Tours at our historic houses are on the hour beginning at 10 am Monday through Saturday, and 12 pm on Sunday. Last tour of the day begins at 4 pm.
Masks must be worn while visiting The Charleston Museum and its historic houses. Thank you for helping our community slow the spread of COVID-19. Learn More
Portraits of the Lowcountry
Cased Images from the Archives
December 1, 2020 - June 6, 2021 | Lowcountry Image Gallery
We brought it back!
Because the Museum had to close its doors in the middle of the Portraits of the Lowcountry: Cased Images From the Archives exhibit earlier this year, we decided to reinstall it.
In case you missed it, a selection of daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes are once again exhibited featuring individual and family portraits of the Lowcountry.
Unidentified Civil War soldier, c. 1861, Ambrotype
The invention of photography made it possible to record an accurate portrait, rather than an artist’s notion. For the first time a true portrayal of the sitter, who oftentimes wanted their image immortalized performing a particular task or with specific props, could be captured.
The Douglass Family, (from left to right) John, Mary, Dennis and Andrew (on lap) c. 1860, Ambrotype
Many portraits were designed as a family tribute, some showcased everyday events, while others were created in times of war and given to a significant other for remembrance. However, some of the most poignant portraits found in our collection feature those of the enslaved.
(left) James W. Jones, 1856, Ambrotype (right) Hector, April 23, 1861, Gowrie Plantation, Ambrotype
Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes were the early photographic processes. When developed, the image was carefully sealed in an image packet and then enclosed in a small case for protection. This photographic exhibit highlights many of these pictorial documents taken for prosperity.
Unidentified woman, undated, Quinby & Co., Artists of Charleston, Ambrotype
In the Museum’s Armory, see excellent examples of historic weaponry, dating from 1750 to the twentieth century, with uses that ranged from military to more personal applications such as hunting and dueling.
In the Lowcountry History Hall, see materials relating to the Native Americans who first inhabited the Lowcountry and the African American and European settlers who transformed the region into an agricultural empire.
In the Natural History gallery you will see an extraordinary array of birds, reptiles and mammals that have called the South Carolina Lowcountry home since prehistory, including contributions from noted naturalists.