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

Click Photos to Enlarge

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

Charleston Museum Hours and Admission

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

Adults (18+) $15
Youth (13-17) $12
Child (3-12) $6
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: Beachcombers Workshop
When: April 2, 2024
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where: Dill Sanctuary
Admission: Member $10 / Non-Member $15

Have you ever discovered something on the beach and said, “What is that?!”? At the Beachcombers Workshop, you will learn about some of these treasures of the deep! Create a clam shell jellyfish, piece together a beach collage, and try your hand at shell identification. Museum Workshops offer kids a chance to get hands-on with history and natural history. Included in our workshops are a lesson on the topic and hands-on activities. Recommended for children ages 6 to 12. Reservations required. Adult(s) required to stay. Register online.

What: STEAM Saturday: Out of this World
When: April 13, 2024
Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Where: The Charleston Museum
Admission: Members $10 / Non-members $15

Journey into the Final Frontier! Make galaxy slime, map a constellation, and create a galaxy you can hold in your hands. Full STEAM Ahead is now STEAM Saturday. STEAM Saturday is a hands-on workshop series featuring the components of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. This program is for children ages 6 and up. We encourage adults to stay. Reservations required. Register online.

What: Bundle and Ice Dyeing with Local Artist Daisy McClellan
When: April 27, 2024
Time: 11 am - 1 pm
Where: Dill Sanctuary
Admission: Members $75 / Non-Member $105

Join local artist Daisy McClellan for her workshop exploring Color through Bundle and Ice Dyeing. In this class, you’ll learn two dying techniques, one hot and one cold. Starting with the hot, bundle dying, you’ll explore this free-form natural dyeing technique using steam, to extract color from flowers, plants, and food. For the cold, you’ll master the art of ice dying using powdered dye and ice to create dream-like scenes! Students will go home with 4 dyed pieces of fabric that could be used as bandanas, scarves, napkins, wall hangings and more! All materials, instructions, and entrance to the Dill Sanctuary are included with the workshop fee. Register online.

What: The Art of Abstraction: Sketching in the Historic Textiles Gallery
When: April 28, 2024
Time: 1 pm - 3 pm
Where: The Charleston Museum
Admission: Free for Museum Members and Free with Admission

Experience The Art of Abstraction: Modernism in Quilting, currently on exhibit in the Historic Textiles Gallery, through self-guided drawing in a relaxed drop-in sketching session. Presented alongside modern works from the Gibbes Museum of Art, The Art of Abstraction: Modernism in Quilting includes many examples of the Museum’s historic quilt collection, including scrap quilts, crazy quilts, and quilts in traditional patterns executed with abstract coloring. During your creative journey, we invite you to
consider the relationship, similarities, and differences between these two forms of art, while exploring color, texture, and stitchwork.

Reservations preferred. Sketching in the Historic Textiles Gallery is a self-guided activity, with art materials at a self-serve station in the gallery. Guests may bring their own sketchbook and supplies, but please note, only graphite, charcoal or colored pencils are permitted in the gallery. Sketching in the Historic Textiles Gallery is free for Museum Members or free with admission and open to all, no drawing experience or level of artistic ability required. Guests are welcome to arrive and depart any time from 1:00 – 3:00 pm on the day of the event.

Register online.

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