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Morris Museum Columbia Museum of Art
Columbia, SC
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Columbia Museum of Art
1515 Main St.
Columbia, South Carolina
Phone: 803.799.2810
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www.columbiamuseum.org

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Exhibitions:

Daufuskie Memories


Events

Daufuskie Memories
Through August 7, 2016

The Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) announces an exciting exhibition capturing Daufuskie Island when it was the last South Carolina sea island untouched by the outside world. Daufuskie Memories, featuring more than 60 photographs taken by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe. From 1977–1982, Moutoussamy-Ashe vividly and poignantly captured African-American life on Daufuskie Island, where the Gullah lifestyle, traditions, and language were preserved because of the isolation of the island's residents.

“Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe’s photographs of Daufuskie Island show us the power of art to preserve moments in time now lost to us,” says Chief Curator Will South. “Through Jeanne’s exquisite lens, we may visit the place and people that once inhabited an island that has, like all places, moved into a 21st-century world. Through her art, we may feel the rhythm and pulse of this bygone era and appreciate the beauty of Gullah life on Daufuskie.”

Moutoussamy-Ashe and her husband, tennis great Arthur Ashe, visited Charleston, South Carolina, on vacation in 1977. An acquaintance, Verta Mae Grosvenor, a native of Beaufort, told Moutoussamy-Ashe about Daufuskie Island and the importance of photographing the people and history that still existed there. The result was the artist’s hauntingly beautiful book, Daufuskie Life: Photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe.

In the foreword to the 25th anniversary edition of this book, Roots author Alex Haley says, "The emotional reaction of an artist to what she saw, heard, and felt is why you and I can now hold in our hands the quite special evidence of Jeanne's mastery of her profession that is so repetitively attended in this book for which the University of South Carolina Press has served as midwife."

Daufuskie Memories is organized in the same way that her catalogue is, in four categories: people, place, everyday life, and spiritual grace. Each section reveals to us a different slice of life on Daufuskie Island. Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, in her collection of brilliant photographs, has documented a lost era, but at the same time has managed, as great artists do, to point to an unknown future.

Moutoussamy-Ashe will be visiting the CMA on Thursday, June 2, to give talks on her work and to sign copies of Daufuskie Life as part of the CMA's Membership Appreciation Day. The schedule for her visit is as follows:

Noon – Lecture by photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, free with membership or admission. Registration required as space is limited. Registration opens Monday, May 2.
1:00 p.m. – Following the lecture, the artist signs copies of her book, Daufuskie Island: Photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe.
6:30 p.m. – Lecture by Moutoussamy-Ashe, free and open to the public. Registration required as space is limited. Registration opens Monday, May 2.
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Member Appreciation Lounge during First Thursday on Main, free for members. The CMA offers sweet treats and a cash bar. RSVP.

The artist’s visit is supported by CMA membership affiliate group Friends of African American Art & Culture, and a number of local partners including the Columbia chapters of The Links, Inc., The National Council of Negro Women, and Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

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