Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, an artist of Charleston’s Renaissance, was born in Charleston in 1876. She was the daughter of historian Daniel Elliot Huger Smith (better known as D.E.H. Smith), with whom she collaborated on several publications. She also illustrated for several people including Herbert Ravenel Sass and Elizabeth Allston Pringle, in addition to publishing her own book, A Carolina Rice Plantation in the Fifties. She is perhaps best-known for her scenic landscapes. These pastel drawings of the Joseph Manigault House - now owned and operated by the Charleston Museum - were given in 1994 to the Museum by the daughter-in-law of Paul Rea, director of the Charleston Museum from 1903 through 1920. It is believed that the artist, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, gave the drawings to Paul Rea, possibly to commemorate of the birth of his son, John M. Rea, who was born in the Manigault House circa 1910. The house was, at that time, known as the Riggs House and was a boarding house. It is fortunate for us that these drawings have come “home,” since we now have the opportunity to enjoy - and share - these items.
Learn more about the Joseph Manigault House and view photos of its lovely Adam-style architecture so wonderfully captured by Smith. Look for more works from this artist in the next few weeks!
- Pastel sketch by Alice Ravenel Huger Smith of the cantilevered staircase and north entrance in the Joseph Manigault House. Date unknown.
- Pastel sketch by Alice Ravenel Huger Smith of the closed doorway leading from the Drawing Room to the hall in the Joseph Manigault House with a portion of the fireplace visible. Date unknown.
- Pastel sketch by Alice Ravenel Huger Smith of the closed door leading from the Card Room to the Drawing Room in the Joseph Manigault House. Date unknown.
- Pastel sketch by Alice Ravenel Huger Smith of the open jib door leading from the Card Room onto the South Piazza in the Joseph Manigault House. Date unknown.
EPHEMERA FRIDAY: Each Friday we post a selection or small collection from our Archives. Some items may be on exhibit, some may be too fragile to display and some may be too unusual to fit into our typical Lowcountry exhibit themes. We will occasionally ask for help identifying people or places in photographs that have come to us with little or no information. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on EPHEMERA FRIDAY.