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Tours & Events


12th Annual Art and Architecture Study Series

November 16, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

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12th Annual Art and Architecture Study Series is a series of four events. Each ticket is all inclusive for the entire series. Events will be held on November 16, December 14, January 25 and February 15. See below for a full schedule of events and more information. 

We are thrilled to announce Historic Charleston Foundation’s Art & Architecture study series for 2022-2023! We hope you can join us for this twelfth year of providing participants with in-depth studies of Charleston’s cultural heritage.

This year’s series of programs highlights the significance of archival collections and how they are the crucial seeds from which all cultural, historical, and genealogical research grows. Once again, for our twelfth season, we are excited to host lectures by several experts in their respective fields and embark on a magnificent Lowcountry excursion to the beautiful Mepkin Abbey on the upper Cooper River.


Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Community Room, HCF Headquarters, 40 East Bay Street: 10:00 a.m.

Speakers: Jennifer Berry Hawes, award-winning author and journalist, The Post and Courier; Virginia Ellison, Vice President of Collections and COO, South Carolina Historical Society; Sarah Ferguson, Archivist/Librarian, Historic Charleston Foundation

What is an archive? How do they work, why are they important, and who do they benefit? Leading off this year’s series, we’ll explore how archives function from both the curatorial and researcher’s point of view. Archivists Virginia Ellison and Sarah Ferguson will discuss the complexities of properly acquiring, cataloging, digitizing, and storing important primary documents. Author and journalist Jennifer Berry Hawes will further discuss how those same documents, once publicly available, become crucial sources for investigative journalism on topics such as Denmark Vesey, the AME Church, and domestic violence in South Carolina, which garnered national attention and a Pulitzer Prize. Our session will end with a short tour of HCF’s Margaretta Childs Archives.


Wednesday, December 14, 2022*

Mepkin Abbey, Moncks Corner, SC: 10:00 a.m.**

Speakers: Father Joseph A. Tedesco, Superior, Mepkin Abbey; Robert Macdonald, Archivist and Director Emeritus of the Museum of the City of New York; Mepkin Abbey is one of only 15 Cistercian Trappist monasteries in North America and the only one in South Carolina.

Our day will begin with a garden tour to view the new Meditation Garden of Truth and Reconciliation adjacent to the Laurens family gravesites. From there, we’ll join Dr. Robert Macdonald, a lifelong museum professional who now volunteers as the head archivist at Mepkin, for an in-depth presentation and tour of the Clare Boothe Luce Library, a remarkable space that houses a rare book room, archive, and collection of approximately 43,000 volumes on philosophy, theology, monastic studies and art. Afterward, we’ll observe noontime chorales and chants of the brotherhood inside the Abbey Church, and then break for a boxed lunch. Our program will end at approximately 2:00 p.m., but all are encouraged to spend the afternoon exploring the grounds and viewing the remarkable architecture. (Don’t miss the St. Francis Retreat Center designed by W.G. Clark!) *Please note this is the second Wednesday of the month and not the traditional third. **Transportation on your own. Please plan to arrive no later than 9:45. Driving directions will be provided prior to the event. Boxed lunch provided!



Wednesday, January 25, 2023*

Community Room, HCF Headquarters, 40 East Bay Street, 10:00 a.m.

Speakers: Katherine Daughtridge, Project and Film Director, Thesis Content; Daniela Currò, Director, Moving Image Research Collections, University of South Carolina; Benjamin Singleton, Manager of Footage Research, Moving Image Research Collections, University of South Carolina

Archives aren’t just for papers! How do modern media such as reel-to-reel audio tape, celluloid film, and 21st century digital media fit into the archival world? Daniela Currò and Benjamin Singleton will discuss their fascinating work with the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research project digitizing literal miles of film footage of the early 20th century. Filmmaker Katherine Daughtridge will present on the ongoing necessity and importance of gathering oral histories around South Carolina and why these lesser known, yet intensely personal, stories are critical to understanding South Carolina’s complex history. *Please note this is the fourth Wednesday of the month and not the traditional third.



Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Community Room, HCF Headquarters, 40 East Bay Street, 10:00 a.m.
Speaker: Edward Ball, National Book Award-winning author

Genealogy, despite having become somewhat easier to pursue in this digital age, is still among the most challenging aspects of historical research. Celebrated American author Edward Ball will finish off our series detailing his extensive and revealing genealogical research of his own family. This painstaking work, reflected in two publications – Slaves in the Family (1998) and Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy (2020) – exhibits the difficult and complex pursuit of discovering one’s own heritage and the uncomfortable, yet necessary, information it can bring to light.


Price is all inclusive for all four events in the series. $400 each. Space is limited to 40 participants. For programming questions, Director of Museums at [email protected] or 843.724.8486. For ticketing questions, please contact Shannon Duffy at [email protected].