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Join Dr. Thomas L. Johnson for an Informal Walk Through of

A World of Readers

At the Pickens County Museum of Art & History


   The Pickens County Museum of Art & History and exhibition curator Thomas Johnson invite you to a final walk-through and informal discussion of his collection of fine and decorative art, A WORLD OF READERS, now on display at the museum.  Please join us at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 6, for this event. 

     Some four dozen pieces, chiefly fine-art works on paper—including watercolors, drawings, engravings, monoprints, lithographs, linocuts, and photographs—all depict persons (or other creatures) in the act of reading. The figure may be shown reading a book, newspaper, letter, map, or billboard. The venue may be a home, office, library or other public building, the street, the beach—or no particular place at all.

     Also represented in the exhibition are a number of three-dimensional works in wood or clay, such as North Carolina potter Ann Gleason’s tall statue of “The Poet”; and a modern wooden polychrome figure of a young boy reading a book, created by an anonymous Italian craftsman. Display cases will show samples of “readers” appearing on domestic objects used for decorative, utilitarian, or celebratory purposes. The motif appears on mass-produced or limited-edition plates, cups, bookends, pencil holders, paper weights, aquarium statuary, figurines, Christmas ornaments, and other household items.

     In addition to works by such nationally or internationally known artists as Robert L. Barnum, Bernard Brussell-Smith, Pierre Garcia-Fons, Ray Gloeckler, Barry Kite, Carl Kronberger, Eduard Kurzbauer, J. H. Schell, and Art Werger, the exhibition showcases those of a good number of well-known regional artists, including Jane Yarborough Creech, Daniel Cvammen, Bill Davis, Beth Regula, Sara Dame Setzer, Doris Turner, Suzanne Zoole, Joel Wilkinson, and Patti Wright.

     Spartanburg and Asheville resident Tom Johnson, retired librarian emeritus and English instructor from the University of South Carolina (Columbia), has long been interested in books and reading, as well as in the visual arts. He has collected both books and art for over half a century. For many years he was a member of the advisory board of the Hub City Writers Project in Spartanburg, where he also served on the board of directors of the Spartanburg Art Museum. He continues to serve on the governing boards of Pickens County’s Birchwood Center for Arts and Folklife and the statewide South Carolina Academy of Authors. He has edited and published several books, and as a printmaker currently maintains a studio at the West Main Co-op in Spartanburg.

     The inspiration for this show has come from Johnson’s experience as the curator for the exhibition PEOPLE READING: SELECTIONS FROM THE COLLECTION OF DONALD AND PATRICIA ORESMAN, which was featured at the Spartanburg Art Museum in 2008 during its relocation to the Chapman Center there. The New York attorney and his wife, who may possess the world’s largest collection of fine art organized around the theme of “the reader”, loaned some sixty works of art from their Manhattan collection for the South Carolina showing. The exhibition went on to travel to art museums in Myrtle Beach and Hickory (North Carolina).

     “A World of Readers” is sponsored in part by South State Bank, Pickens Savings & Loan and Robinson Funeral Home, Crematory and Memorial Gardens. The Pickens County Museum of Art & History is funded in part by Pickens County, members and friends of the museum and a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

   Located at the corner of Hwy. 178 at 307 Johnson Street in Pickens SC, the museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is free but donations are welcomed.

   For more information please contact the museum at (864) 898-5963 or visit us at www.pickenscountymuseum.org

   For this and many more events in Pickens County visit www.visitpickenscounty.com/calendar .


Please Note

We will NOT be hosting the 

Arts and Craft Fair in 2014

Hopefully we can again host this even next year.

© Birchwood Center 2013