This exhibition illustrates the life and work of Alice Ravenel Huger Smith (1876-1958), a leading catalyst of the Charleston Renaissance.
Though born into a socially prominent family, Smith lacked the financial resources to pursue her education in the artistic meccas of New York and Paris and was largely self-taught. While cataloging the print collection of a distant relative she began to absorb the influence of Japanese graphic arts at an early age, showing particular mastery in the medium of watercolor. She drew much of her artistic inspiration from native Southern landscapes which were highly prized by both native Charlestonians as well as wealthy Northern tourists. By the 1920s, the prominent gallery Knoedler’s of New York began to exhibit her work. Today she is remembered for her leading role in the cultural and architectural preservation of her native Charleston.
This exhibition features original watercolors and drawings by Smith alongside the very 19th century Japanese prints she studied as a young woman.
Organized by John Daniel Tilford, Curator of Collections, OUMA