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College of Arts & Sciences
McKissick Museum

Rudy Manke


Telling the story of Southern life: community, culture, and the environment.

McKissick Museum is located at the heart of the historic Horseshoe on the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina. It was established in 1976 by the University Board of Trustees to bring together under one roof the many object collections housed in various departments and colleges across campus. These collections date to 1801 and provide insight into the long and illustrious history of the University. McKissick Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums, operating within their guidelines for the proper care and safekeeping of these historical artifacts.

The McKissick building is a Works Progress Administration structure erected in 1939 as the University's library. It stands on the site of the first President's house built on the Horseshoe, which was removed to make room for the library in 1937. A plaque commemorating the house lies in front of McKissick Museum at the edge of the grass bordering the plaza.

The Museum has an Advisory Council consisting of University and community members dedicated to the welfare and promotion of McKissick's endeavors. In 1980 McKissick Museum created a membership program to offer special advantages to its loyal supporters. The nationally-recognized Museum Management Certificate Program is taught on-site and offered through the College of Arts and Sciences' Public History Program. On average about twenty-five graduate students in various stages of their academic careers are enrolled in the program.

Mission Statement

The University of South Carolina's McKissick Museum fosters awareness and appreciation of the diversity of the American South's culture and environment, attending particularly to the importance of enduring folkways and traditions. It accomplishes these aims through original research about southern life, material culture, natural science, and decorative and fine arts by holding exhibitions, issuing publications and by public programming. It collaborates with the university community and outside constituents in documenting, collecting, and interpreting the region's culture, history, and natural environment. The museum also helps fulfill the university's mission by engaging in campus educational and enrichment activities, acting as a repository for relevant collections, and through its graduate program.

Contact McKissick

McKissick Museum
College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Carolina

816 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29208

phone 803.777.7251
fax 803.777.2829