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McCallum & Halsey: At Home and Abroad

Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC
August 31, 2022 – December 16, 2022

Married for sixty years, the artists Corrie McCallum (1914–2009) and William Halsey (1915–1999) forged artistic paths both individually, and at times undeniably parallel. As native South Carolinians, their creative interests in modernism during the early twentieth century were inaccessible in the region’s traditionalist art programs—leading both Halsey and McCallum to study at the esteemed School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A prestigious travel fellowship for Halsey allowed the couple to experience foreign travel for the first time, arriving in Mexico in 1939.

This was the first of many sojourns taken together and oftentimes solo. Central America, Europe, North Africa, and Southeast Asia were destinations where the artists not only sketched extensively, but also absorbed a region’s culture and landscape. Their travels shaped their creative output through bold palettes and experimental textures.

By necessity, their personal and professional lives were based in Charleston, South Carolina. There, they raised three children while maintaining their dedication to shaping the South’s artistic culture through modernist teachings and exhibiting their art at both regional and national venues. Over the course of the artists’ careers, Charleston served to inspire McCallum and Halsey equal to the foreign wonders of their travels.

At Home and Abroad invites viewers to experience the familiar imagery of the Carolina Lowcountry and, as noted in the pair’s 1971 published A Travel Sketchbook, the “people and places around the world” which influenced their groundbreaking careers.