enjoy a warm cup of a seasonal beverage (non-alcoholic) as they stroll back toward the Visitors Center and visit The Shop at Drayton Hall. Advance registration is required. Tickets: $45 | Members: $40. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3kLsduS.
Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice at the Gibbes Museum of Art
January 21, 2022 – August 7, 2022
William H. Johnson painted his Fighters for Freedom series in the mid-1940s as a tribute to African American activists, scientists, teachers and performers as well as international heads of state working to bring peace to the world. He celebrated their accomplishments even as he acknowledged the realities of the racism, violence and oppression they faced and overcame. Some of his Fighters including Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Marian Anderson and Mahatma Gandhi, are familiar historical figures while others are less well-known individuals whose determination and sacrifice have been eclipsed over time. Drawn entirely from the collection of more than 1,000 works by Johnson given to the Smithsonian American Art Museum by the Harmon Foundation in 1967, this exhibition is the first-ever presentation of this series in Johnson’s home state of South Carolina. Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from Art Bridges, Faye and Robert Davidson and the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation. Presentation of this exhibition at the Gibbes is made possible with generous support from the Carolyn and Wayne Jones Charitable Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, the Jane Smith Turner Foundation and the Gibbes Women’s Council. For more information, visit www.gibbesmuseum.org.
Floral Arrangement Workshop with the Garden Club of Charleston at the Charleston Museum
January 22, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Join members of the Garden Club of Charleston for a floral arrangement workshop. Participants will create cheerful arrangements with seasonal materials to celebrate the New Year. No experience is necessary, and all materials are included in the workshop fee. Space is limited and reservations are required. Tickets: $105 | Members: $75. Register online or call 843.722.2996 ext. 224. For more information, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Drayton Hall Walking Tour: Archaeology of the Enslaved of Drayton Hall with Luke Pecoraro
January 22, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Drayton Hall’s Director of Archaeology, Luke Pecoraro, Ph.D., hosts a walking tour of sites relevant to the archaeology research on the enslaved people of Drayton Hall on Saturday, January 22nd at 10:00 a.m.
Advance registration is required. Tickets: $45 | Members: $40. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3kKPzAF.
R.L. Walker International Relations & Diplomacy Series: Belgian Ambassador Jean-Arthur Régibeau at the Charleston Library Society
January 26, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The Charleston Library Society is honored to welcome Ambassador Jean-Arthur Régibeau to “Charleston’s Living Room” for the second installation of its new program,The R.L. Walker International Relations &
Diplomacy Series. Amb. Régibeau represents His Majesty The King of the Belgians and Belgium’s federal government in the United States of America and in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. He is responsible for the direction and work of the Embassy and its Consulates, including bilateral political and economic relations, visa and consular services. For this lecture, Régibeau will discuss the importance of smaller states in the EU and how they possess a crucial role in the international relations playing field. Tickets: $15 | Members: $10. For more information, visit www.charlestonlibrarysociety.org or call 843-723-9912.
Drayton Hall’s Virtual Book Club: Drayton Hall: A Place and its People with author George McDaniel
January 27, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Join George McDaniel, Ph.D., author of Drayton Hall: A Place and its People, on Thursday, January 27 at 5:30 p.m. for an introduction and discussion on his new book. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3wW1mRn.
Speaker Series: Armand Derfner at the Charleston Library Society
January 27, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The Charleston Library Society is thrilled to welcome author and civil rights lawyer Armand Derfner into the Main Reading Room for a night of discussion on his book,Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court. Derfner co-authored this book with historian Orville V. Burton and it is the first account that comprehensively charts the Court’s race jurisprudence. Addressing nearly two hundred cases involving America’s racial minorities, the authors probe the parties involved, the justices’ reasoning and the impact of individual rulings. Guests will learn of heroes like Thurgood Marshall, villains including Roger Taney and enigmas like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Hugo Black. Much of the fragility of civil rights in America is due to the Supreme Court but as this sweeping history also reminds, the justices still have the power to make good on the country’s promise of equal rights for all. Ticket prices and availability to come. For more information, visit www.charlestonlibrarysociety.org or call 843-723-9912.
Full STEAM Ahead: Glow at the Charleston Museum
January 29, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
During the days of winter, create some light! Learn about animals that make their own light and rocks that glow while experimenting with fluorescence materials and black lights. Create a glowing lava lamp and cause a glowing eruption at Full STEAM Ahead, a hands-on workshop series featuring the components of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. This program is for children ages six and up and reservations are required. Tickets: $18 | Members: $12. Register online or call 843.722.2996 ext. 236. For more information, visit www.charlestonmuseum.org.
Stargazing on The Ashley at Drayton Hall (with Lowcountry Stargazers)
February 5, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Enjoy an evening of magic and twinkle on the legendary landscape of Drayton Hall with the Lowcountry Stargazers. Take a look through some incredible telescopes and enjoy a hot toddy of warm apple cider with light bites. Guests must be over eight years of age. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3cmEP76.
Drayton Hall Webinar: Power and Powerlessness in the Lowcountry Plantation System with Dr. Shannon Eaves
February 10, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
In this thought-provoking presentation, Dr. Shannon Eaves will illustrate enslaved people’s articulations of the South’s rape culture and how they formed these cultural understandings and transferred them across generational lines. Through these efforts, enslaved people learned how to survive and navigate terrains marred by sexualized violence. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3HuWNCw.
Speaker Series: Xavier Salomon, Frick Collection Curator at the Charleston Library Society
February 15, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The Library Society is delighted to welcome Xavier Salomon for a riveting discussion about his experience as the Frick Collection’s Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator. A noted scholar of Paolo Veronese, Salomon curated the monographic exhibition on the artist at the National Gallery in London in 2014. Previously, Salomon was Curator in the Department of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and before that, the Arturo and Holly Melosi Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Salomon received his Ph.D. on the patronage of Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Ticket prices and availability to come. For more information, visit www.charlestonlibrarysociety.org or call 843-723-9912.
Speaker Series: Bob Anderson, John Huey & Catherine Olian at the Charleston Library Society
February 17-18, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Join the Charleston Library Society for a two-night speaker series event with journalism powerhouses Bob Anderson, John Huey and Catherine Olian. In his career, Bob Anderson successfully climbed the journalism ladder, working for local news, CBS News and as a producer at 60 Minutes for thirty years, just retiring last spring. He will be joined by John Huey, an American journalist and publishing executive who served as the editor-in-chief of Time Inc., overseeing more than 150 titles, including Time, People, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and InStyle. Completing the trio will be Catherine Olian who is currently a contributing producer at Retro Report. Catherine’s work includes 80 stories for the CBS News program 60 Minutes, as well as producing for the CBS Evening News, NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” Bloomberg TV, Showtime and others. The group will discuss the importance of truth in the world of journalism, especially in our current climate where the public are constantly inundated with information. Ticket prices and availability to come. For more information, visit www.charlestonlibrarysociety.org or call 843-723-9912.
Downtown Walking Tour: The Borough Houses with Drayton Hall
February 19, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Join the Drayton Hall curatorial team on a walk of “The Borough,” the historically African American area of Ansonborough in downtown Charleston. Guests will be joined by descendants of formerly enslaved ancestors at Drayton Hall who left the plantation to establish lives in downtown Charleston through a legacy of home ownership. The tour will discuss the founding of the historically black neighborhood and the continued gentrification of the area and will conclude at the two remaining “Boroughs Houses” at 35 Calhoun Street. Advance registration is required. Tickets: $45 | Members: $40. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3qIVSbP.
Drayton Hall’s Virtual Book Club: Camellia Garden Field Guide with author Brenda Litchfield
February 24, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Join author Brenda Litchfield for the February Virtual Book Club webinar. This month’s webinar will include a discussion of The Camellia Garden Field Guide, a layperson’s guide to camellia-growing fun.