In Search of the Hunter Family Furniture Tradition

Hunter Family Child's Rocker

Hunter Family child’s rocker

Hand-hewn wooden chairs with woven corn shuck seats are hallmarks of the Hunter family tradition, with examples found in museums and private collections throughout South Carolina. If you are one of those lucky private collectors, McKissick Museum wants to document and photograph your treasure for your reference and for inclusion in the McKissick Folklife Resource Center archive. Bring your chair to In Search of the Hunter Family Furniture Tradition February 11 from 1 – 4 p.m. at the museum, 816 Bull St. in Columbia. Free parking is available at McKissick Museum and in the Pendleton Street Garage, where metered spaces are free on Saturdays.

This free event (open to everyone, not just chair owners) features a round table discussion with Hunter family members, woodworkers, seat weavers, scholars, collectors and conservators, including Hunter family historian Brenda Hunter Hanley, chair maker Harold Hunter, restoration and woodworks specialist Charles Boykin, and Southern furniture historian George Williams. Jeremy and Rebecca Wooten of Wooten & Wooten will provide documentation photography.

In Search of the Hunter Family Furniture Tradition is held in conjunction with African American History Month and with the yearlong exhibition, A Compass to Guide: South Carolina Cabinet Makers Today. In addition to the pieces in the exhibit, McKissick Museum will present a pop-up display of Hunter family chairs to compare and contrast.

Co-presented by the Columbia Woodworkers and the Greenville Woodworkers Guild, A Compass to Guide explores the inspiration behind diverse woodworking traditions of contemporary South Carolina furniture makers. This exhibition represents year four of McKissick’s Diverse Voices series, which celebrates the traditional arts and folkways of the Southeastern United States.

In Search of the Hunter Family Furniture Tradition is made possible through support from the South Carolina Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, James A. Brannock Personal Property Appraisals LLC, Mann Tool & Supply, Inc., Greenville Woodworkers Guild, and Carolina Refinishing Supplies.

For more information, visit McKissick Museum’s website or call (803) 777-7251.


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