The Charleston Renaissance

Examining life after the earthquake of 1886.

Exhibit Highlights

This gallery features original items describing the natural disasters that plagued the Lowcountry after the Civil War, as well as the area’s artistic renaissance that followed. Visitors will enjoy a brief film featuring historians and curators discussing the emergence of art, culture and preservation in Charleston.

Charleston Earthquake Photograph, 1886
The Charleston earthquake of August 31, 1886, was the most powerful seismic event ever recorded in the southeastern United States. Centered in the upper Ashley River region near Summerville, it took at least eighty-three lives and caused nearly six million dollars in damage (approximately $170 million today).