SC State's I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium Presents "Remembering the Rosenwald Schools"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Booker T. SC State’s I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium (The Stanback) is excited to present “Remembering the Rosenwald Schools,” Friday, Feb. 19, 2010 at 6 p.m. in its Clemmie E. Webber Educator Resource Center. This exhibition will take place, along with the “Twentieth Century Masters from the Cochran Collection,” to include works by Jacob Lawrence, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Romare Beardenandselected works from the Stanback’s collection from artists such as Leo Twiggs, William Johnson, Hale Woodruff and Freddie Styles.

The exhibition, “Remembering the Rosenwald Schools,” will highlight the partnership to build model schools and improve the quality of education for African-American children during the Jim Crow Era.  It celebrates two Twentieth Century Masters - Julius Rosenwald, who is the son of a Jewish immigrant and Booker T. Washington, a former slave. This exhibition will feature photographs, historical documentation and artifacts from former Rosenwald schools, students and teachers in South Carolina.

RosenwaldExamining Rosenwald’s philanthropy efforts, Washington turned to Rosenwald for financing a project, which funded nearly 5,000 schools and auxiliary buildings in 15 southern states and served over 660,000 students.  By requiring African-American communities to raise matching funds, the two men inspired a grassroots movement that has been called the "most influential philanthropic force that came to the aid of African-Americans at that time. This partnership led to the creation of the Julius Rosenwald Fund which eventually contributed over 28 million dollars for schools built by and for African-Americans between 1912 and 1932.

The Rosenwald project contributed to the construction of approximately 500 Rosenwald schools and auxiliary buildings in South Carolina, 21 in Orangeburg County. 

Today many of these Rosenwald school buildings are no longer standing. In 2002, to heighten awareness of the threats to these historic resources, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Rosenwald Schools to its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Since then, the National Trust for Historic Preservation formed the Rosenwald Schools Initiative, organizing a team to develop a plan for the preservation of Rosenwald schools. Through this initiative, the National Trust has established a national network of Rosenwald School preservation activists, developed educational tools and provided funding opportunities to aid those interested in saving these important buildings.

For additional information about the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium’s 2010 Spring Exhibition Opening contact the director, Ellen Zisholtz, at (803)536-7174. You may also contact  program manager, Ingrid Owens, at (803)536-8329.