On Friday, February 20th, 2015, Society 1858 hosted their fourth-annual winter party to benefit the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. The Magical Mystery Tour, a 1960s-Mod party inspired by the Beatles album and film of the same name, was a blend of art and entertainment. Guests enjoyed music, dancing, cocktails, bites and the visual arts.
Society 1858 launched the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art last year. Contemporary southern artists’ works were available for purchase. Featuring favorites such as Robert Lange, John Westmark, Hirona Matsuda, Charles Ailstock, Ben Gately Williams, Lulie Wallace, Andrew Smock, Christopher Holt, and Brian Coleman. The prize will be awarded annually to an artist whose work expresses the highest level of artistic achievement in any media, while bringing a fresh understanding of art in the South. Entries for the award opened in January and will be open through May 29, 2015. The prize, unlike other awards of this type, is specifically designed to create an archive of the Southern artists entered to be referenced by curators, collectors, academicians, and the public. The recipient will receive the award as well as a $10,000 cash prize.
Society 1858 is a group of young professionals who support the Gibbes Museum of Art through their fabulous parties and educational programs. Membership is open to any member of the Gibbes Museum of Art. The name comes from the year the Carolina Art Association was established. While the museum did not open until 1905, the collection began in 1858. Members of the Society aim to preserve the legacy of art appreciation in Charleston and reach up-and-coming art patrons.
The Gibbes Museum of Art temporarily closed for major renovations in the fall of 2014 and will reopen in spring off 2016. The renovation project will showcase the museum’s collection, provide visitors with a history of American art from early colonial era to the present and engage the public with education, artist studios, lecture and event space, a museum cafe and store. During the renovation the museum will continue to offer programs, events and educational offerings. Highlights of the Gibbes permanent collection can be viewed on Google Art Project.