Charleston Museum 


Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum was founded in 1773, making it America’s first museum. War delayed the museum’s public opening, but the doors finally opened to the public in 1824. The Museum features two levels of exhibits that recount the history of Charleston and the Lowcountry by showcasing hundreds of items ranging from ancient fossils to Civil War artifacts. 

The first level is home to the Natural History section, temporary exhibits that focus on local history and the museum’s gift shop. The second level is home to eight permanent exhibits: 

  • Lowcountry History Hall - Learn about the Native Americans who first inhabited the South Carolina Lowcountry as well as the colonists and enslaved African Americans who transformed the region into an agricultural empire.
  • The Armory - Showcases examples of historic weaponry, dating from 1750 to the twentieth century
  • Becoming Americans - Explore Charleston's role in the American Revolution
  • Charleston in the Civil War - Learn about Charleston's role in the Civil War
  • Early Days - See collections from around the world, including an Egyptian mummy and mummy case
  • Kidstory - A hands-on exhibit for children where the history of Charleston comes alive
  • Historic Textiles - Features regularly rotating exhibits from a rich historic textiles and clothing collection
  • Charleston Silver - Showcasing the impressive work of the South’s finest silver craftsmen and women

    The museum also owns two historic homes, the Joseph Manigault House and the Heyward Washington House, that are open to the public. Admission for each is $12 or save money by purchasing combo tickets. Limited free parking is available, and paid public parking is available across the street. Allow approximately 2 hours to tour the entire museum.


Charleston Museum Photos


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Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum

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Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum
Charleston Museum

Charleston Museum Hours and Admission


Hours: 
Monday - Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm
Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm
Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve (closes @ 1 pm) and Christmas Day

Admission:
Adults (18+) $12
Youth (13-17) $10
Child (3-12) $5
Children under 3 Free


Charleston Museum Address and Map


Charleston Museum
360 Meeting St
Charleston SC 29403
(843) 722-2996
Charleston Museum


Current and Upcoming Events
at the Charleston Museum


What: Fossil Friday with Curator of Natural History Matthew Gibson
When: Fridays 
Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Where: The Charleston Museum
Admission: The event is free with admission

Do you LOVE fossils? Join Matthew Gibson, Curator of Natural History, on Fridays from 2 to 4 PM in the Bunting Natural History Gallery lab. Gibson will be on hand to share projects he is currently working on and help identify your fossil finds.


What: Charleston in Sports: A Photographic History 1890's-1960's
When: Mar. 28, 2022 - Dec. 18. 2022 
Time: 9 am - 5 pm 
Where: The Charleston Museum
Admission: Regular Admission

Explore Charleston in Sports: A Photographic History, 1890s-1960s on view in the Lowcountry Image Gallery until December 18, 2022.


What: Chintz: A Quilted History
When: Apr. 2, 2022 - Dec. 4. 2022 
Time: 9 am - 5 pm 
Where: The Charleston Museum
Admission: Regular Admission

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Chintz: A Quilted History on view in the Lowcountry Image Gallery.


What: Conversations with a Curator: Revolutionary War Exhibit with Director Carl Borick
When: May 13, 2022
Time: 10:30 am - 11:00 am
Where: Charleston Museum
Admission: Regular Admision Required

Join Director Carl Borick on Friday, May 13 at 10:30 am, as he highlights the key artifacts and imagery in the Museum’s permanent Revolutionary War exhibit, Becoming Americans, which discusses Charleston’s critical role in the conflict.  The fourth largest city in the thirteen rebellious colonies at the outset of the Revolution, and by far the wealthiest, Charleston was a strategically significant port, which the British made three attempts against during the war.


What: Indigo Dyeing Workshop with Local Artist Kristy Bishop
When: May 21, 2022
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Where: Charleston Museum
Admission: Members $120/Non-Members $150

Join local artist Kristy Bishop as she leads an introductory workshop on dyeing with indigo at the Dill Sanctuary!  Participants will learn about the history of this dye plant in South Carolina, the chemistry of a vat, and dye fabric using shibori tie-dye methods. Bishop will focus on itajime (folding and clamped resist), kumo (bound resist), and Nui (stitched resist).  These three techniques all yield unique and beautiful patterns.  Attendees can sample these methods on 12” x 12” cotton squares.  Once comfortable, they can dye a 24” x 24” cotton fabric and an 11” x 60” crepe de chine silk scarf.  In addition, participants are encouraged to bring personal items to dye such as a garment, yarn, or even colored fabric, to over-dye.


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