Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet: Route to (re)settlement Exhibition Venue & Cultural Partner
The Lowcountry Trail follows a boardwalk crossing the hillside overlooking Mainfield, a restored rice field of the former Brookgreen Plantation. For enslaved Africans on Brookgreen Plantation, this hill was a bridge between the world of daily work and the familiarity of life in the slave village beyond the crest of the hill. The rhythms of life - planting, growing, harvesting, threshing - changed seasonally for everyone on the rice plantation. The Lowcountry Trail Audio Tour is a public education program that emphasizes historic preservation. As you walk and listen, a 30-minute fictional story about life on Brookgreen Plantation unwinds progressively.
Archaeological projects have revealed the remains of four structures on the hillside: the site of the overseer's residence at the apex of the hill, and its kitchen, smokehouse and dependency closer to the edge of the rice field. Along the trail, interpretive panels that describe life on a rice plantation and four stainless steel figures have been placed to represent the Plantation Owner, the Overseer, and an Enslaved African Male and Female. These figures, created in stainless steel by Babette Bloch, serve as visually compelling landmarks to draw visitors along the trail and to interpret a revealing story about each one's role in the economic and social ecosystem of a Lowcountry plantation.
When Archer Huntington and noted sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, his wife, purchased property in South Carolina in 1930, the original idea was to build a retreat from the world while Anna, who had been diagnosed with tuberculosis, recovered her strength. However, 18 months later, on July 13, 1931, the property was incorporated under the laws of South Carolina as a private, not-for-profit corporation entitled "Brookgreen Gardens, A Society for Southeastern Flora and Fauna."
From its inception, Brookgreen had a three-pronged purpose: first, to collect, exhibit, and preserve American figurative sculpture; second, to collect, exhibit, and preserve the plants of the Southeast; and third, to collect, exhibit, and preserve the animals of the Southeast. Collecting and exhibiting, it became the first public sculpture garden in America. Today it is the finest outdoor museum of its type in the world.Participating artists will investigate how individual and collective orientation oscillates when socio-economic systems collapse and the cultural landscape shifts