Brookgreen Gardens will present two new indoor exhibits in the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion. They will be on display daily from May 9, 2015, through July 26 and are free with garden admission.
Carolina Roots: Works by Sigmund Abeles and Grainger McKoy
This exhibit examines the art of two renowned “Sons of Carolina” having special ties to Brookgreen Gardens: printmaker, painter, and sculptor Sigmund Abeles and sculptor Grainger McKoy. Each hailed as a master of his respective media, their work in this exhibit will include paintings, prints, and drawings, and sculptures in wood, bronze, and resin.
Antebellum Waccamaw: Paintings and Drawings by Emily Esdaile Weston
This collection of pencil and pen and ink drawings and watercolors, dating from the 1840s to the 1860s, was made by Emily Frances Esdaile Weston (1810-1886), the British wife of Plowden C. J. Weston, a 19th century owner of Laurel Hill Plantation, the north section of Brookgreen Gardens’ property. The collection provides unprecedented views of the buildings, structures, and grounds of Laurel Hill and Hagley (Weston’s Waccamaw Neck properties), of Snow Hill at Conway, and his seashore residence, “Weston’s Zoyland”, known today as Pelican Inn on Pawleys Island. In addition to the landscape paintings and architectural drawings, there are a number of watercolors of native flora and fauna, many accompanied by a dried, pressed plant. Emily Weston also made drawings of Camp Marion during the War Between the States. The paintings and drawings are on loan from the collection of Dr. and Mrs. Hal B. Holmes, Jr.
The exhibits are sponsored in part by The Folline-King Group/Merrill Lynch, The Lachicotte Company, John and Trena Draughn, and an anonymous donor.
Though born in Brooklyn, NY, Sigmund Abeles grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC, where he watched the new Brookgreen Gardens grow into the magnificent institution that it is today. He refers to it as the place where he caught the “spark” of figurative art, and as his “art womb”, in reference to the many hours he spent here as a young boy and teenager, sketching the sculptures and learning about the artists. Abeles went on to study art and to make it his life’s passion, earning numerous awards and honors. His drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures are found in museum and private collections throughout the United States. Visitors to the exhibit will see several of his sculptures never before exhibited as well as other works that reflect his special bond with the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Grainger McKoy, a renowned sculptor living and working near Sumter, SC, has a special relationship with Brookgreen Gardens. It has been a touchstone for him – a source of subjects and ideas for his unparalleled depictions of native birds. In 1999, his first museum exhibition in South Carolina took place here. In 2012, he was instrumental in helping Brookgreen Gardens acquire an amazing gift of his work from the collection of the late Earl Slick. Containing several of McKoy’s landmark sculptures, such as Covey Rise, Sandpipers, and Least Bittern, the gift included 11 major wood and bronze pieces from the 1970s to the 1990s and several are to be shown in the exhibition. The sculpture was the gift of the Family of Earl Slick. On view with the sculpture will be some of McKoy’s rarely seen sketches and small scale models.