This new exhibition looks at the history of the State Museum, the ambitious projects we have planned in the future, and answers many questions you might have about the museum through dozens of objects reflecting our past present and future.
Why is there a South Carolina State Museum? What was the first artifact that was collected? How do we decide what to collect? How many exhibitions has the museum created and hosted? How many new species have been identified through our natural history collection? Find the answers to these and many other questions through the display of thought-provoking pieces from the museum’s rich and diverse collection, which are often tucked away in storage.
Featured objects include:
- Recent acquisitions such as a c. 1815 Bible owned by Charleston's William Turpin (see below for more information) and the first African-American Barbie produced by Mattel and created by Spartanburg native "Kitty" Black Perkins.
- Employee badge, Union membership card and reports related to the museum building's original use as the first electric textile mill in the world
- Artwork including a recently conserved 1901 painting by artist Edward Gay (1837- 1928) and several pieces of Catawba pottery.
- Trilobite fossils dating back 500 million years
- And more!
This exhibition also highlights current behind-the-scenes projects, including the inventory and digitization of the over 1.1 million objects in our collection, and offers a first look at where the museum will be heading through our Reimagine the Experience project.
Historic Turpin Bible Goes on Display
Included in this new exhibition will be the historic Turpin Bible recently acquired by the museum. You can learn more about this important object and explore it online now!
Open today from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday from Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Closed Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1, 2024
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Plan your way through our 4 floors of permanent and changing exhibitions, planetarium, observatory and 4D theater.