Revisiting Prop Master

Exhibit Splash Image

Further Reading and Credits


About the Authors

Stephanie E. Yuhl is Professor of History at College of the Holy Cross and Associate Faculty in the Critical Conservation program at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research areas include twentieth-century U.S. social movements, public history and memory, gender and sexuality, and Southern history. She is the author of the award-winning book, A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charleston, among other publications, including an article on Charleston's Old Slave Mart Museum, called “Hidden in Plain Site: Centering the Domestic Slave Trade in American Public History.” Her interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching has led to her work on the big questions of identity, power, and citizenship. Yuhl is currently curating an LGBTQ+ oral history project, archive, and exhibit for the Worcester (Mass.) Historical Museum and serving as director of the College of the Holy Cross’ innovative first-year Montserrat program.

Harlan Greene, Scholar in Residence at the College of Charleston, is currently spearheading the Documenting LGBTQ Life in the Lowcountry Project. A longtime member of Charleston’s professional archival community, he has dedicated his career to collecting, preserving, and writing about the history and cultural heritage of the Lowcountry.  His publications include Slave Badges and the Slave-Hire System in Charleston, South Carolina, 1783-1865, as well as novels and biographies. He co-edited and contributed to Renaissance in Charleston: Art and Life in the Carolina Low Country, 1900 – 1940, and edited and contributed to Porgy and Bess: A Charleston Story. He was also involved in the original Prop Master exhibit.

Sara Arnold is Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Gibbes Museum of Art where she oversees special exhibitions and is responsible for the study, care, and interpretation of the museum’s permanent art collection. During her fourteen-year tenure at the Gibbes, she has curated or co-curated nearly thirty special exhibitions including Prop Master in 2009 and the recently opened exhibition New Acquisitions Featuring Works by African American Artists. She co-curated and oversaw the complete reinstallation of the permanent collection after a major two-year building renovation in 2016.


About Prop Master's Artists

Susan Harbage Page is a conceptual visual artist with a background in photography and site-specific installation. Her work explores immigration, race, gender, borders and belonging, and nation. She is well-known for her work on the U.S.–Mexico Border. Susan Harbage Page has exhibited nationally and internationally at major museums and public institutions in Bulgaria, France, Italy, Germany, Israel, England, the United States, and China. Her work has been collected by nationally recognized museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Page is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she has received the Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholar Award (2014), a fellowship from the Institute for the Arts and Humanities (2015) and an Academic Excellence Award from the Institute for Arts and Humanities (2016).

Juan Logan's artworks address subjects relevant to the American experience. At once abstract and representational, his paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, and videos address the interconnections of race, place, and power. They make visible how hierarchical relations and social stereotypes shape individuals, institutions, and the material and mental landscapes of contemporary life.Logan has shown extensively nationally and internationally, has had numerous solo exhibitions, and executed many private and public commissions. Logan’s works can be found in private, corporate, and public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Memphis Brooks Museum, the Zimmerli Museum of Art, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Most recently, his piece Some Clouds are Darker became part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.


About Prop Master's Exhibit Copy Writer

Laurel Fredrickson is a historian of contemporary and modern art with a global emphasis at Southern Illinois University. Her forthcoming book (2019) is Jean-Jacques Lebel and French Happenings of the 1960: The Erotics of Revolution, the first book-length study of the anticolonial art and politics of Jean-Jacques Lebel (1936, France).

Editorial Contributors

Simon Lewis, College of Charleston
Ashley Hollinshead, McLeod Plantation Historic Site
Catherine Stiers, North Carolina State University


A special thanks to the Gibbes Museum of Art and Prop Master artists, Juan Logan and Susan Harbage Page for collaborating with the Revisiting Prop Master authors and LDHI on this exhibition to continue the conversations that surround their imporant work.


Further Readings and Resources

Featured Resource:

"Prop Master at Charleston's Gibbes Museum of Art," Southern Spaces
Southern Spaces is a journal about real and imagined places and spaces in the US South and their Global Connections. On Septmeber 21, 2009, they published a presentation on the Prop Master exhibit by Logan and Page.


An Act For the Better Ordering and Governing Negros and Other Slaves in This ProvidenceActs of the South Carolina General Assembly, 1740 #670. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.

Brundage, W. Fitzhugh. The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory. Cambridge Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.

Chafe, William Henry, Robert Korstad, and Raymond Gavins, eds. Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South. New York: New Press, 2001.

Cooper, Thomas and David J McCord. The Statutes at Large of South Carolina: Acts Relating to Charleston, Courts, Slaves, and Rivers. Vol. 7. Columbia, SC: Printed by A.S. Johnston, 1840.

Gikandi, Simon. Slavery and the Culture of Taste. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 2014.

Gordon, Avery. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

Kytle, Ethan J., and Blain Roberts. Denmark Veseys Garden: The 150-year Fight Over the Memory of Slavery in the Cradle of the Confederacy. New York: New Press, 2018.

Mack, Angela D., and Stephen G. Hoffius. Landscape of Slavery: The Plantation in American Art. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2008.

McElya, Micki. Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in Twentieth-Century America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.

McInnis, Maurie D. Slaves Waiting For Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2013.

McInnis, Maurie Dee. The Politics of Taste in Antebellum CharlestonChapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.

Morgan, Philip D. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-century Chesapeake and Lowcountry. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1999.

Natale, Michele, “Behind Charleston’s Façade” The News and Observer, Raleigh, NC May 17, 2009.

Parker, Adam. "'Prop Master': Unexpected installation challanges views of race, class, gender, and sexual identity," Post and Courier, Sunday May 10, 2009.

PBS, Art:21, Artists: Fred Wilson

Powers, Bernard Edward. Black Charlestonians: A Social History, 1822-1885. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1994.

Stokes, Laura. "The Gibbes Courageously Reveals Itself in Prop Master", Charleston City Paper, SC, May 12, 2009.

The Daily, “Prop Master” April 25, 2009

Walvin, James. Slavery in Small Things: Slavery and Modern Cultural Habits. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, 2017.

Williams, Heather Andrea. Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.

Wood, Peter H. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 Through the Stono Rebellion. New York: Knopf, 1974.

Yuhl, Stephanie E. A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charleston. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.

Yuhl, Stephanie E. "Hidden in Plain Sight: Centering the Domestic Slave Trade in American Public History". Journal of Southern History 79(3):593-624. August 2013