Artist Alice Ravenel Huger Smith was both enigmatic and straightforward.
The famed Carolina Lowcountry painter (1876-1958) took classes at the Carolina Art Association in the 1890s but otherwise was largely self-taught. She disdained travel and few outside influences are evident in her work.
She has been criticized in recent years for presenting images of an idealized antebellum South, featuring “happy ‘darkies’ and benevolent masters,” according to one modern historian.
But she was also critical in helping raise the consciousness of indigenous Carolina Lowcountry culture and was at the forefront of the preservation movement in Charleston.
While Smith is best known for 29 watercolors included in A Carolina Rice Plantation of the Fifties, she painted all sorts of pictures, from portraits early in her career to simple landscapes of long-leaf pine or swamp cypress.
Beginning this week, a collection of more than four dozen of Smith’s works will be…
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