Demolition of . . . Hotel

Casein and ink on board
23 1/2 x 29 3/8 inches
Circa 1957
Work on loan: Columbus Museum, Columbus, Georgia

As published in: Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection

As exhibited in:
Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection, 20182021, Georgia Museum of Art, Athens; Mississippi Musuem of Art, Jackson; Huntington Museum of Art, West Virginia; Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee; Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina; Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina; Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia

McCallum & Halsey: At Home and Abroad, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC, 2022

Casein, a protein derived from milk, has functioned as a paint binder for centuries. The medium allows for color experimentation through its material properties, combining the luminosity of oil paint with the matte chalkiness of pastel. McCallum manipulated casein, giving her paintings of old Charleston stucco buildings the grainy and textured look of decay onset by humidity. The ink adds delineating structure, in some places casting ghost-like forms and placing them amid the rubble. The decay and detritus in this work show the destruction of what was likely the Argyle Hotel in Charleston, demolished in 1957.

Our Own Work, Our Own Way: Ascendant Women in the Johnson Collection, Columbia Museum of Art, 2023, Columbia, South Carolina