Museum recognized for Kindred Spirits exhibit
The Florence County Museum is the recipient of the 2021 Southeastern Museums Conference Bronze Award in the under $25,000 category for its exhibition “Kindred Spirit: The Personal Worlds of William H. Johnson.” The SEMC Exhibition Competition showcases the best in the museum profession and provides benchmarks for regional exhibition efforts in Southeastern museums. “We are honored to be recognized by the SEMC and hope this achievement not only promotes our museum, but continues to advance interest and scholarship in the art of William Henry Johnson,” said museum curator Stephen W. Motte. The Exhibition Competition recognizes exhibitions for overall excellence or for stretching the limits of content and design through innovation. Winning entries were well-designed exhibitions of merit with educational value which demonstrated respectful treatment of objects. Recipients of the awards were judged by an appointed jury of museum professionals across the region who specialize in curatorial studies and exhibition design. “I am proud of the Florence County Museum staff for their dedication to providing mindful and interesting exhibitions that help us have a better understanding of our shared community, “ said FCM Director Andrew Stout. "William Henry Johnson is always of special interest to our museum and it is an honor to have the recognition of the SEMC organization for the outstanding work presented at the Florence County Museum.” Kindred Spirit uses artworks from the museum’s principal collections as well as selections on loan from major partnering institutions in order to interpret Johnson’s life through the lens of the important relationships which defined his development. Of special significance are artworks recently acquired from The Voll Nachlass Sammlung, Denmark. The scope of selections spans 20 years of the artist’s life and includes oil paintings, watercolors, serigraphy, etchings, relief prints, textiles, and sculpture, with subject matter ranging from portraiture, genre scenes, landscapes, and still lifes, as well as biblical and historical imagery. For many visitors, exhibitions are the public face of museums. The effective planning, management of resources, research and interpretation, collections care, public programs, publications, and fund raising all contribute to the fulfillment of a museum's mission. Expectations and standards were exceptionally high for this year’s applicants. The SEMC Exhibition Competition received a record-breaking number of applications from a wide variety of museums across the southeast. Award winners will be celebrated at the 2021 Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on October 27, in Chattanooga, Tennessee as well as in the Fall 2021 Edition of INSIDE SEMC, a digital publication of the Southeastern Museums Conference. This designation recognizes the Florence County Museum’s contribution to professional standards in Southeastern museums.