In celebration of its 30th Anniversary, the State Museum is opening a new exhibit showcasing artifacts and fossils from its collection from the past 30 years. One iconic artifact or fossil, like the now famed Saber-Tooth Cat Skull, from each year since the State Museum’s grand opening in 1988 will be on display, some for the very first time. This 30th Anniversary exhibit will highlight the museum’s distinguished collection of natural history, science and technology, cultural history and art all in part to tell South Carolina’s story.
Guests will get an up close look at notable finds from each of the museum’s disciplines. Some natural history items include a 450 thousand year old saber-tooth cat skull discovered in Dorchester, S.C., a 4.5 billion year old meteorite and a 77 million year old Ornithomimid dinosaur toe, a rare record of “bird mimic” dinosaurs in South Carolina.
Some cultural history items include a one-of-a-kind gown worn by Myrtle Beach native, Vanna White on the Wheel of Fortune, a 76 year-old loaf of bread made by an army cook at Fort Jackson during World War II and an odd-looking Curling Machine from Brookland Beauty Shop on State Street in West Columbia from 1935.
An Iron Lung, once manufactured in Columbia, S.C. in the 1960s will represent items from our Science and Technology collection. It, along with other items including an electro therapy machine used by the Department of Mental Health in 1915 and a 1960s phone booth, was once used on the campus of the University of South Carolina and will give guests a look into the technological past of South Carolina.
The museum’s art collection contains over 4,000 pieces of work. In this exhibit, guests will discover award winning South Carolina artists in all mediums including, William Halsey of Charleston, S.C., who founded the Studio Art Department at the College of Charleston and Rev. Johnnie Simmons of Yemassee, S.C., a self-taught artist who uses a wood burning technique to create art on wood. A circa 1857, 20-gallon jar made by David Drake, a literate enslaved craftsman from Edgefield, S.C. will also be on display.