2015 Exhibits and New Board Members Announced
The historic Arsenal, which was constructed in 1798, is located on Craven Street in downtown Beaufort. It is home to the Beaufort History Museum. Additional photos available upon request.
Beaufort, SC – February 18, 2015 – The Beaufort History Museum held it’s annual meeting on Monday, February 9, at the museum’s main hall. More than fifty museum members and guests attended.
President Anna Schaffer reported that 2014 was an historic year for the museum, which saw a move back to the Arsenal boost public interest in its exhibits and fuel a dramatic increase in visitors. She predicted that the coming year would be even more dynamic, with several exhibits and a variety of events planned.
“The past year was very busy for us and due to the hard work of our Board, Docents and volunteers we were able to successfully move from our former site in City Hall to The Arsenal”, Schaffer said. “This required a significant amount of coordination and labor, but once we completed our transition everything moved forward in an extremely positive way. Now we are preparing for some very informative and interesting exhibits and a major spring fundraiser.”
The upcoming exhibit openings and events include:
Among the other business conducted at the annual meeting, four members were named to the Board of Directors. Donnie Beer, Lorrie Burleyknoles, Carol Lauvray and Carla Marsh were elected to serve three-year terms.
Mayor Billy Keyserling spoke briefly at the meeting. He stressed the importance of the museum’s mission, which is to tell the story of Beaufort’s history to visitors as well as local residents. He also had encouraging words about the organization’s success in the past year.
Kim Poovey, dressed in Victorian garb, presented an entertaining performance showcasing “the language of the fan”, explaining the many ways that a Victorian lady communicated with prospective suitors simply by how she held her fan. Following the meeting many of the members and guests left the Arsenal and walked the short distance to the Beaufort Inn to extend the convivial spirit of the event and to enjoy a delicious prearranged dinner.
The Beaufort History Museum has evolved to focus specifically on the history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times.
The Arsenal address is 713 Craven Street. The BHM hours of operation are 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday–Saturday and Noon – 5 PM on Sunday. Docents are on duty to provide information and conduct tours. A donation of $5.00 per visitor ($4.00 for Seniors) is required. Children and active military are admitted free of charge. The organization maintains a website at www.beauforthistorymuseum.com.
Patrons of the Fall Festival of Houses and Gardens, conducted by the Historic Beaufort Foundation, can enjoy an added attraction this year: They will also have the chance to visit the Beaufort History Museum and learn about the deep, rich history of the area.
“It is all possible because the Beaufort History Museum has moved back to the Arsenal,” said museum board president Anna Schaffer. “People attending the festival will be picking up their tickets in The Arsenal courtyard. The museum is located just upstairs. It’s a perfect fit and we are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity.”
Isabella Reeves, the festival’s special-events coordinator, said that the Historic Beaufort Foundation has been hosting the popular house and garden tours for more than 40 years “Understanding the incredibly interesting history of this area and the background of the historic district can add to the experience, ” she said.
The Fall Festival of Houses and Gardens is scheduled for October 24-26. Featured are tours of more than a dozen historic homes and properties, including the newly refurbished Lemon Island Marina, now the home of the Port Royal Foundation Maritime Center. There is also a Kitchens & Cuisine tour on Sunday, with local chefs creating their specialties in houses downtown and on Lady’s Island.
For more information on the Fall Festival of Houses and Gardens and to purchase tickets for the tour email firstname.lastname@example.org, call843-379-3331 or visit www.historicbeaufort.org. Tickets to the Beaufort History Museum may be purchased in the visitor center at the reception desk on the first floor of The Arsenal.
Noted Beaufort educator and author Bernie Schein will sign copies of his new book, “Famous All Over Town,” at a reception in the courtyard at The Arsenal, hosted by the Beaufort History Museum.
Schein’s ellow author and friend, Pat Conroy, and his wife, the writer Cassandra King, and other friends and family will be on hand to welcome guests and toast the success of the new book. The party is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25. Complimentary wine, beer and a selection of cheeses and fruit will be served. This is an invitation-only event and space is limited.
“We are delighted to join with Bernie’s friends to host the book signing,” said museum board member and past president Katherine Lang. “It is really a hometown party and the first event we have held at The Arsenal since the museum moved back a few months ago. Bernie’s new book is about growing up in Beaufort and just seems tailor-made for us. We will have copies of the book, signed by Bernie, available for sale.”
Famous All Over Town is receiving glowing reviews. Here is what Conroy wrote: “ Like its author, this ambitious novel is by turns hysterically funny, wildly neurotic, uniquely sensitive and heartbreakingly honest. Bernie has staked his claim on the literary landscape of the South with his unforgettable small town of equally unforgettable Jews, whites, blacks, marines, politicians, prostitutes, cops, killers, sell-outs, aristocrats, journalists and rebels. He shies away from neither the best nor worse in us and, with compassion and authority, tells a story that is at once his own and that of everyone you will ever meet, each made famous all over town.”
City public-works employees and museum volunteers took care of the heavy lifting this week, moving artifacts from City Hall at 1911 Boundary St., where the museum has been for two years.
The museum will create a temporary display on the second floor until a more permanent exhibit can be created, board president Anna Schaffer told The Beaufort Gazette in an article published Aug. 2, 2014. Brockington and Associates, a cultural-resources consulting company, has been contracted to create the long-term display of artifacts, she said.
City public works employees and volunteers worked Aug. 1, 2014, to move artificats and exhibits of the Beaufort History Museum back into The Arsenal after a five-year absence. Staff photo
For more, see the Beaufort Gazette’s full article.
Katherine Lang, museum board member and past president, and museum supporter Terry Hussey discuss the exhibit’s artwork.
Artists, friends, family and supporters of the Beaufort History Museum sipped wine, enjoyed the music of the Beaufort Youth String Quartet and toured a retrospective art exhibit that honored members of the Fine Arts Committee, a group active in the l960s that procured many fine pieces for the museum.
The event, held June 9 at the museum’s current City Hall location, showcased pieces in the museum’s own collection as well as the work of local artists and works with a local influence.
The Beaufort History Museum was originally chartered in 1939. It has evolved to focus specifically on the deep and rich history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area from the early 16th Century until modern times. Through community engagement, children’s programs, educational opportunities and social events the Museum provides many services to visitors and local residents.
The Beaufort History Museum is currently located at 1911 Boundary Street on the first floor of the Beaufort City Hall. It will be relocating to the Arsenal (713 Craven St.) after July 14, 2014.
Docents Mary Mollison and Carol Lauvray with featured art.
The Beaufort History Museum is preparing for its move back home to The Arsenal, but we’ve got time for one more big bash before departing our current home at Beaufort City Hall. The museum is displaying a special retrospective to honor the work of the museum’s Fine Arts Committee, featuring pieces of local interest and art by notable local artists.
The exhibit opened June 9 with a gala for invited guests and remains open to the public during regular hours through June 24.
“We are extremely excited by this opportunity to host an event to honor the Fine Arts Committee, which was so instrumental in procuring pieces of art for the museum’s permanent collection,” board president Anna Schaffer said. “This is especially important since it is the final exhibit at the museum’s current location before we move to our new space at The Arsenal in Beaufort’s historic district.”
Schaffer said that the Museum will display local art and art with a local influence for a period of 12 business days at the City Hall location before the museum’s move. Invitations to an opening event were sent to area art associations and galleries, as well as families associated with the art on display.
Visitors from the community will be welcome at the museum during regular museum hours.
The board also will host a mid-week social for the Young Friends of the Museum at Wined it Up, the Bay Street wine bar. Selected pieces of art will be displayed.
The special exhibit is a nod to an important part of the museum’s own history. In the 1960s, the Fine Arts Committee was formed to procure pieces of art for the museum’s permanent collection. Many community leaders served on this committee. Even as the museum suffered otherwise lean years in the 1970s, the Fine Arts Committee remained strong, with active volunteers who continued to put on quality exhibits with guest artists and the museum’s own collection.
In addition to artists throughout the country, the Fine Arts Committee also actively sought local artists to donate to the collection as well. Many of the pieces in the current collection are the results of the efforts of this committee. More than 50 pieces of art are currently being stored in the museum.
The Beaufort History Museum was originally chartered in 1939. It has evolved to focus specifically on the deep and rich history of the Beaufort District. It strives to manage and display artifacts and documents held by the City of Beaufort, telling the compelling stories of this area, from the early 16th century until modern times. Through community engagement, children’s programs, educational opportunities and social events the museum provides many services to visitors and local residents. It is located at 1911 Boundary St., on the first floor of Beaufort City Hall, but will relocate sometime after July 14 to The Arsenal at 713 Craven Street.
Click here to view WJCL coverage of the event...
Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with docents on duty to provide information and conduct tours. A donation of $3 per adult visitor is suggested.
Stan Deaton of the Georgia Historical Society, delivers the keynote address during the Beaufort History Museum’s annual meeting Jan. 23, 2014, at its future home in The Arsenal on Craven Street.
Museum directors, historians and archivists cannot content themselves to work with relics, dusty manuscripts and crumbling buildings.
They must engage their communities and explain why knowledge and preservation of the past is relevant to the future, according to Stan Deaton, senior historian for the Georgia Historical Society.
Otherwise, those make the past their vocation might become relics themselves.
“All of us in the field of history, as opposed to propagandists, had better be able to tell a room full of bankers and businessmen and women why it’s important,” Deaton said Jan. 23 at the Beaufort History Museum’s annual meeting. “We need to be able to explain to foundation boards and corporation and politicians why we in the public-history realm are indispensable to a free and democratic society.
“Because we are.”
Deaton, the evening’s featured speaker, noted that those who deal in history have often leaned on government funding to do their work, but that work often is first on the chopping block during lean budget times, as has been the case in recent years.
“Scientists can always tell you why what they do is important and it’s always about the future,” he added.
But the arts and humanities are equally important to the future, Deaton argues, a fact sometimes realized only by propagandists who seek to control the future by manipulating the past.
“No one will every be served by factually inaccurate pejorative distortion of the American past,” Deaton said. “Indifference to history isn’t just ignorant, it’s dangerous.”
“We must prove constantly that we’re not just relevant but vital.”
Educational programs, pursuit of private funding, and ensuring documents and artifacts are seen, not squirreled away in archives, are part of that effort. So is historical interpretation grounded in honest assessments of primary documents.
Deaton spoke to an audience of about 40 people at the museum’s future home, The Arsenal on Craven Street. He is the writer and host of “Today in Georgia History,” a joint television and radio production of the historical society and Georgia Public Broadcasting. He also is managing editor and book review editor for the Georgia Historical Society’s “The Georgia Historical Quarterly.”
Deaton helps secure materials for the society’s archives and library, leads teacher-training workshops and helps write historical markers.
Also at the meeting, the museum’s board of directors elected officers, including new president Anna Powell Schaffer. She replaces Katherine Lang, a founding member of the board that reinstituted the dormant museum three years ago.
Schaffer is a native of eastern North Carolina who moved to Beaufort in June 2011 after completing her bachelor’s of arts in history and political science at Elon University, where her capstone project was a study of the decline of African American farmers in the southeastern United States. Schaffer joined the museum board in 2013, and organized and conducted the museum’s first docent-training program.
Libby Holloway was reelected board secretary, and Gwen Myers returns as board vice president.
The board selected its officers after the general membership seated new board members.
Lang returns for a second, three-year board term. During her tenure, the museum reopened in Beaufort City Hall and negotiated with the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce and the city of Beaufort to return to its former home. The museum in City Hall remains open, but a move to the second floor of The Arsenal is anticipated this spring.
D.C. Gilley and Mary Lou Brewton also were reelected to three-year terms, and the board welcomed two new members.
Jeff Evans moved to Beaufort County in 1992 and the city of Beaufort in 1999. He owns the video company SeaGate Productions and Lowcountry Weekly. He has served six years on the board of the Arts Council of Beaufort County, has produced 15 of Shakespeare’s plays in Waterfront Park and the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Performing Arts Center, and recently finished a seven-year chairmanship of the Beaufort City ATAX Committee.
David Lott is a retired businessman from Chicago who, along with his wife, have lived in the Pigeon Point neighborhood for the past few years. He has a passionate interest in Beaufort history and has given talks about local history. He currently serves as chairman of the Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority board.
The candidates for board and board offices were recommended by a board committee before the meeting. After no nominations were made from the floor, the slate of board members and officers were accepted by acclamation.
Members and prospective members can get a sneak peek at the Beaufort History Museum’s future home, listen to a notable lecturer and participate in the selection of board members during the museum’s annual meeting Jan. 23 at The Arsenal in downtown Beaufort.
The first 30 people to reserve a spot also can top the evening with prix fixe dinner at the Beaufort Inn for $20 per person.
The event will start at 6 p.m. at The Arsenal, the former home of the Beaufort History Museum. Late last year, museum and Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce officials announced the museum will return to a second-story space in the historic building sometime this spring, with a space in the building that also serves as the chamber’s visitors center at 701 Craven St.
The night’s featured speaker will be Stan Deaton, senior historian for the Georgia Historical Society. He is the writer and host of “Today in Georgia History,” a joint television and radio production of the historical society and Georgia Public Broadcasting. he also is managing editor and book review editor for the Georgia Historical Society’s “The Georgia Historical Quarterly,” according to the society’s website.
Museum memberships can be acquired or renewed at the annual meeting, and members also can participate in the annual election of board members. The current board has approved a slate of four candidates — Katherine Lang, D.C. Gilley and Mary Lou Brewton, who would return to the board, and newcomers Jeff Evans and David Lott.
Additional nominations will be taken from the floor during the annual meeting. Those interested can learn more about the requirements by reading our bylaws or by contacting board secretary Libby Holloway at email@example.com.
The newly seated board will then elect its officers for 2014. The nominating committee also recommended Anna Powell Schaffer as president, Gwen Myers as vice president and Libby Holloway as secretary.
After the meeting, 30 spots will be available for a 7:30 p.m. seating at the Beaufort Inn a block away. Diners can choose between amuse-bouche, indulgent popovers with maple butter, balsamic roasted chicken with smoked gouda grits and sautéed green beans; or shrimp and angel hair pasta featuring heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil. A desert trio will include chocolate creme brûlée, white chocolate banana pudding and hummingbird cake.
This menu has been put together in support of the Beaufort History Museum and is available only after its annual meeting. The restaurant also will waive its corkage fee for those who wish to bring their own bottle of wine. The meal is $20 per plate, and reservations must be made by Jan. 17.
The Beaufort History Museum is moving back home.
In early spring, the museum will leave City Hall to return to The Arsenal, which houses the city’s official visitor center at the corner of Craven and Carteret streets, said Blakely Williams, president of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“From our point of view, it’s going to really enhance the visitor’s experience, to be able to come in and get all sorts of good information and then go upstairs and visit the museum,” she said.
The chamber has a $1-per-year lease for 99 years with the city for The Arsenal. The chamber’s sublease with the museum also will be for $1 a year and is for five years, with a renewal option for another five, Williams said. It was signed Thursday after months of negotiations between chamber and museum boards.
Museum board president Katherine Lang has long said her ultimate goal was to see the museum return to The Arsenal, where it is more accessible to residents and tourists.
The exhibit and storage space will be smaller than it is now — from 3,500 square feet to 2,470 square feet. But it will allow a different configuration that will provide new display opportunities, she said. The museum board is commissioning a study to develop a long-range plan for museum improvements.
Click here for the full Beaufort Gazette article.
Our mission is to preserve, promote and interpret the experiences of our past that influence us now and in the future.
The Beaufort History Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 713 Craven Street, Beaufort, SC 29902