Rebekah Jacob Gallery

“Owner Rebekah Jacob has one of the most amazing collections of pedigree art and photography in the country, period. And I’ve long lusted after everything in her gallery but especially her William Christenberry photographs.”


SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 | Elizabeth Bowers

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Visual Artists Profile: Charlie McAlister

 CHARLIE MCALISTER;  Pool Party ; Indian ink on vellum; 33 x 44 inches.

CHARLIE MCALISTER; Pool Party; Indian ink on vellum; 33 x 44 inches.

As a musician, Charlie McAlister’s records have been sent to Brooklyn, New Zealand. As an artist, his pieces hang in Baltimore and Chicago.  But in Charleston, where McAlister is from and has lived the majority of his life, too little of the population knows his name.

Just like his music and art, one can collect Charlie McAlister stories. There was this one time at SXSW in Austin when McAlister came out on stage not to perform in the regular musical way, but instead he melted a bunch of things in a skillet.  The wine and cheese he serves at art openings is hooch and Kraft singles.  He stays up till 4 A.M. recording records at his house in McClellanville, SC, long after the band has called it a day.  He plays music with a potato sack over his head.  He works on a boat, and if you flub and drop your keys over the side, he’ll spend 30 minutes fishing with a magnet to help you.

 CHARLIE MCALISTER;  AHHH!   (in consideration of Auguste Roden's sculpture,  The Gates of Hell);  Indian ink on card paper mounted to wood board, 38 x 94 inches, framed.

CHARLIE MCALISTER; AHHH!  (in consideration of Auguste Roden's sculpture, The Gates of Hell); Indian ink on card paper mounted to wood board, 38 x 94 inches, framed.

Bear in mind, this is all hearsay. He’s a man of legends.  Then you meet him and you’re equally certain and uncertain that it’s all true.  He’s a practical guy who always wears a cut off t-shirt sleeve on his head to catch his sweat in humid Charleston.  And his eyes hint at a life lived for the opposite of practicality—for adventure.

McAlister’s most accessible art are his chapbooks* and Sardine Magozine. (Yes, that’s an “o.”) Sardine includes product reviews, parking tickets, destruction and flooding in the city, and photos of open fields with the caption, “What they gon’ build?”  He says, “I named itSardines because I was kind of getting into eating sardines at the time.”  But it has to mean more, right?  The symbolism of how sardines are packed into a vacuum-sealed can seems to pair perfectly with the major theme in his art:  according to him, the development of Charleston.

McAlister illustrates his point with a simple business example:  “Everybody I know is talking about it.  Those guys on the docks! Shem Creek is the perfect example of how this city is changing.  These paddle boarding companies have come in, and they charge $40 to rent one for four hours.  That’s how you can make money down there.  It’s tough for the shrimpers to make a living on those docks now.”

Then he goes into this great story about a baby manatee knocking a girl off a paddle board.
Recently, McAlister started showing his art at Rebekah Jacob Gallery, which seemed completely out of character for him, but it makes sense too.  “I’m tired of my art just sitting around.   And I’m getting older now.  45.  It’s time to just let things go.  They’re nice folks, and they have a nice space.”

RJG hangs a combination of hard edge painting and ink on mylar.  They have cucumbers with “ME” written on one side and “MAYOR JOE RILEY” on the other.  McAlister leaves what they mean up to viewers.  He says he just grew vegetables that were too big to eat, so he found another use.

And, again, this is what good artists do:  give it to you straight, but leave you questioning everything.

*Chapbook (noun.)
1. A small book or pamphlet of popular tales, ballads, etc., formerly hawked about by chapmen. 2. A small book or pamphlet, often of poetry. Origin 1790-1800


2014/2015 upcoming issue Charleston Style & Design

August 26, 2014 | Kinsey Gidick


November 1 - December 31, 2014


Edward Rice


North Augusta artist Edward Rice brings his love of architectural history to the canvas for this series titled Southern Gothic. In it, he focuses on a very familiar detail, Charleston cupolas. Using oil, Rice preserves lost forms and paints what Kevin Grogan of the Morris Museum of Art calls, “the obvious and the forgotten, the historic and generic — the often overlooked — more than a simple architectural record.”


August 26, 2014 | Kirsten Schofield



Fine Art, the End of Summer, and Sneaking Around with H1GHER Learning:

Smells like teen spirit



      Ultimately, there are only a few kinds of art galleries.

There are the ones where everything is beautiful, yes, but the space is so chilly and the art is so expensive that it’s terrifying to touch even the doorknob. There are the kinds of places where everything is so hokey and Thomas Kincaide-y that you need the promise of free box wine and cheese cubes in order to visit. And then there’s Rebekah Jacob’s place on King. Everything in the joint is beautiful and singular, and no two shows are ever the same. Take, for instance, their latest, Vente d’été! It’s a celebration of original works on paper. The range of stuff is incredible — oil paintings, photography, sketches. And their subjects are no less varied, from the spackled patterns of Tarleton Blackwell to the contemporary figures of Cynthia Knapp. The group of art lovers who showed up for the opening of Vente d’été was diverse, too. Returning College of Charleston students mingled with art collectors of the South of Broad varietal, tourists lured by free champagne, and a mini-dachshund named Lucy. While Lucy seemed mostly drawn to the abstract oil portraits of local artist Sarah Haynes and the lickable faces of the attendees, we were partial to the intense, surreal work of Kevin Earl Taylor. This exhibit runs through Labor Day, so don’t miss it. You might not get to hang out with a puppy, but you’ll see some of the most elegant, thoughtful work the Lowcountry has to offer.



MAY 21, 2014 Elizabeth Hutchison 


Inside Creole World

      In 1974, at age twenty, photographer Richard Sexton packed up his old Datsun station wagon and set out for South America. It started as a standard road trip but the six months he spent exploring the region—from Mexico to Bolivia and back—would influence his work for the next forty years.

Captivated by the Latin American people and the Creole culture, Sexton settled in New Orleans some seventeen years later, setting up house in an 1840s Creole cottage in the  city’s Fauborg Marigny neighborhood. In the years since, he has produced twelve photography books including Terra Incognita: Photographs of Americas Third Coast and Vestiges of Grandeur: The Plantations of Louisiana’s River Road. He never lost his early fascination with all things Creole, stamping his passport everywhere from Ecuador and Panama to Cuba and Haiti, Creole traditions permeate nearly every layer of society—food, drink, music, literature, even religion.

                Richard Sexton; 'Dance Floor with Vultures', Club Cartouga, Cuba; from CREOLE WORLD series; archival pigment print.

Sexton found his lens drawn again and again to the ornate architecture found in these places, much of it existing in various stages of decay brought about by the combined effectsof Mother Nature and a reversal of colonial fortunes. His newest tome, Creole Worldwhich was published by the Historic New Orleans Collection nearly two-hundred haunting photographs–spanning four decades of work—that capture these once bright colorful facades, louvered shutters, tall ceilings, sagging wrought-iron balconies with peeling paint, deep porches, and overgrown interior courtyards. It’s a visual investigation of the complicated culture—a mash-up of French, Spanish, and West African influences—and draws connections between Sexton’s adopted home of New Orleans and its sister cities in Latin America and the Caribbean that he first encountered on that long ago road trip.


APRIL 22, 2014 | Tema Stauffer  




Fidel and Che’s Cuba:  A Revolution in Pictures

Rebekah Jacob Gallery, Charleston, SC,

May 20 – June 30


This exhibition spotlights work by Cuban and foreign photojournalists—photographs that documented and, in some cases, even helped to incite the revolutionary movement in Cuba. Included are images by Alberto Korda, Roberto Salas, Osvaldo Salas, Raul Corrales, and others.

MAY 19, 2008 | F-STOP photography magazine

Spring 2014 Elizabeth Pandolfi


               Kathleen Robbins;  'Asher on Belle Chase',  from INTO THE FLATLAND series; archival pigment print; 30 x 30 inches

              Kathleen Robbins; 'Asher on Belle Chase', from INTO THE FLATLAND series; archival pigment print; 30 x 30 inches

” …Then there’s the Rebekah Jacob Gallery on upper King Street, which is setting the gold standard for high-value Southern photography in the region. Owner Rebekah Jacob is a passionate curator who seeks out rare, high-quality works—this past summer, she acquired a dye transfer print of photographer William Eggleston’s “Red Ceiling,” another print of which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other photographers Jacob represents include William Christenberry and Kathleen Robbins, and she maintains a small roster of painters and sculptors as well.”

APRIL 2014 | Claire Baker



                          Kevin Taylor; 'Tazer'; mixed media on paper

“This well-designed and meticulously curated gallery is representative of the true deep American South. The driving philosophy at  Rebekah Jacob Gallery is to source established  and widely exhibited artists in exhibitions that travel across media whilst also staying true to their Southern roots. Photography and canvas works are exhibited featuring civil rights documentary footage and photography, as well as installations with trompe-l’œil effects and an outdoor presence. Past exhibitions have also taken Cuban and Latin Caribbean influences into account. The bulk of the associated artists are photographers, such as William Eggleston, but contemporary painters also display their wares on the walls, including Kevin Taylor, with his eerie depictions of personified animals.”

March 15 – April 15, 2014


 Jennifer Ervin; 'State of Grace'; from LAND & FAMILY series; enlarged Polaroid.

Jennifer Ervin; 'State of Grace'; from LAND & FAMILY series; enlarged Polaroid.


Panel Discussion: Thurs, March 27 (5:30 – 6:30 PM)
Opening Reception: Thurs, March 27 (6:30 – 8:30 PM)

Exhibiting artists will be present:
Jennifer Ervin, Eliot Dudik, Walker Pickering, Kathleen Robbins, Susan Worsham

FEBRUARY 2014 | Melissa Tunstall 




Black & White Documentary Photography from 1930-Present


 Julia Cart; 'Vanderhorst Tomb' , Magnolia Cemetery series; carbon pigment print.

    Yeah, we know a picture is worth a thousand words but as writers, we sometimes take offense to that. And then we saw the photographs from Rebekah Jacob Gallery’s latest exhibition Masters in the South: Black & White Documentary Photography from 1930-Present. Photographs from Peter Sekaer, Robert Frank, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, Jack Leigh,  Ernest Withers, and others photographers will be displayed to showcase the landscapes and architecture of the South as well as the people who make the region what it is. Julia Cart’s work will also be on display — and she’ll be in attendance at the opening reception. Cart uses antique cameras and methods to capture important images in the Lowcountry as a way of preservation. She believes in the importance of natural light as well as old printing processes — but she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve, including studying studying mime, movement and theater at L’Ecole Jacques LeCoq in Paris. The former Peace Corps volunteer has returned to her Holy City home to rediscover her roots and, of course, artistically express them.


JANUARY 2014  | Leah Rhyne


The Essential Guide 



On upper King street in Charleston, there’s no single gallery that can match the astronomical growth of the Rebekah Jacob Gallery. In the past year alone her gallery reached over $3 million in inventory, and brought in such southern hardball artists as William Eggleston, Richard Sexton, and William Christenberry. according to Jacob, the main focus of the gallery remains “showing contemporary artists of the American South,” and she has accomplished that goal. Now she’s headed out on the road, carrying her clients’ work to art fairs around the world.”

         William Christenberry,  'Red Building' , 1971, vintage chromogenic print, 3 1/2 x 5", signed

        William Christenberry, 'Red Building', 1971, vintage chromogenic print, 3 1/2 x 5", signed