Talks & Tours

  • Columbia Burning: A Sesquicentennial Reappraisal

    February 17, 20159:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    9:00 - 11:30 a.m. | Panel Discussion on the Burning of Columbia- Free

    By bringing in scholars who are generating new work on the burning of Columbia, our goal is to shed fresh light on the meaning of the events of February 17, 1865, as an example of urban disaster and recovery. The arrival of the Union army marked a day of jubilant emancipation for blacks, thousands of whom followed in the wake of Sherman’s advance northward. These and other topics, including the evolution of modern warfare, will be discussed.

    Moderator: Dr. Thomas Brown, University of South Carolina

    Dr. Ann Sarah Rubin, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

    Dr. Megan Kate Nelson, Harvard

    Caitlin Verboon, Yale

    Noon: Luncheon- $30

    Presentation on mid-to-late-19th-century foodways by Dr. David Shields with period-appropriate meal by Scott Hall Catering.

    2:00 – 4:00 p.m. | Discussion on Advancing Civic Dialogue around History – Free session

    Dr. Tom Sugrue (University of Pennsylvania) will lead this discussion looking at the role of public history/public intellectuals in shaping and advancing civic dialogue to deal with difficult pasts, as well as the role of the academy in preparing students for community and public engagement.

    All sessions require advance registration. Morning and afternoon sessions are free. Luncheon costs $30. For registration and more information please visit,
  • Evening for Educators

    February 18, 20154:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

    Enter the world of an American impressionist in the exhibition Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal. Curran's career blossomed in the decades when French impressionism had changed the art world. Charles Curran's heart was claimed by women, children and flowers, and he devoted a lifetime to painting them in the full light of day.
  • Tatara Fire: A Discussion with Henry Mandell

    February 24, 2015Happy hour 6:00 p.m. │Lecture 7:00 p.m.

    Henry Mandell was born in New York City and continues to live and work there, making abstract artworks with unusual methods. Paintings and works on paper are composed from text which is transformed into complex patterns from the outlines of all the words. Using stories, raw data, or poetry as a starting point and working by hand with a digital brush, Mandell transforms the shapes of letters into new forms using computers and drawing programs. Once completed, the paintings are printed on canvas with archival inkjet printers.

    In 2014, his 11 x 26 foot mural Tatara Fire was installed in the Columbia Museum of Art. Commissioned by the museum, Tatara Fire refers to the symbols of transformation through fire. From the forging of ancient Japanese steel in traditional clay tatara kilns to the burning of the city of Columbia at the end of the Civil War, the artwork aims draw viewers into its intricate patterns, perhaps to reflect on how our past informs our present. The mural contains most of the 10,000 words from the source texts used to create the painting.

    In addition to his fine art practice, Mr. Mandell is also Project Manager for the estate of Mark Rothko, working there to create digital archives of Rothko’s work and historical records, as well as overseeing all reproductions of the artist’s work and management of licensing. Mr. Mandell received a BFA in Fine Art from Ithaca College and has studied at Parsons School of Design and The School of Visual Arts in New York.

    This lecture is sponsored by the CMA’s Contemporaries and by The Palladium Society of Historic Columbia.
  • Days of Wine and Peonies

    April 16, 20156:00 - 8:00 p.m.

    Enjoy a delightful evening as you explore the exhibition Charles Courtney Curran Seeking the Ideal followed the art of flower arranging with Columbia's own Cricket Newman. Inspired by the beautiful blooms in the exhibition you will create your own spring time arrangement. Wine and oeuvre d’hors will be served. $60 / $50 for members.
  • Curran's Beautiful Day

    April 18, 201510:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Educators step into a world of sunlit days filled with flowers as they engage in gallery talks and lessons on American Impressionism in the Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal exhibition. Enjoy an en plein air experience as you create your own impressionist masterpiece.