South Carolina’s largest private art collection

The Hub will pardon you if you get a little disoriented here, but bear with us.

The Battle of Gettysburg: Repulse of Longstreet’s Assault, July 3, 1863 – James Walker

What happens when Charleston’s daily newspaper writes a feature on the state’s largest private art collection, which happens to be in Spartanburg?

You get a story that’s worth every moment it takes to read. Seriously. Hats off to Adam Parker of the Post & Courier for this feature piece on the ultra-significant Johnson Collection. (Ed. note: The Hub checked in on The Johnson Collection a couple weeks ago when it gifted the above work to the Spartanburg County Public Library.)

But don’t think all this art is sequestered away in a private residence somewhere for the sole enjoyment of the Johnson family. What began as a simple interest in collecting fine art of the Carolinas has become a public enterprise. The inventory has grown so much that it requires a small staff to manage it.

The enterprise is unusual. It’s not a nonprofit. It has no board of directors. It can’t accept donations. It provides no tax benefit to its operators. It generates no revenue. Rather, it is a philanthropic venture with millions of dollars in annual expenditures.

To borrow a line from our friends at the S.C. Arts Alliance, make this today’s lunchtime reading.

 


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