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: America's First Museum:250 Years of Collecting, Preserving and Educating,Part I
When: Dec 17, 2022 - June 4. 2023 
Time: 9 am - 5 pm 
Where: The Charleston Museum
Admission: Regular Admission

Commemorating two and a half centuries since its founding and spanning nearly 4.6 billion years of history, we are pleased to present America’s First Museum: 250 Years of Collecting, Preserving, and Educating in the Historic Textiles Gallery. This year-long exhibit will feature a wide array of objects that tell the story of this impressive institution and its remarkable collections.


What: Conversations with a Curator: Sea Grass Baskets with Curator of Archaeology Martha Zierden and Curator of History Chad Stewart
When: Feb. 10, 2023
Time: 10:30 am - 11 am
Where: Charleston Museum
Admission: Free with admission.

Join Curator of History, Chad Stewart, and Curator of Historical Archaeology, Martha Zierden, in the Lowcountry History Hall as they discuss sea grass baskets in the collections of The Charleston Museum. Rooted in Africa, coiled baskets of rush, sweetgrass, palmetto, and other local materials have been produced by local African Americans since their first arrival in Carolina. The art form evolved from work baskets, principally fanners for threshing rice to an art form produced for sale. The craft endures as an icon of Gullah culture. The History collection includes baskets from the early 19th century, while archaeological excavations have produced the oldest known basket fragment, dating to the late 18th century. Together, they document the long history of this beautiful and durable craft. Register online.

What: Valentine Candle Making Workshop with Local Artist Daisy McClellan
When: Feb. 11, 2023
Time: 11 am - 12:30 pm
Where: Charleston Museum
Admission: Members $75 / Non-member $105

Join local artist Daisy McClellan for a special Valentine’s candle making workshop using vintage vessels. McClellan will instruct participants on the history of candle making and how to make candles from start to finish. Valentine themed teacups, glasses and tins locally sourced by the artist will be provided to make eco-friendly and unique candles. Participants will create two candles mixed with their individual scent combinations using a variety of fragrance oils and dried flowers. You’ll also have the opportunity to dye your candles red! Grab your love or your bestie and join us for a fabulous time! Register online for this event.


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