Gallery with display cases containing a large, tall narrow vase, pottery, a wedding dress and a jacket

Show & Tell: Recent Acquisitions at the State Museum

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Show and Tell: Recent Acquisitions at the State Museum / Show and Tell: Adquisiciones recientes del Museo Estatal

Past Exhibition - Closed August 2023

In any museum, it is not unusual for a recently-accessioned object to spend years in storage before it goes on display. This exhibition, presented in English and Spanish, features new additions to the museum’s collection so guests can see these items sooner rather than later.

Members of the museum’s collections team all contributed to Show and Tell. Each of the museum’s four curators and the Director of Collections chose a selection of newly-acquired objects from their subject area. These are displayed along with exhibition panels describing each discipline’s collection. The museum Registrar also explains how these objects come to the museum and, once they are here, how they are tracked and cared for.

Our Collections Inventory Coordinator shares information about the team of people working hard to digitize the museum’s collection so it can be shared with the public even more effectively. All this variety means there is bound to be something for everyone in this exhibition, whether you are interested in shark jaws, handcrafted pottery, or learning more about the inner workings of your state museum!

The objects on display in Show and Tell fall under one of the following four disciplines: Cultural History, Art, Science and Technology, and Natural History.


Cultural History
Objects in this collection interpret and record the lives of South Carolinians. As with all cultural history artifacts, the importance and meaning they hold is constantly changing and offering new perspectives. Some items from this collection that will be in the exhibition include:

● A pair of soapbox derby cars

● A Citadel cadet sword that had belonged to Governor John C. West.

● A shopping cart from the Kress Department Store that once stood on Columbia’s Main Street.


The museum’s art collection is made up of works that relate to South Carolina or were created by an artist who is native to the state or has spent time here. A few of the art objects that will be on display in the exhibition are:

● A selection of historic pottery.

● A 1617 engraving on paper of a South Carolina scene, one of the earliest pieces in the art collection.

● A sculptural assemblage by renowned South Carolina artist Peter Lenzo.


Science and Technology
The Science and Technology collection consists of objects relevant to the scientific, technological, and industrial developments that have a connection to the state. It also includes objects that demonstrate general scientific principles. Recent acquisitions to this collection that will be on display include:

● Equipment used by a Columbia lineman in the 1960s.

● An ATLAS-1 patch and pin that were flown in space aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

● ABii, a robot developed by the Columbia-based company Van Robotics and was named one of TIME magazine’s Best Inventions of 2020.


Natural History
The Natural History collection includes zoological, paleontological, and geological specimens from the southeastern United States as well as other locations around the world. Visitors will be able to see specimens from this collection, such as:

● Shark jaws from various species .

● A collection of fossils from Stafford County, Virginia.

● A selection of minerals.


This exhibition is free with museum general admission or membership.

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