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Manning B. Williams, Jr.
  • In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to:
  • St. Johannes Lutheran Church
    48 Hasell Street
    Charleston, SC 29401

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“There are very few people who you can call "mentor" in life. Manning was for me , one of those men. He made me laugh, he challenged me, he was a...Read More »
1 of 17 | Posted by: Philip Bradley - Charleston, SC

“Sorry to read in CofC magazine about Taterbugs death. He and I went to James Simmons, Rivers and The College together. Haven't seen him since college...Read More »
2 of 17 | Posted by: Mary Bee - Greenville, SC

“My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of great loss. I knew your husband in our teen years even though we went to different high...Read More »
3 of 17 | Posted by: Alice Tamsberg Allington - Aiken, SC

“Barbara, I am so deeply sorry to learn of your great loss. I can only imagine your deep sorrow, but I hope all your happy memories of your life...Read More »
4 of 17 | Posted by: Michelle Dann Adams - Longwood, FL

“Barbara,.,,,.I am so sorry for your loss of this wonderful man. I will be thinking of the strong woman that you are. With love....shirlley ”
5 of 17 | Posted by: shirley perry carty - MD - friend

“Sorry for your loss, Barbara.....But, time will heal the hurt... ”
6 of 17 | Posted by: Burton Arnett - Pendleton, SC

"Relic Hunters" Watercolor by Manning Williams, June 12, 1990 “Charleston has lost one of it's finest this week. Manning was the consummate Southerner, and a dear friend. He was as talented, as he was generous....Read More »
7 of 17 | Posted by: Robert E. Bohrn - Frankfort, KY

“I loved this man. I know I will never meet another such. I will keep his memory alive and honored as long as I live. ”
8 of 17 | Posted by: John Ungaro - Charleston, SC

“I knew Manning from my days as a reenactor, and as a person who wanted to get a lot more out of life than just go to work, go home. Manning's style...Read More »
9 of 17 | Posted by: Worthy Evans - Columbia, SC

“In my very first reenactment, I was in some very tall trees. We'd formed to meet the enemy's advance. Beside me, a bearded soldier who looked as if...Read More »
10 of 17 | Posted by: Richard Walker - St. Matthews, SC

“One of my fondest memories was when I lived in Richmond Va. We would go to all of the reiinactments. I was at Hollywood Cemetery and looked into a...Read More »
11 of 17 | Posted by: Lisa LaRoche - Charleston, SC

“I remember attending Manning's 30th birthday party. He had made this sculpted ceramic piece, a necklace pendant which we treasure to this day. He...Read More »
12 of 17 | Posted by: Bob & Claudia Insley - SC

“A wonderful painter, and one of a kind character. ”
13 of 17 | Posted by: Mary Moore - Hillsboro, WA

“The first thing that comes to mind about Manning was his great sense of humor. He loved to laugh, not only at jokes, but at what life brought him. ...Read More »
14 of 17 | Posted by: Tim Fensch - Walterboro, SC

“ALWAYS took his time with eeryone. When you had his attention. You HAD his attention. Patient with wise eyes. What a pleasure it was to be around him...Read More »
15 of 17 | Posted by: Wayne Stalvey - Charleston, SC

“Rest in peace Manning. Fond memories from the 70's and 80's drawing in your Market Street studio. Thanks for teaching me to see the world in a...Read More »
16 of 17 | Posted by: Mary Jo Spence - Atlanta, GA

“I have great memories of a kind and caring friend that we met through reenacting The War Between The States . Wonderful memories that make me smile...Read More »
17 of 17 | Posted by: Linda K Ridge - Crossville, TN


Manning B. Williams Jr., esteemed Charleston artist and professor, died Friday in his studio at his home, surrounded by his family, friends and his paintings.
Manning was born April 28, 1939, at Baker Hospital in Charleston. He attended James Simons Elementary and Rivers High School, receiving his B.S. degree from the College of Charleston in history and English. Encouraged by the late Charleston artist Julia Homer Wilson and his then-fiancée, Barbara, Manning went on to study for four years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
Manning and Barbara returned to Charleston, and, with the exception of a year of advanced study at the academy, he spent the rest of his life in his hometown, painting, drawing, sculpting and serving as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston.
Manning's work hangs in museums, galleries, private homes, corporate offices and public spaces. Particularly well known are his huge landscape paintings at the Charleston Airport that include "The Oyster Roast," one of his favorite ways to entertain friends. A sculpture of Theodore Wichmann, a founder of the Charleston Symphony, has long greeted those attending events at the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium.
Rarely without a paintbrush, pen or sketchpad, his output of paintings and drawings over the past five decades numbers in the thousands. His early style was representational and his landscapes reflect his love of the land, particularly the Lowcountry. His love of history is reflected in a series of paintings featuring a man in a canoe going through time, viewing war and waste.
His fondest early memories involved the outdoors and his years both as a Boy Scout and counselor at Camp Ho Non Wah, which doubtlessly influenced his choice of subjects.
His portraits range from strong portrayals of such American Indians as Chief Joseph to tough cowboys, personified by "true griter" John Wayne."
His love of history led him to reenactment battlefields, first as an artist-correspondent, and later as a dedicated participant. That involvement produced some of his most poignant paintings, including "Sherman Marches South", one of his works owned by the Gibbes Museum of Art.
His thousands of sketches reflect the daily life around him, from faces in local restaurants to scenes from his travels.
Manning's generous spirit made him a natural born teacher. He took great pleasure in introducing youngsters to art in communities around the state during a stint on the S.C. Arts Commission's art truck. In the late 1960s he began his teaching career at the Gibbes' school of art, moving to the College of Charleston in 1983. It was during the later portion of his more than 15 years at the college that he turned to abstracts, fueled in part by his students' interest in comic art.
But teaching had to be part time. Most of his days were spent in studio spaces around the city, often shared with other artists, and his evenings drawing and painting at home. The result was a huge body of work, often in size as well as output. In terms of size, one of the most memorable was an abstract that encompassed half the face of the Gaillard's Calhoun Street entrance during a 2002 "Larger than Life" Piccolo Spoleto exhibition. Another much-talked about work was a 1992 temporary sculpture installation in front of a Broad Street art gallery called "Amick's Leg;" a tribute to an ancestor who died in a wheat field during the Battle of Gettysburg.
His talent was recognized early in his career. He was of the few contemporary artists featured in the 1970 S.C. Tricentennial Commission publication "Art in South Carolina, 1670-1970." He was selected to be part of the" 1999-2000 exhibition "100 Years/100 Artists, Views from the 20th Century" at the S.C. State Museum. Most recently he was one of the few South Carolina artists featured in "Looking South: Portraits of Southern Artists" by Jerry Siegel, published this spring by the University of Alabama Press.
His biography includes a long list of solo, invitational and other exhibitions along with awards, scholarships and articles about the artist. Museum, corporate and public collections include the S.C. Arts Commission, State Museum Collection, Greenville County Museum, S.C. State Museum, Gibbes Museum of Art, East Cooper Hospital, the MUSC Contemporary Carolina Collection and the Telfair Museum in Savannah.
Landscape paintings that dominated much of his career were featured in a major duo show at the Gibbes with Linda Fantuzzo, a long-time friend and fellow graduate of the Academy, titled: "Framing a Vision."
The Florence Museum featured his abstracts in a solo show in 2008. That show was particularly important to Manning who was beginning to deal with a debilitating illness with which he struggled for the last years of his life. But during those last years he somehow managed to maintain his trademark sense of humor even though he could no longer continue to be the most articulate, engaging and well-read center of any gathering. While his last year was spent under hospice care, he somehow managed to rise to the occasion when friends gathered in his studio for his last birthday party in April.
Manning is survived by Barbara, his wife of 48 years; niece Rebecca Gerard of Moncks Corner; nephews Wayne Stambaugh of Morristown, Tenn. and J.J. Stambaugh of Knoxville, Tenn; goddaughters, Kate Marvin of New York City and Elaina Gable of Mount Pleasant. His parents, Bill and Dorothy Williams and his sister, Louise Knight, predeceased him.
His funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at St. Johannes Lutheran Church with visitation at 1 p.m. Burial will be at Magnolia Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Johannes Lutheran Church, 48 Hasell Street, 29401.
Arrangements by J. HENRY STUHR, INC., DOWNTOWN CHAPEL.