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The Mark B. Coplan Collection of Art at the South Carolina State Museum

October 12, 2007 - March 23, 2008


A large collection of South Carolina art assembled by one of the Palmetto State's most passionate collectors was displayed publicly for the first time when the exhibit The Mark B. Coplan Collection of Art at the S.C. State Museum opened at the South Carolina State Museum October 12, 2007. (right: Marcello Novo's 1993 linocut "Everlast," is one of many pieces in the South Carolina State Museum's upcoming exhibit The Mark B. Coplan Collection of Art at the S.C. State Museum. Photo courtesy S.C. State Museum.)

The compilation of 110 pieces, gathered over about 20 years by noted art enthusiast Mark Coplan and acquired by the museum in 2006, includes pottery, paintings, wood carvings, drawings, photography, printmaking, sculpture and more by artists such as Leo Twiggs, Corrie McCallum, Alfred Hutty, Ed Lewandowski, Carl Blair, Preston Orr, Cecil Williams, Beverly Buchanan, Mike Williams, Robert Courtright and others.

"The Coplan collection represents works of art by emerging and established, fine and folk artists primarily from South Carolina," said Curator of Art Paul Matheny.

Coplan began purchasing art in the 1970s. By the time he passed away in 2002, he had amassed a numerically large and artistically significant collection which was known and respected statewide. The State Museum acquired a large portion of the collection from his sister Lana Coplan Schlossberg and her husband Michael. Other family members hold the remainder of the art.

"This addition to the collection represents the largest single acquisition of art for the State Museum and includes a significant amount of contemporary artwork, an area that needed more representation in our collection. That's especially true since the number of excellent contemporary artists grows each year as more artists become established across this state.

"Like Mark, we want to preserve and promote South Carolina artists and their work, which is a large part of our mission," said Matheny. "This collection represents some of the best work of South Carolina artists who were living and working as Mark selected it, because he was not only an enthusiastic collector, but also very discriminating."

The exhibit opened in two "waves." On November 15, a month after the initial opening, a number of pieces were added to the exhibit when they returned from exhibition in Rock Hill, shown in a cooperative project with Winthrop University.

The Mark B. Coplan Collection of Art at the S.C. State Museum can be seen in the Lipscomb Gallery through March 23, 2008.

Please click here to view the gallery guide and here to view the wall panels for the exhibition.


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