National Gallery adds work by decorated South Carolina artist

Twiggs art added to permanent collection

Dr. Leo Twiggs, a Black man with thin white hair on the sides of his head and a thin white mustache, wears eye glasses and a dark suit, white shirt, and dotted tie. He is holding a dark bronze statuette with a brass plaque on its base. Governor Henry McMaster is standing beside him, a White man with short, wavy gray hair, wearing a dark suit, white shirt, and striped tie.

Leo Twiggs received the Governor’s Award for the Arts for lifetime achievement in 2017.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington acquired a painting by Dr. Leo Twiggs for the nation’s permanent collection.

The painting, Seated Man, is from the collection of Larry and Brenda Thompson of Sea Isla

nd Georgia. Each year the Thompsons sponsor an award at the Georgia Museum. Twiggs received the Thompson Award in 2019.

Twiggs is the first South Carolina artist to win the $10,000 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, and in 2020 he was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame. He has served on the SCAC and S.C. Arts Foundation boards and has received the Governor’s Award for the Arts twice—once for his art and once for lifetime achievement.

His studio is in Orangeburg where he lives with his wife Rosa, and continues to paint. South Carolina ETV is completing a documentary of his life and work that has been in production more than two years, and the Gibbes Museum in Charleston is planning a retrospective to open in 2025.

Batik art by Leo Twiggs

Seated Man | ca. 1970 | Leo Twiggs | Batik and color pastels on cotton canvas | 38″ x 32″