Connecting Through Culture
Connecting Through Culture | Franklin G. Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum
Life Connections | A Publication for HTC Members | Spring 2017
Though art has the power to transform and transport the Franklin G. Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum is undoubtedly reflective of the community where it resides – exhibitions are full of southern history, walls are splashed with bright, vibrant colors and old maps on display project a coastal ambiance. Indeed, the museum has a strong sense of place, but it also has the power to take you away with it. It will draw you in, as a welcoming Southern host should, and immerse you in rice culture with David Shriver Soliday or take you far beyond into Southeast Asia with Celia Pearson. It’s an important cultural element of the Myrtle Beach area, and it was a hard-fought journey to get it here.
A collective effort
The museum was a dream nearly 13 years in the making before it opened to the public. A small group of visionaries, artists, patrons and cultural enthusiasts led the charge that eventually landed the attraction in the building known as “the Villa” – a piece of history and art in itself. Originally built by textile industry mogul Eugene Cannon in the Cabana Section of Myrtle Beach, the building has endured a stint as a family and executive vacation home, a slated demolition and subsequent 8-mile devastation, the work was only the beginning.
After a long decade of fundraising efforts spearheaded by an auxiliary group of determined women called Friends of the Villa, the museum finally opened its doors in June 1997.
It was effort well spent
Before long, the museum had become a favorite destination for art lovers throughout the Lowcountry. In 2001, the museum’s momentum continued as the grounds and building were purchased by the City of Myrtle Beach. With the museum, free admission could be offered to all starting in 2003 – a step that truly put the power of art into the hands of a grateful public. And it certainly did them proud – in its 16th anniversary year, the museum was awarded the State of South Carolina’s esteemed Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for Outstanding Arts Organization.
Like its home city, the museum strikes a balance between history, tradition, contemporary additions and progress. It enhances the city’s sense of culture and proudly hosts a dynamic selection of paintings, ceramics, sculptures, videos and photography – and the list doesn’t stop there. From textiles to assemblage, this hometown haven for art features the words of icons such as Ansel Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright and Norman Rockwell, as well as those of regional stars like Jonathan Green, Brian Rutenberg and Logan Woodle, who was featured in the Winter 2017 issue of Life Connections. In addition to world-class exhibitions, the museum features four notable permanent collections:
The Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild Collection
The art museum exists thanks in part to the Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild, a dedicated group of local artists. Slowly but surely, the guild great a collection of art though the purchase awards given by annual juried competitions. From 1970 to the time the museum opened 27 years later, 46 works of art were collected and then donated – the first contribution to the museum’s permanent collection.
The Barbara Burgess & John Dinkelspiel Collection of Southern Art
A thoughtful compilation of works by Southern artists – including 21 by Jonathan Green – this collection of paintings, pastels, photographs, prints, lithographs, sculptures and collages was donated in its entirety by Boston transplants who settled in the Lowcountry. Barbara Burgess and John Dinkelspiel bestowed the collection to the museum with the hope that it would be used to enlighten and educate generations to come.
The Bishop Collection of Antique Maps & Historical Prints
This facilitating collection includes over a dozen maps dated from 1606 to the mid-19th century – a period dubbed “the golden age of cartography.” One such map includes an ink and watercolor manuscript map of Charleston, likely used in the American Civil War. Plus, the collection includes a selection of historical prints. This collection has been a part of the museum since 1999, when it was gifted by Mrs. George Bishop in memory of her late husband.
The Museum Collection of Gifts & Purchases
This diverse assortment is the byproduct of generous donations over the two decades that the museum has been open. How each piece is collected varies – sometimes it comes after extensive and intentional searches; other times the artwork is specifically created fo r one the museum’s special exhibitions then donated afterward. The result is a distinctly unique collection of work.
Giving further balance and harmony to the institution are limited-time exhibitions that typically rotate through for two or three months at a time. One such exhibition is the Horry-Georgetown County Juried Exhibition, the 18th Annual edition which was presented from April 23 to May 21, 2017. This unique opportunity offers students the exposure and experience of showing work in a professional environment. The exhibition, judge by art gallery owner and professional artist William H. Miller, validates the students’ expressions of self in a meaningful way. HTC, a longtime sponsor of this particular exhibition, is proud to support an event that benefits the community on so many levels. It engages students, parents and the community as a whole with art, sculpture and each other – and that’s exactly the kind of connecting that matters most to HTC.
Experience all collections of the Myrtle Beach Art Museum for yourself at 3100 S. Ocean Blvd in Myrtle Beach. For more information on current and upcoming exhibitions, visit MyrtleBeachArtMuseum.org or call 843.238.2510.