Middleton Place National Historic Landmark and the Edmondston-Alston House in downtown Charleston are currently featuring a special exhibition of works by Alice Ravenel Huger Smith in connection with the recent launch of the book Alice: Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Charleston Renaissance Artist. Alice Smith was a leading artist in the movement that sparked economic revival and historic preservation in Charleston in the decades between the two world wars. The book and the exhibition provide unique insights into Alice as an author, illustrator, printmaker, painter, teacher, and historian from the perspective of her family and close friend.
The special exhibitions are included in the House Museums’ admissions and allow the public the rare opportunity to see over 35 works from private collections and the Gibbes Museum of Art.
Born in 1876, Alice Smith was descended from Henry Middleton, who established Middleton Place, and his son Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. As an artist, the Low Country’s natural environment was a strong pull for Smith, who on a Sunday stroll once walked the 17 miles from Charleston to Middleton Place with her father. Smith referred to Middleton Place as “a jewel thrown down in the green woods,” and her vivid depictions of the magnificent oaks and gardens, rice fields and lakes, and Ashley River vistas are among the works that are featured in the book and will be on display in the exhibits.
Along with the exhibits, Middleton Place Foundation will be hosting dialogues and discussions throughout the year with authors, artists, educators, and historians. “The publication of Alice and its accompanying exhibition provide the Foundation an opportunity to continue its mission to educate and engage in conversations about our complicated history,” said Tracey Todd, Middleton Place Foundation President and CEO. “Alice Smith was once quoted as saying ‘Open the windows of your mind to let in the Alice gives us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and each other through the exploration of our shared history.”
Alice, written by Dwight McInvaill, Caroline Palmer and Anne Tinker, is published by Evening Post Books in collaboration with Middleton Place Foundation. Available in hardcover for $60.00 at the Middleton Place store, selected area bookstores, and online at shop.middletonplace.org, net proceeds from the sale of the book benefit theMiddleton Place Foundation.
Listen to the Walter Edgar’s Journal Interview with Artist Jonathan Green and Dwight McInvaill here.