Feature Articles

June Issue 2002

Verner Inventory Comes to the Gibbes Museum of Art Shop

The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC, announces that it is now the exclusive agent for the sale of the reproductions of Elizabeth O'Neill Verner's works. The Tradd Street Press inventory of Verner's reproductions were being offered for sale at the Gibbes Museum Shop as of May 16, 2002.

"The Verner Gallery and the Tradd Street Press have been a vital part of Charleston's cultural history for more than half a century," said David Q. Soutter, Interim Director at the Gibbes. "We feel very fortunate to have Mrs. Verner's reproductions come exclusively to the Gibbes, where she played an active role throughout her life."

"For the last 32 years, I have been the keeper of my grandmother's flame," said David Verner Hamilton, "and I am passing an important part of her legacy to the Gibbes Museum."

The Verner studio, which later became the Verner Gallery, was a mainstay of Charleston's art world for nearly 64 years until closing in April. Elizabeth O'Neill Verner opened her studio at 38 Tradd Street in May 1938. In the early 1960s, her daughter, Elizabeth Verner Hamilton, established the Tradd Street Press to run the gallery and to publish books and reproductions of Verner's works. The Tradd Street Press also supported the literary efforts of Hamilton and other writers.

A Charleston native, Elizabeth O'Neill Verner (1883-1979) studied under Thomas Anshutz at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She was a founding vice-president of the Southern States Art League and a founding member of the Charleston Etchers' Club. Verner was a pivotal figure in the revival of the Charleston art community during the 1920s and '30s, known as the Charleston Renaissance. Her exact etchings of Charleston street scenes and her delicate pastels helped to publicize the beauty of Charleston, and, along with her fellow artists, helped spark the preservation movement in Charleston. She published numerous volumes on Charleston and traveled extensively. An important collection of etchings that were used to illustrate Verner's book, Prints and Impressions of Charleston, was given to the City of Charleston in 1956 and by act of City Council are permanently on loan to the Gibbes Museum.

In 1972, the South Carolina Arts Foundation established the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Awards to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina. The highest honor the state gives in the arts, these awards presented annually by the governor encourage South Carolina arts organizations, patrons, artists, the business community, and government to maximize their roles as innovators, supporters and advocates of the arts.

For further information call the Gibbes at 843/722-2706 or at (www.gibbes.com).

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