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Robert Mills: Designs for Democracy


The renowned creations of one of the Palmetto State’s most respected native sons are the focus of this special traveling exhibit. Twenty-four graphic panels, which feature copies of some of Mills’ most famous sketches, drawings and elevations, can be seen. The show is a smaller version of one created by the American Architectural Foundation, for which Dr. John M. Bryan, head of the art history department at the University of South Carolina, served as guest curator.

Mills is considered in many circles - this country’s first and foremost architect. His 19th century designs have not only stood the test of time, but they have become among the most familiar symbols of American democracy.

Mills’ architectural works, particularly churches and courthouses, can be seen in communities throughout the Palmetto State, as he served as the state’s superintendent of public buildings from 1822 to 1824. The Mills exhibit includes some of these designs but also looks at other buildings, such as Monticello, the Washington Monument and the first building of the Smithsonian Institution.