The SCSM Traveling Exhibits Program—TEP

The Traveling Exhibits Program at the South Carolina State Museum provides museums, art centers, universities and other qualified institutions with high quality, affordable traveling exhibitions. TEP provides an array of stimulating shows for institutions of any size, from large exhibitions designed for major museums to smaller, South Carolina-specific exhibits for local museums and galleries.  The TEP goal is to advance appreciation for and understanding of the art, history and cultures of South Carolina by offering exhibits on a variety of topics and disciplines, ranging from the turbulent history of Native Americans in South Carolina, to unique photography and contemporary fine art.
Click below for more information

List of all available exhibits

For more information contact the Traveling Exhibits Program at (803) 737-4159 or email tep@scmuseum.org


New Exhibits!  

Once Upon A Quilt: African American Fiber Art

Organized and presented by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department and curated by Torreah “Cookie” Washington, this unique opportunity offers African American art quilters a showcase that exhibits original and innovative designs.

Once Upon a Quilt is the seventh annual quilt and fiber art exhibition originally presented as a component of the North Charleston Arts Festival. Curated by Torreah “Cookie” Washington, works included in the show were inspired by favorite stories, whether they begin with, “Once upon a time…,” or “In a galaxy far, far away…,” or “In the land that time forgot…” 

Reading is FUNdamental, and through the quilted stories, the hope is to inspire the next generation of young readers and quilters. African American art quilters from across the nation were invited to explore and depict their favorite stories through traditional and non-traditional fiber techniques.

Exhibiting artists include Cathy Alvarez, Pauline Barrett, Carolyn Bracket, Lenora Brown, Arianne King Comer, Catherine Lampkin, Aisha Lumumba, Bridget Murray, Cookie Keeling Patterson, Laquita Tummings and Torreah “Cookie” Washington.


This exhibit is ideal for the small gallery or library. Nine of the panels are less than 36” wide. The largest is 50” wide.   Please note: panels can not be exposed to direct sunlight.

  • 12 hanging panels of fiber art with hanging dowels
  • Approximately 42 liner feet
  • DVD with artists’ bios
  • Press information with digital photos

 Security: High

 Transportation: Car or small van



Palmetto Hands Fine Crafts Exhibition

Fine craft artists and artisans from across South Carolina were invited to participate in the 13th Annual South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition, which is the state’s only juried fine craft competition and exhibition.  Organized and exhibited annually by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, the show is presented as a component of the North Charleston Arts Festival.

The exhibit includes 25 pieces crafted in clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber and botanicals.

Karen Derksen, Director of Winthrop University Galleries and lecturer for the Department of Fine Arts and the Department of Design at Winthrop University juried the competition. After making her selections, Derksen stated, “One of my goals was to select a show that would express the diversity of the mediums and styles that I was observing.  My purpose when selecting an exhibition is to be intentional about the relationship of one artwork to another and create an overall totality that tells a story.”


  • 25 fine craft pieces made of wood, metal, clay, glass, fiber and botanicals

Security: High

Transportation: Van with seats removed


Textiles: A History of Innovation and Community

Sponsored by the Self Family Foundation of Greenwood, the exhibit was designed and fabricated by the South Carolina State Museum. Twenty-one illustrated exhibit panels tell the history of the textile industry in our state. The story begins with a case of industrial espionage! England had strict laws against taking information about mill technology out of the country, and it did not allow textile workers to immigrate to other countries. But Samuel Slater, an English mill worker, told authorities he was a farmer, and immigrated to New York in 1789. He saw great potential in the rivers and streams of New England. His memory of mill technology and the skills of mechanic David Wilkinson led to the first successful water powered textile mill in AmericaThe exhibit details mill operations and also describes life in a mill town. The self contained mill communities provided for all worker needs from health care to education to recreation and religious services.

 Today, much of the textile industry has relocated overseas but innovations continue to be made right here in South Carolina. Jay Self, president and CEO of the Greenwood Mills reports that his company is currently working on a fabric that kills bacteria. Another South Carolina mill produces material used by NASA to construct astronaut space suits. 


  • 21 metal framed panels 30” x 40”
  • Digital press package with photos
  • Teacher’s resource package containing exhibit tour, student play.
  • Resource package can be used for public programs 
Security: Low
Transportation: Large SUV or van with seats removed.

The Great Charleston Earthquake, 1886

This exhibit examines the most destructive earthquake ever recorded in the eastern United States. The quake occurred near Charleston, SC on August 31, 1886. Discover details about the devastation and how rescue efforts were deployed during the 1800’s. The exhibit also teaches how to protect yourself today should an earthquake occur.
The Great Charleston Earthquake, 1886 was developed by the South Carolina State Museum with research, collaboration and assistance from Susan Millar Williams and Stephen G. Hoffius, authors of “Upheaval in Charleston: Earthquake and Murder on the Eve of Jim Crow” (University of Georgia Press, 2011) and the Emergency Management Division of South Carolina. The book is available for sale in the museum's store, Cotton Mill Exchange.
The exhibit comes with a tour that is aligned with S.C. education standards for those venues wishing to attract school groups and also includes materials for an entertaining tent building project to be used during family or school programs.
A DVD is included that includes additional information on the history of the quake and about the geological make up of South Carolina and why the state is prone to so many earthquakes.
• 15 metal framed exhibit panels 31X 37
• 1 canvas depiction of St. Philip’s Church 114’ x 85”
• 1 education package for tent building project
• DVD featuring interviews with book authors and local experts on geology and history.
• Digital  press package with photos

Security: Medium
Transportation: Van with seats removed
More information about the earthquake of 1886 is available at: www.upheavalincharleston.com

 Pirates, Privateers and Buccaneers of the Carolinas

“Life on the seven seas was a hard, cruel existence,” said Chief Curator of History Fritz Hamer.  “Some turned to piracy as a means to gain wealth and to avoid the harsh conditions on naval ships or merchant vessels.” Many myths about pirates are dispelled in the exhibit, and one is that pirates frequently sank other ships.  Perhaps a warship in combat would be sunk, but pirates rarely sank a ship they wanted to capture, because that would be counterproductive.  Their loot and captives would go down with the ship.

One of the most feared pirates of all was Blackbeard, who was said to weave lit fuses into his beard for battle to increase his fierce countenance.   The story of Blackbeard, who blockaded Charleston Harbor in 1718 prior to his death in North Carolina can be found in this traveling exhibit, along with the stories of many other pirates.

This exhibit was developed by the South Carolina State Museum with research, collaboration and assistance from the North Carolina Museum of History, the Queen Anne’s Revenge Project of the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, and the North Carolina Maritime Museum. 

• 42 text ‘scrolls’
• each scroll approximately 30” x 45” and hang with wood dowels
• one life-size fiberglass pirate manikin

Security: Medium
Transportation: Van with seats removed
Digital press package available with photos.

 A Historic Campaign

The voters of South Carolina made history Nov. 2, 2010 when they elected Nikki R. Haley the state’s first woman and first minority governor. It was a campaign unlike any other, and it was recorded by a photographer whose exclusive access to the then-candidate has produced a new traveling exhibit for the South Carolina State Museum.  From a 26-stop bus tour to intimate election night gatherings of family and friends and then to the inauguration the exhibit offers a rare behind-the-scenes view.

A Historic Campaign features 24 photographs of Haley, her campaign workers and family crisscrossing the Palmetto State to get her message to the voters.  The images are the work of photographer Renee Ittner-McManus who has documented the lives of South Carolinians since 1990. 

A South Carolina Photographer of the Year, Ittner-McManus has received accolades for her images in the Southern Photographer of the Year and Atlanta Photojournalist competitions as well as in the Nikon International Competition.  Her images also have been selected as part of the prestigious national Women in Photojournalism Juried Exhibition.  A long-time photographer for The State newspaper, Inner-McManus’s photos have appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

• 24 metal framed photographs ranging in size from 16” x 20” to 18” x 36”, (approximately 45 linear feet)
• Digital press packet including photographs

Security: high
Transportation: car

 For more information contact the Traveling Exhibits Program at (803) 737-4159 or email tep@scmuseum.org