Located just down the street from Belmond Charleston Place on Museum Mile, the Gibbes Museum of Art has welcomed our guests as its own for years. Amy Mercer, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Gibbes, fills us in on its exciting developments.
This fall, we officially launched massive restoration, renovation and repurposing of the building at 135 Meeting Street. The project is designed to showcase the museum’s collection, provide visitors with a history of American art and engage the public with a center for education, artist studios, event space, a museum café and store. During the renovation the museum will be ‘On the Move’ and engage the public with programs such as the upcoming Gibbes Distinguished Lecture Series.
On Wednesday, November 19 the Distinguished Lecture Series will present New York based and internationally acclaimed architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien (shown below), whose design of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia is critically acclaimed. Williams and Tsien were recently awarded the National Medal of Arts, which recognized their contributions to architecture and arts education. President Obama said, “Whether public or private, their deliberate and inspired designs have a profound effect on the lives of those who interact with them, and their teaching and spirit of service have inspired young people to pursue their passions”.
Founded with the generous support of Gibbes Board member and philanthropist Esther Ferguson, The Distinguished Lecture Series brings outstanding, world-renowned artists, architects, art collectors, museum leaders, philanthropists and art historians to Charleston to stimulate public discussion about the visual arts and creativity. This series was inspired by Mrs. Ferguson’s experience as a young woman trying to make her way in New York City. She remembers fondly the time she spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s lecture series. “I remember walking out of a lecture and sitting down to cry because I’d learned so much about the art world, and because I realized how much more there was to learn!” she explained.
The significance of the Met lecture series stayed with her throughout the years, and after returning to the South, she began to dream about bringing a lecture series to Charleston. The inaugural speaker in 2013 was philanthropist and cosmetic executive Leonard A. Lauder, who donated his collection of Cubist art to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013. Of this year’s speakers Mrs. Ferguson says, “Tod Williams and Billie Tsien are the rock stars in architecture today.”
Their studio, located in New York City, focuses on work for cultural non-profits, particularly museums and schools; organizations that value issues of aspiration and meaning, timelessness and beauty. Their inspired buildings are carefully made and useful in ways that speak to both efficiency and the spirit. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail and most of all experience are at the heart of what they build. “We believe in a slow process, we believe in long engagements. We have to have control over our projects all the way from beginning to end. I think they’re built beautifully because we really know how to put them together,” says Williams in an interview with Architectural Digest. Tsien adds, “Every time we work with somebody on a project, it changes our lives. Tod and I have been talking about the idea of service and how serving people really makes every project better. So it’s not just about yourself, it’s about the strengths, the power and the vision of the client you’re serving.”
Join us on Wednesday, November 19 at 6pm at Memminger Auditorium to hear more about Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s body of work and design philosophy. And follow the Gibbes on our journey as we bring art experiences out of the building and into the city!
Gibbes Luxury Package
Experience Charleston’s Grand Ambassador with this exclusive offer for the Gibbes Museum of Art’s Distinguished Lecture Series attendees.
• Luxury accommodations
• $120 dining credit to the Charleston Grill
• Wireless internet access
• One category upgrade, confirmed at time of booking
• Sparkling wine welcome amenity
• Complimentary daily newspaper
Type in promo code GIBBES and click here for more package details.