City of Seneca, South CarolinaWednesday, January 19, 2022
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Scarborough-Hamer Collection of 19th and early 20th Century Decorative Arts

The City of Seneca and the Seneca City Museums have acquisitioned the Scarborough-Hamer Collection of 19th and early 20th Century Decorative Arts. The Collection was transferred to the City of Seneca from the Scarborough-Hamer Foundation in Eastover, South Carolina.

The Collection was exhibited for nineteen years at Kensington Mansion in Eastover, South Carolina until Kensington’s owner, International Paper, closed the Mansion to the public. Foundation Executive Director Rickie Good stated, “While both board and staff regret that the Foundation is no longer able to partner with the owners of Kensington Mansion, we are very pleased that the Collection has found a home with the City of Seneca. The proposal submitted by the City will ensure that the Collection remains together and will continue to be exhibited to the public.”

The Scarborough-Hamer Photographic and Archival Collection was transferred to the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina; and some Scarborough-Hamer artifacts were transferred to Historic Columbia and the South Carolina State Museum. The bulk of the Collection of more than 3,000 pieces that include furniture and textiles was transferred to the City of Seneca.

Dr. Mary Baskin Waters, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, stated, “I am pleased that the Collection will remain together and will be a majestic addition to the City of Seneca’s current museums, The Lunney House and the Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum.” Greg Dietterick, City Administrator for the City of Seneca, said, “We are excited and honored to receive the Collection.”

Dr. Waters also stated, “With these transfers to the City of Seneca and to the South Caroliniana Library, the [Foundation’s] Board of Trustees has ensured that the unity and integrity of these Collections will be maintained for future generations.”

Seneca employee, Nicklaus McKinney, will be Curator of the Scarborough-Hamer Collection. The Collection will be introduced to the public through exhibition in the Seneca City Museums early in 2017.
About the Scarborough-Hamer Foundation Collection

Robert Lee Scarborough assembled the core of the Scarborough-Hamer Collection to assist in the interpretation of the social, political, and economic history of lower Richland and Sumter Counties. The Scarborough-Hamer Foundation was established in 1997 to manage and ensure the well-being of the Collection. The Collection contains many of the furnishing styles popular during the Victorian period, including Eastlake, Federal, Eclectic, Rococo Revival, Renaissance Revival, and American Empire. Other items in the Collection include glass, porcelain, housewares, linens, art, and books.

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