Williams' Earlier Works

Karin OlahPaul Mardikian

Charleston native Manning Williams' work is legendary. His landscapes which often were gigantic were interrupted by his series of Indians. A series of narrative paintings tackling war followed. The past ten years finds a body of work based on cartoon format with abstract imagery filling the boxes and dialogue bubbles left empty. These vibrant stories without words or concrete images speak volumes about life and the viewer.

Manning Williams was born in Charleston in 1939. He received his BS from the College of Charleston before doing graduate work at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  Williams’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with solo shows in Charleston, New Orleans, Washington, at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Art and the Greenville Museum of Art. Group shows including his work were “Second Story Show” at Piccolo Spoleto in 2002, “100 Years/100 Artists, Views From the 20th Century,” at the South Carolina State Museum in 1999-2000, and “Old South, New South” at Winthrop College in 1995.  In 2004, Williams and Linda Fantuzzo had a duo show at the Gibbes Museum of Art.  In 2008, Williams had a solo show at the Florence Museum.

Williams has received a SC Arts Commission Fellowship.  His most known commissions are displayed at the Charleston Airport and the East Cooper Hospital. His poster for the “New Figurative Painting” exhibition is included in “Fairfield Porter: A catalogue raisonné of his prints.”  Williams produced the book jacket and illustrations for “Poems from the Scorched Earth” by James Everett Kibler (2001).

William’s work has been the subject of reviews and feature stories, and included in the video “Charleston Art Now.”  His work hangs in public and corporate collections, among them the SC Arts Commission, R.J. Reynolds Corporation, Citizens and Southern National Bank, Post & Courier Publishing Company, Kiawah Resort Association, Greenville County Museum, South Carolina State Museum, the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Telfair Museum.  He passed away in 2012.