Did you know that the only Southern-born member of the illustrious Hudson River School of landscape painters was from Charleston? And that his parents had a prosperous confectionary and coffee house on King Street in the first half of the 19th century? Trained in Europe, Louis Rémy Mignot became a member of the National Academy of Design in New York City and, in 1857, accompanied the celebrated painter Frederic Edwin Church on his travels to South America. As a result, the sketches Mignot made in the coastal rain forests and Andean Highlands of Ecuador inspired some of his finest work. Currently, you can view two of Mignot’s paintings at Charleston’s Gibbes Museum (and more of them if you visit the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, N.C.).

Also at the Gibbes are two new exhibitions that showcase contemporary art. The first, John Westmark: Narratives, explores the human figure in dynamic ways through the use of text and paper sewing patterns collaged on canvas. Westmark was the winner of the 2012 Factor Prize for Southern Art. The second exhibit, Beyond the Darkroom: Photography in the 21st Century, highlights a variety of photography-based works acquired over the last decade for the museum’s permanent collection.

Be sure to see these exhibits at the Gibbes soon. Remember: Although the museum will close in July for about 16 months for a major renovation, some programs, classes and exhibitions will still be offered.

Visit or call 843-722-2706.

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