S.C. Arts Awards: Florence County Museum

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year’s recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the groups, we’ll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.


Florence County Museum

Government Category

The mission of the Florence County Museum is to provide a dynamic sanctuary for the preservation, interpretation and exhibition of objects of scientific, historic, and artistic significance that are unique or of special interest to the people of Florence County and the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

The vision of the Florence County Museum is to stimulate imaginations and create experiences that transform lives by broadening people’s perspectives, attitudes, and knowledge of themselves and the world.

Florence County Museum (FCM) reflects the region’s rich artistic, cultural and historic heritage. Through a dynamic range of exhibitions, studios, lectures and family programming, FCM provides an engaging educational experience to visitors of all ages.

The museum’s permanent collection currently includes more than fifty combined works by celebrated 20th century African American artist and Florence native, William H. Johnson and his wife Holcha Krake. This extensive collection includes watercolors, works on paper, oils, textiles and drawings.

It is also of note that FCM is home to The Wright Collection of Southern Art, a prestigious volume of over 140 works representing some of the finest in 20th century Southern art. This collection boasts works by Thomas Hart Benton, Alfred Hutty, Helen Hyde, Alice Huger Smith, Anna Heyward Taylor, Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, Palmer Schoppe, Mary Whyte, and Stephen Scott Young.

FCM is equally committed to providing a platform for contemporary artists as the host of the Pee Dee Regional Art Competition, South Carolina’s oldest juried art competition. The Pee Dee Regional Art Competition has been showcasing the best in southern contemporary art since 1954.

Highlights of a robust local history collection include: Cretaceous period reptile material, an 18 ft. tall Ancient Bald Cypress trunk sub-fossil, Native American and Colonial-period artifacts, Civil War artifacts from the Florence Stockade prison camp and Confederate Naval Yard at Mars Bluff, artifacts related to the life and career of former FBI agent and Florence County native Melvin Purvis, and fragments of the MK-6 atomic bomb that was accidentally dropped on the Mars Bluff community in 1958.

Visit FloCoMuseum.org to learn more.


South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.


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