The 1858 Prize For Contemporary Southern Art Society 1858 Of The Gibbes Museum Of Art - Charleston

Prize Overview

The 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art awards $10,000 to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South. Presented annually, the prize recognizes the highest level of artistic achievement in any media. Artists from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia are eligible to apply. Applications are accepted exclusively through this website early Fall each year.

Past Winners Society 1858 Sponsorship Make a Donation

Society 1858

The 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art is presented by Society 1858, a member auxiliary group of the Gibbes Museum of Art. This group of dynamic young professionals supports the Gibbes Museum with social and educational programs tailored for up-and-coming art patrons. To learn more about membership in Society 1858, please click below.

Society 1858

Gibbes Museum of Art

Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905. Located in Charleston's historic district, the Gibbes houses a premier collection of over 10,000 works of fine art, principally American works with a Charleston or Southern connection and presents special exhibitions annually. In addition, the museum offers an extensive complement of public programming and educational outreach initiatives. As the aesthetic heart of the Lowcountry, the Gibbes serves the community by stimulating creative expression, increasing economic vitality through tourism, and improving the region's superb quality of life. To learn more about the Gibbes, please click below.

Panel of Judges

Each year, prize submissions are reviewed by a panel of visual arts professionals, Society 1858 representatives, and Gibbes Museum of Art staff members.

Past panelists include:
Charles Ailstock, Society 1858 Board Member  /  Radcliffe Bailey, artist, 2010 winner  /  Bo Bartlett, artist, 2017 winner  /  Jay Benson, Society 1858 Board Member  /  Emily Broome, Society 1858 Board Member  /  Jamieson Clair, Society 1858 Board Member  /  Sonya Clark, artist, 2014 winner  /  Liza Cleveland, Society 1858 Board Member  /  Anne Collins Smith, Curator of Collections, Spelman Museum of Fine Art  /  Margo Crutchfield, Curator at Large, Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech  /  Rebecca Demling Cochran, freelance art critic  /  Chris Crossman, Chief Curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art  /  Jennifer Dasal, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, North Carolina Museum of Art  /  Patrick Dougherty, artist, 2011 winner  /  Xandra Eden, Curator of Exhibitions, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro  /  Walter Edgar, historian and radio host  /  Elizabeth Factor, philanthropist  /  Mallory Factor, philanthropist  /  Claudia Gonzalez Griffin, Director of Residencies and Programs, McColl Center for Art + Innovation  /  Donté K. Hayes, artist, 2019 winner  /  Alicia Henry, artist, 2016 winner  /  David Houston, Chief Curator, Ogden Museum of Southern Art  /  Adam Justice, Assistant Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, The Mint Museum  /  Anja Kelley, Society 1858 Board Member  /  Leslie King-Hammond, Founding Director of the Center for Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art  /  Brian Lang, Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Craft, Arkansas Arts Center  /  Miranda Lash, Curator of Contemporary Art, The Speed Art Museum  /  Marilyn Laufer, Director, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University  /  Cary Levine, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  /  Deborah Luster, artist, 2015 winner  /  Clover Lyle, Director of the Staniar Gallery, Washington and Lee University  /  Stephen Marc, artist, 2009 winner  /  Frank McCauley, Assistant Director and Curator, Sumter County Gallery of Art  /  Holly McCullough, Chief Curator, Fine Arts and Exhibitions, Telfair Museum of Art  /  Erin Nathanson,, Director of Contemporary Initiatives and Public Engagement, Gibbes Museum of Art  /  Marina Pacini, Chief Curator, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art  /  Alex Paik, Director/Curator/Artist of Tiger Strikes Asteroid  /  Ron Platt, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Birmingham Museum of Art  /  Marshall Price, Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art  /  Rachel Reese, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Telfair Museums  /  Hallie Ringle, Hugh Kaul Curator for Contemporary Art, Birmingham Museum of Art  /  Abby Rosenthal, Society 1858 Board Member  /  Mark Scala, Chief Curator, Frist Center for the Visual Arts  /  Trevor Schoonmaker, Curator of Contemporary Art, The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University  /  Michael Shapiro, Director, High Museum of Art  /  Mark Sloan, Director and Senior Curator, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art  /  Emily Stamey, Curator of Exhibitions, Weatherspoon Art Museum  /  Toccarra A. H. Thomas, Director, Joan Mitchell Center  /  Dr. Leo Twiggs, 2018 Prize Winner  /  Pam Wall, Curator of Exhibitions, Gibbes Museum of Art  /  John Westmark, artist, 2012 winner  /  Jeff Whetstone, artist, 2008 winner  /  Caroline Wright, Independent Curator and Co-founder of


This prize is made possible by individual and corporate support raised annually by Society 1858.

2019 Sponsors:

Additional support provided by Jill and Richard Almeida, The Clair Family, and Alice and Lance Wyatt.

Image credits: Agave, 2010, by Elliott Hundley; sound board, wood, inkjet print on kitakata, paper, photographs, pins, plastic, metal, glue, found paintings; 96 x 192 ½ x 14 ½ inches; © Elliott Hundley, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, photo by Jason Mandella.