Keeper of the Gate: Philip Simmons Ironwork in Charleston, South Carolina

Exhibit Splash Image


About the Project
This online exhibition includes text and images originally featured in Keeper of the Gate: Designs in Wrought Iron by Philip Simmons, Master Blacksmith, a traveling exhibition developed in 1993 through the Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc. The original photographic exhibition was organized to celebrate Philip Simmons eighty-first birthday, as well as his talents as a master craftsman. Exhibition materials include photography by Claire Y. Greene and essays by Claire Y. Greene, Leo E. Twiggs, Bernard Powers, Jr., and John Michael Vlach. Edwina Harleston Whitlock, Lise Swensson, Rossie M. Colter, Gregory Jenkins, the College of Charleston's Office of College Relations, and Gayle Boone Brown also provided assistance in developing the original traveling exhibition. The Charleston Area Arts Council, the South Carolina Humanities Council, College of Charleston, Southern Bell, and NationsBank provided funding support. Through the help of head curator Curtis Franks, the Avery Research Center became the premier site for this exhibition in 1993, and it is still available for display through the Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc. For questions about visiting the Philip Simmons Museum and Gift Shop in Charleston, or to reserve the original traveling exhibition, which features images of Philip Simmons gates by Claire Y. Greene, please contact Rossie Colter at the Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc.

This online exhibition also features an interactive map and photography by Bradley Blankemeyer and Daron Calhoun. Blankemeyer and Andrew Cuadrado worked with head archivist Aaron Spelbring at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture to select archival materials and images of Simmons’s conceptual designs to include in this exhibition from the Philip Simmons Collection. The Avery Research Center digitized this collection for the Lowcountry Digital Library through the support of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donelley Foundation. Sunhead Projects, LLC produced the 2010 documentary featured with this exhibition, Philip Simmons Tribute 1912-2009.

Description page image: Philip Simmons, Philip Simmons Collection, courtesy of the Avery Research Center.

Editorial Contributors for 2014 Exhibition

Rossie M. Colter, Phillip Simmons Foundation, Inc.
Curtis Franks, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture
Elmer Gilliam, President/CEO of the Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc.
Ade Ofunniyin, College of Charleston
Bernard Powers, College of Charleston
Katherine Saunders Pemberton, Historic Charleston Foundation


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