Published: May 25, 2004
The Charleston Museum Institute will offer a symposium focusing on the unique ceremonial and sacred treasures of Charleston’s churches and synagogues. The symposium, scheduled for October 15-17, is being conducted in conjunction with the museum’s special exhibition, “Sterling Faith: 300 Years of Charleston’s Sacred Silver.”
Symposium presentations encompass historical Charleston ecclesiastical silver and architecture, South Carolina silversmiths and Southern religious traditions. Participants will also learn the latest techniques in silver conservation from a Charleston silversmith and explore Charleston churches and synagogues via a National Trust walking tour.
The “Sterling Faith” exhibit, focusing on unique ceremonial and sacred treasures never before exhibited publicly, will run from June 1 through October 31. Many of the artifacts in the display depict the fine craftsmanship of South Carolina silversmiths, including Miles Brewton, Enos Reeves and Hayden & Whilden.
“It will be one of the largest collective displays of ceremonial and sacred artifacts put together in Charleston and an interpretation of Southern religious heritage and how it developed in South Carolina,” explained Grahame Long, the museum’s curator of history. “In creating this exhibition, we have found detailed written records on these pieces and discovered new aspects of silversmithing in Charleston.”
Also of interest will be chalices and flagons from South Carolina’s early parish system, personal menorahs used in private ceremonies, rare silver communion tokens that survived burning and looting during the Civil War and the christening cup of President George Washington from the museum’s nationally acclaimed Loeblein Gallery of Charleston Silver.
The Charleston Museum, founded in 1773, is America’s first museum. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Holding the most extensive collection of South Carolina cultural and scientific collections in the nation, it also owns two National Historic Landmark houses, the 1772 Heyward-Washington House, and the Joseph Manigault House, 1803, as well as the Dill Sanctuary, a 580-acre wildlife preserve.
Registration for the symposium – $175 for museum members and $195 for nonmembers – includes all lectures, admission into the museum and its two historic houses, Friday night reception, coffee breaks/snacks, a walking tour and a Charleston Museum tote bag.
The Charleston Museum is at 360 Meeting Street. For information, or 843-722-2996, ext 235.
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