Gibbes Museum restoration nears completion

A work in progress

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The Gibbes Museum from way back in the day - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • The Gibbes Museum from way back in the day
After almost two years and $13.5 million spent on renovations, the countdown is on for the reopening of the Gibbes Museum.

With an opening date set for May 28 and a special members preview scheduled the day before, crews and museum staff are making the final improvements to the building before the long-awaited unveiling. Beginning at the ground floor, additions include a creative education center featuring classrooms, studios, and lecture spaces, which guests can visit free of charge. The second- and third-floor galleries have been expanded by 30 percent to include more than 600 works of art belonging to the museum’s permanent collection. Now, with only 11 weeks remaining before the reopening, it is interesting to think about how far the Gibbes has come.

Recently, Charleston photographer James McGavick wrote of his experience photographing one of the oldest art institutions in South Carolina during its transition. On the museum’s official blog, he shows the Gibbes as few have ever seen it before, stripped down to its bare bones before finally being restored to its former glory.

“This self-assigned project has an organic beginning and end,” McGavick writes of his time in the museum. “Gone will be the evidence of the hard work done by so many. Soon finishing touches will be applied to the paint, art will be displayed, and the doors will open once again to Charleston’s residents and visitors alike. I will miss my solo time with the bones of the building, but I look forward to visiting the renovated Gibbes.”


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