Philip Simmons using a hammer and anvil to create ironworks

Keeper of the Gate: Philip Simmons Ironwork in Charleston, SC. Image courtesy of the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative.

Meet historical and contemporary painters, folk artists, architects, and other artists who have worked and lived in South Carolina.

Be sure to also check out the South Carolina Art page for more about art styles and folk art.

Early South Carolina Artists

These artists lived and worked in our state before the Civil War.

  • Henrietta Johnston (unknown-1729)
    The first female professional artist in America
  • Charles Fraser (1782-1860)
    Charleston artist who created over 500 miniature portrait paintings
  • Maria Martin Bachman (1796-1863)
    19th century natural history painter who worked with John Audubon
  • Dave the Potter (about 1801- about 1870s)
    A slave from Edgefield who engraved short poems on his stoneware pottery


Meet painters from several generations and from around the state.


Metalsmiths work with iron and other metals to create their art.

Jasper Johns (1930- )

Jasper Johns grew up in Allendale, SC and has become an influential contemporary artist. He often uses symbols such as numbers, the US flag, and maps in his works.

Willard Hirsch (1905-1982)

Williard Hirsch was a sculptor from Charleston, SC who worked with clay, metal, and wood. The South Carolina Army National Guard highlights his work on the National Guard armory panels in a video titled Hirsch Armory Panels Web 1

Video courtesy of the SC Army National Guard via Youtube.