South Carolina State Museum announces "Between the Springmaid Sheets" exhibit | Arts & Culture
The South Carolina State Museum’s new art exhibit Between the Springmaid Sheets will be the occasion for an afternoon of fun activity on Saturday, May 18.
The action begins at 3 p.m. with a gallery tour of the exhibit, which uses art to chronicle the rise of Springs Cotton Mills as a major player in textile industry after World War II. The company’s good fortunes were chiefly due to the marketing savvy of Col. Elliot Springs, who launched a national ad campaign featuring paintings of pretty women and copy with sexual puns and double entendres that were considered risqué in the 1940s.
The ads and the controversy they ignited caught the public imagination, and sales of Springmaid sheets skyrocketed.
The art of some of country’s greatest illustrators is featured in the exhibit, including the work of James Montgomery Flagg, whose immortal depiction of Uncle Sam on World War I and II recruiting posters has become part of our national fabric.
The tour will be led by Karen Derksen, director of Winthrop University Galleries, who curated the exhibit for Winthrop in 2012.
“The campaign was such a phenomenon that it is now studied in marketing classes in colleges worldwide, and it became the subject of an SCETV documentary film, ‘Miss Springmaid,’ which will be shown at the museum at 4 p.m.,” said Curator of Art Paul Matheny.
Following the film at 4:45 p.m., the public can meet some of the original models for the campaign. Springs often used female employees, whom he called “Springmaids,” to pose for photos which would be given to the artists as examples of what Springs wanted for particular ads.
A reception will follow at 5 p.m.
“Springmaid Day is the second in a series of what we’re calling Art Days,” said Matheny. “Throughout the year leading up to the opening of our new expansion Windows to New Worlds, we will feature several days highlighting art subjects related to the museum and its collection.”
For more information on this Art Day and its activities, contact Paul Matheny at (803) 898-4921 or firstname.lastname@example.org.