Exhibit Archive

Below is a summary of exhibits hosted by Levine Museum from 2002-2006. If you are looking for information on an exhibit presented prior to 2002, please contact Kate Baillon, VP Exhibits, 704-333-1887 ext. 231 or kbaillon-case@museumofthenewsouth.org.


All That Remains

This new panel exhibit was inspired by an article that originally appeared in Charlotte magazine. Writer Ken Garfield interviewed ten people living in the Charlotte area that survived the Holocaust and understood the importance of telling their stories before it's too late. Photographer Chris Edwards took beautiful, stirring portraits of each. Together, these stories are a voice from the past; a gift from ten Charlotteans determined to have the last word.


New COURAGE began in early 2011 as a yearlong partnership between Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, McColl Center for Visual Art, and UNC Charlotte, asking participants to examine "new" issues that require courage in our community today. Through workshops, study, collaboration, and reflection, educators and students from across Mecklenburg County explored historic, personal, and community definitions of courage. Collectively, New COURAGE involved 25 high school teachers who engaged more than 875 students in 12 schools. They were joined by 22 professors and more than 600 undergraduates in a parallel program. New COURAGE defies simple definition. It is a photo capturing daily struggle, questioning the status quo with a monologue, using a dance to celebrate taking risks, or... A poem, a video, a collage.

Para Todos Los Niños – Fighting Segregation before Brown v. Board of Education

Presented in conjunction with COURAGE, Para Todos Los Niños: Fighting Segregation Before Brown v. Board of Education shares the story of the landmark struggles of Latino families in Southern California almost ten years before Brown v. Board of Education. Para Todos Los Niños shows the history of segregation and discrimination in California that targeted all non-White citizens in housing, jobs, and schools. Visitors discovered the dramatic story of the U.S. Court of Appeals case Mendez v. Westminster School District and the broad multi-racial grassroots efforts, including lawyers and activists, to end school segregation in rural Orange County, and the case's impact in closing not only "Mexican schools" but in battling segregated schools for all. Para Todos Los Niños was created by the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles.

On the Edge: Homeless and Working Among Us

Since October 2008, photographer Susan Sidebottom has been using photography and oral interviews to document homeless individuals and families that are transitioning to affordable housing through rent subsidies, sharing their stories from before, during, and after their journey to a home. These are the working poor of our community, encompassing children, teachers, hospital workers, nursing aides and many others. Told from the perspective of the homeless, On the Edge: Homeless and Working Among Us strives to humanize the statistics on an issue of great immediate interest and concern, and highlight a growing challenge in our community. The On the Edge exhibit included approximately 30-40 images, select audio and quotes from the featured individuals.

Charlotte Neighborhoods: Brooklyn to Biddleville

Charlotte Neighborhoods: Brooklyn to Biddleville explored two of Charlotte's oldest African American neighborhoods. The Brooklyn neighborhood, which emerged uptown in the Second Ward area at the turn of the 20th century, became Charlotte’s first urban renewal project and was largely razed in the 1960s. Biddleville rose on the outskirts of uptown, and for the most part escaped the bulldozers of urban development. However, the destruction of Brooklyn affected the development of Biddleville and other African American neighborhoods in Charlotte. Consequently, Biddleville as a community helped foster and preserve the memories, stories, and cultural artifacts of Brooklyn. This exhibit examined the cohesive nature of these two communities prior to urban renewal, how they changed with the impact of urban renewal, and their roles within Charlotte’s larger African American population.

Standing On a Box

In November 1908, photographer Lewis Hine visited Gaston County. Working as a photographer for the National Child Labor Committee, Hine was charged with capturing images of children working in local textile mills. Over the course of a few days, he took hundreds of documentary photographs, which became a part of a campaign for child labor laws at both local and national levels. A selection of these photos was presented in the exhibit Standing On A Box: Lewis Hine's National Child Labor Committee Photography in Gaston County, 1908.

From Morning to Night: Domestic Service in the Gilded Age South

From Morning to Night: Domestic Service in the Gilded Age South, examined the role of African Americans in domestic service in the South. Produced by the Maymount Foundation, Richmond, Virginia, the exhibit featured large panels with photographs and historical descriptions from America’s Gilded Age (ca. 1880 – 1910) – a time of dramatic social, economic, and technological change. The exhibit tells the story of a predominantly African-American labor corps that worked primarily in white households as cooks, maids, laundresses, nursemaids, butlers and chauffeurs. With nearly 70 photographs and illustrations, interpretive text and numerous period quotations, the exhibit provided insight into the daily rhythms of service as well as its broader context in the segregated South.


In 1995, multi-media artist Kendall Messick took a trip with his best friend to the town of Corapeake. A small crossroads community located just inside the North Carolina line from Virginia and along the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp, the town is geographically, economically and socially isolated not unlike many parts of rural America. The result of Messick's seven-year endeavor: an inspiring documentary film and powerful exhibit that presents the rich cultural and personal history of Corapeake. The exhibit featured his photographs and the stories of the African-American people living in Corapeake.

In Mixed Company

Nationally renowned artists and Charlotte native Willie Little featured his multimedia installation In Mixed Company. Encountering In Mixed Company, visitors explored the essence of the real and mythical fence – metaphorical barriers of prejudices typically found in the South. Visitors were invited to engage in the exhibit by opening lids of boxes filled with treasures meant to tickle the psyche and jumpstart the heart.

Comic Stripped: A Revealing Look at Southern Stereotypes in Cartoons (Available to Rent)

There is a South that we all carry in our minds. Let's call it the Stereotype South. The Stereotype South is created by popular culture – images and ideas that bombard us from movies, novels, TV, cartoons. It is not necessarily real, but it still shapes and informs how we see the South. Comic Stripped: A Revealing Look at Southern Stereotypes in Cartoons is a new original exhibit created by Levine Museum historian Dr. Tom Hanchett, with assistance from locally-based cartoonists Jim Scancarelli (Gasoline Alley) and Marcus Hamilton (Dennis The Menace). The exhibit featured art from the comic strips that have helped define the South, including cartoons from the 1860s to the present day, such as works from Thomas Nast, Al Capp ('Lil Abner) and Walt Kelly (POGO), Doug Marlette (Kudzu), Jim Scancarelli (Gasoline Alley) and Marcus Hamilton (Dennis the Menace).

Rhythm & Roots: Southern Music Traditions

The roots of southern music lie in the cross-fertilization of African, European and Native American traditions. And while the South has a rich tradition of deeply rooted music forms --Appalachian, Blues, Bluegrass, Cajun, Country, Gospel, etc.-- the region is also home to numerous transplanted music traditions. Created by the Southern Arts Federation in Atlanta, the new exhibit Rhythm & Roots: Music Traditions of the American South highlighted one NEA Folk Heritage Award winner from nine (9) southern states, creating a portrait of the South's musical traditions. The exhibit was comprised of twelve panels, artifacts, and a selection of photographs as well as musical interactives which enabled visitors to enjoy audio samples of southern music along their exhibit journey.

Music in Your Backyard: Photographs of North Carolina Musicians

Levine Museum presented a special exhibit of images by local photographer Daniel Coston featuring musicians from across North Carolina. Coston has spent the last ten years documenting musicians in North Carolina, and around the country. His credits include work with Johnny Cash, the Carter Family, Down From The Mountain tour, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Son Volt, Wilco, Avett Brothers, and numerous other musicians.

The Palmer Memorial Institute

The Palmer Memorial Institute was an African American preparatory school attended by more than 1,000 students from 1902 until it closed in 1971. The exhibit included black-and-white photographs of student life at the school, circa 1947, by Griff Davis, an accomplished African American photojournalist whose work appeared in the New York Times, Atlanta Daily World, Ebony, Time, Fortune, and Negro Digest. The exhibit also included Davis's 1947 Ebony magazine spread on The Palmer Memorial Institute, text panels, and an audio documentary including interviews with Palmer Memorial Institute graduates.

Tradiciones: Latinos in the New South

During the past 15 years, Latino immigrant populations have blossomed in North Carolina. A 2004 study ranks Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte alongside Atlanta as the nation's fastest growing Hispanic cities. Tradiciones: Latinos in the New South featured two new photographic exhibits and related programming that explored the cultures of these New South newcomers.

From Cambodia to Carolina: Tracing the Journeys of New Southerners

In 1981, Cambodians began arriving in Charlotte and founded the first Cambodian Buddhist temple in the South. Within a few years, both Charlotte and Greensboro had become important centers for resettlement from that war-torn country. Barbara Lau of Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies has worked with Cambodians in both cities to create a vibrant exhibit exploring how newcomers from this country have created new communities and adapted traditions. Visitors experienced exotic traditional costumes, artifacts and stories of the journey, as well as considered the impact of Asian immigrants and cultures on the ever-changing New South.

The Box That Changed The World

An outdoor exhibit created by Levine Museum featured two actual shipping containers: a South African spaza (convenience store) created from a container, plus a unit provided by Charlotte-based Horizon Lines, the largest U.S. domestic container ship carrier. Text-and-image panels told the story of the shipping container's history, while images by South Africa-based photographer Jeff Barbee illustrated the modern unconventional uses of the containers. Visitors explored topics from vernacular architecture to global economics to human creativity.

Oh Freedom Over Me

Inspired by the work of the Farm Security Administration photographers during the Depression, Matt Herron sought to create a similar record of the Civil Rights Movement. During the summer of 1964 he organized a team of photographers, called the Southern Documentary Project, to capture the rapid social change taking place across the South. Visitors were immersed in the powerful photographs of Freedom Summer and guided through by Freedom songs and music from the movement. Along the way, visitors examined the faces of youth who led the effort and risked their lives, the impact of their work, and what it means to be free.

From Apartheid to Democracy: The Struggle for Liberation South Africa (Available to Rent)

Created by the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa and adapted by Levine Museum of the New South. This exhibit illustrated the profound transformation by telling the story of the first ten years of South Africa as a democracy. Throughout the exhibit, Levine Museum explored highlights and similarities between the American South and the South African experience.

John Nolen: Neighborhood-Maker (Available to Rent)

Created by Levine Museum of the New South, historian Dr. Tom Hanchett, and in partnership with Charlotte-based planner Tom Low, John Nolen: Neighborhood Maker showcased the Charlotte work and national career of one of America's foremost landscape planners. 100 years ago in Charlotte, NC, John Nolen began a career that would make him a world-renowned pioneer of urban design. In May 1905 Nolen's professors at Harvard gave him permission to skip final exams and travel south to create his first project, Independence Park near uptown Charlotte. Soon after, he planned a greenway park along Little Sugar Creek – an idea being revived today.

Purses, Platforms & Power: Women Changing Charlotte in the 70s

In the 1970s women stepped forward and transformed every aspect of public life in the Charlotte region - politics, athletics, work, culture. Created by Museum historian Dr. Tom Hanchett with input from a community advisory group of women, the exhibit utilized oral histories, vintage clothes, artifacts, photographs, and music celebrating the era, to demonstrate how women changed Charlotte in the 1970s.

Rural Voices and Visions: Local Communities Speak Out About Their Landscapes (Available to Rent)

North Carolina's Southern Piedmont region is changing rapidly - suburban development is spreading out from Charlotte and other urban areas. Yet despite the changes, the region is still largely rural. Through interviews and photographs, Rural Voices and Visions documents and explores the relationships between the people and the land in the Southern Piedmont. Designed to not only document, but also to create a regional dialogue on issues of conservation and development, Rural Voices and Visions gathered input from residents of four rural communities between 2001 - 2004. The areas represented include: the Uwharrie area of Montgomery County, western Rowan County, eastern Catawba County, and Stanley Creek area of Gaston County.

We’re Still Here: American Indians in the South

This exhibit featured 50 large, black and white images of Southern American Indians by award-winning Charlotte photographer Carolyn DeMeritt with text by author Frye Gaillard. The exhibit portrayed Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles, Catawbas, Lumbees and others. In addition to the images, We're Still Here included artifacts from area Native American groups.

A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life

Through portraits, photographs, original documents, diaries, family memorabilia, and other artifacts, this exhibit recounted the long and eventful history of Carolina’s Jews. Developed by the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, A Portion of the People explored what it means to be a Jew, a Southerner, and an American. The exhibit addressed the implications of the Southern Jewish experience for people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds who have made a place for themselves in a pluralistic society.

New South, Old South, Somewhere in Between

A provocative exhibit, revealing artists’ impressions of southern culture and history. New South Old South Somewhere In Between was initially conceived in 1995 as a response to the Confederate Flag controversy in South Carolina. The project evolved into a larger survey of the ways visual artists address issues associated with the South, including race, religion, politics, and the Civil War. The result is an exhibit presenting these subjects through a wide variety of artistic media and bringing together a century of Southern art.

Sunrise to Sunset: Mill Towns of the Southern Piedmont

Sunrise to Sunset featured 30 works that explored the social and cultural ramifications of the decline of the American textile industry and the impact on the people who continued to live and work in towns once dominated by flourishing textile mills.

The People of Highway 601

The exhibit featured poignant black and white photos of everyday life along Highway 601. For most of its length, U.S. Route 601 is a rural two-lane highway running through towns large and small across the piedmont of North Carolina downward to the low country of South Carolina. Along that road live people whose lives are largely untouched by the fast pace of the Carolinas’ larger cities. Those people form a cross-section not only of the South, but also of rural America.

The New South's Love Affair with the Car

From Richard Petty’s driving suit to the dash of an old ’57 Chevy, this exhibit presented little known facts and historic images documenting our longstanding relationship with automobiles, focusing on Southerners attachments and their cars, , racing dating back to the dirt track era and extending beyond Nascar, Carolina automakers and their extensive history, and the impact on transit and city planning.