Millicent Ellison Brown (b. 1948) is an educator and civil rights activist. Born in Charleston to MaeDe and J. Arthur Brown, local and state president of NAACP (1955-1965), Brown, in 1963, replaced her older sister Minerva as the primary plaintiff in a NAACP-sponsored lawsuit (Millicent Brown vs. Charleston County School District #20). The collection consists […]
Anna D. Kelly (1913-2007) is known for her efforts to connect Lowcountry African Americans with the Highlander Folk School, most notably recruiting Septima Clark. A graduate of the Avery Normal Institute in Charleston, South Carolina, Kelly was a charter member of the Avery Institute of African American History and Culture. She then played a crucial […]
The Young Women’s Christian Association of Greater Charleston, which originated in 1907, has served communities in Charleston and the Lowcountry area of South Carolina for over a century. Currently, the YWCA of Greater Charleston, Inc., strives to provide programs and services for all people and holds a mission to eliminate racism and to empower women. […]
One of the largest in the southeast, The Charleston Museum’s Quilt Collection consists of a wonderful variety of chintz appliqué, pieced, mosaic, whitework and traditional appliqué quilts, quilt fragments and items intended to be finished as quilts as well as crazy quilts and embroidered coverlets. This digital collection showcases a fraction of the textiles available […]
Conservation is extremely important in the field of underwater archaeology. The uncontrolled exposure to air of any material recovered from a marine environment can lead to irreversible damage and the disastrous loss of archaeological data. Organic materials such as leather, wood, textile, rope and plant remains, if allowed to dry without conservation treatment, they can […]
The William McCarthy and Martin Barbeau Collection is comprised of artifacts from various origin. The objects are primarily decorative currency, such as bracelets and anklets. Places of origin include Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), Nigeria, Togo, Zambia, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Ghana.
The McLeod Plantation Cemetery Collection contains beads found in 1996 during the construction of a fire station in James Island, South Carolina. Construction of the fire station, which was to be located between Folly Road, Country Club Drive, and Wappoo Creek, was aborted when workers unearthed unmarked graves. The human bones found were believed to […]
The Marie Metz Collection is comprised of three objects; a mantel clock, a xylophone, and a clock topper. The mantel clock has metal legs with markings that indicate that the clock was made in New York. The square xylophone has five plates, each producing a different tone. The clock topper is an ornamental figurine that […]
The Rogers-Cline Collection is comprised of two cast iron kitchenwares; a kettle and a cook pot. The cast iron kettle has a wire handle, the lid is imprinted “ROME GA SO -CO – OP F’DY – CO” (Southern Cooperative Foundry Company; Rome, Georgia). The six-gallon iron cook pot has two bail handles.
The Pan-African Art and Artifact Collection contains objects anonymously donated to the Avery Research Center that portray art and life among peoples of African descent across the world.
The Paul Craven, Jr. Collection is comprised of artifacts of Togo origin. The artifacts include wooden figurines, instruments, spears, household items, and woven straw fans adorned with the flag of Togo.
Historically known as “The Walter Pantovic Slavery Collection,” these artifacts span the African American experience from slavery to the Civil Rights era to the rise of African Americans in popular culture. Walter Pantovic was born in Yugoslavia in 1965 and immigrated to the United States at the age of two. He became interested in African-American […]
The Muriel and Marcus Zbar Collection was donated by Dr. Marcus J. Zbar, a 1951 graduate of Vanderbilt University. The collection consists of artifacts originating in West and Central Africa and Papua New Guinea that Dr. Zbar privately purchased from various galleries across the United States.
The submarine H.L. Hunley represents one of the most complex composite structures ever recovered by an archaeological team. The exterior hull is comprised of wrought-iron plates of various sizes, several cast-iron fittings and glass view-ports. While the Hunley was lost at sea, it was going through a series of physical and chemical changes. Salts from […]
The Katherine Nicklaus Collection contains two female carved wooden masks whose origin was the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire).
The Herbert A. DeCosta, Jr. Papers include materials related to the professional and personal life of Herbert DeCosta, Jr., his wife Emily, and numerous Craft, Crum, and DeCosta family members. Namely, the walking cane of Dr. William Crum.
The Keith and Charlotte Otterbein collection contains straw objects obtained while doing ethnographic work in Nassau, Bahamas between 1959 and 1987. Many of the items in this collection were made by individual Bahamian craftswomen (also called “plaiters”) who maintained their independence in the straw industry, while four were sold in the Nassau straw market, thus […]
Cast net fishing is a significant part of history in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Africans transported to the Lowcountry, later known as the Gullah people, brought with them skills in boating and fishing. Seafood was plentiful on the South Carolina coast and barrier islands (sea islands) and made up a large part of the diet, […]
Glendia Cooper, African American potter, grew up in Mississsippi and has exhibited her work in various cities across the United States. Her pieces, inspired by travel in Africa and South America, are created using the coil and slab methods, then shaping, molding, decorating and glazing by hand.
The Edwin A. Harleston collection contains three original paintings by African American artist and community activist Edwin “Teddy” Harleston (1882-1931) of Charleston, South Carolina. The pieces are representative of the early twentieth-century artists famous portraits and landscapes of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Edwin A. “Teddy” Harleston (1882-1931) was an African American artist and community activist […]
Carlton Simmons (1959-) began his apprenticeship with uncle Philip Simmons at the age of 13. Today he is less known for utilitarian ironwork, but his decorative and artistic pieces are highly sought-after.
In 2008, Curtis J. Franks travelled to West Africa as a participant in the Fulbright-Hays program under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education to explore historical and cultural connections between people of African descent in the Lowcountry and Africans in the Mano River Region (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Ivory Coast), where […]
Dr. Elizabeth Clarice Hall (1946-2005) was born in Albany, Georgia. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Ursinus College in 1968, then an M.S. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Florida State University in 1971 and 1973. The artifacts in this collection were assembled from Dr. Hall’s various trips to Africa.
The George Pope collection contains Nigerian artifacts acquired while Mr. Pope, former U.S. State Department employee, was stationed in the country. Nike Olaniyi [Okundaye] Davies (1951- ) is an internationally known artist and textile designer from Nigeria. She founded and runs the Nike Center for Art and Culture in Oshogbo [Osogbo], Nigeria, which offers art […]
The Leo S. Carty Watercolor Print collection contains nine signed and number prints by Leo S. Carty (1931-2010). The primary focus of Carty’s paintings are the daily life of blacks in the Virgin Islands at the turn of the 20th century. Leo S. Carty (1931-2010) was born in Harlem, New York on April 17, 1931. […]
The Johannah Gold collection contains objects from Mrs. Gold’s family relating to the history of farming in the Lowcountry.
The Coards Studio was a photography studio owned and operated by Joseph and Rachel Coards in Charleston, South Carolina. Coards photographed African American families and individuals in the studio and various events and groups outside of the studio, such as graduations, weddings, and other ceremonies. The studio, located at 78 Line Street, closed in the […]
The Avery Sweetgrass Basket Collection holds significant modern examples of a centuries-old craft. Following African traditions, baskets of coiled grasses were originally produced by slaves on Lowcountry plantations for agricultural use. Over time, sweetgrass baskets have become artistic expressions that retain the African aesthetic — a symbol of African American culture and a signature of […]
The Catherine and James Yatsco Collection contains artifacts collected in West Africa in the 1970s and 1980s. During 1971-1973, Captain James C. Yatsco was stationed in Monrovia, Liberia, under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where he helped manage the pharmacy in a newly-built hospital. Catherine Yatsco taught high school English to a […]
Donated by Dr. Lois Fries, these artifacts were collected in the early 1920s by Reverend Robert and Jennie Oberly. The Reverend and his wife were missionaries to Liberia for the United Lutheran Church.
African American anthropologist Joseph Allen Towles (1937-1988) met British anthropologist Colin Macmillan Turnbull (1924-1994) in 1959. The two exchanged marriage vows in 1960 and they lived together in an interracial, homosexual relationship until Towles’ death in 1988. Towles and Turnbull spent various periods of time in Africa, conducting fieldwork on the Mbuti, Mbo, and Ik […]
The collection of artifacts pertaining tot he Craft and Crum families of the Lowcountry includes a myriad of materials; photo albums, letters, account books, and land deeds. The Craft Family Photo Album includes images of Craft family members, famous abolitionists, and other family friends, many of international historical significance. Also included in the collection are […]
The Lawrence Layden Scrapbook contains photographs and papers documenting his wartime service. Lawrence Layden was a Captain in the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group during World War II. Personal papers consist of induction papers, forms listing the date for reverting to inactive service, military security passes, promotion papers, transfer papers, letters of recommendation to attend Officer Candidate […]