he Paternal Suit consists of over 100 paintings, prints, and objects selected from the collection of the F. Scott Hess Family Foundation. Allegedly spanning four hundred years of American culture and creativity, the work of these artists and craftsmen range from the most famous exemplars of their era to the unknown, unheralded, and unbelievable. Sculpture, ceramics, furniture, toys, newspaper clippings, historic photographs, guns, and costumes advance the tale of F. Scott Hess’ paternal ancestors and their struggles to carve out a life on the American continent. Energized by a desire to reanimate the lives of past family members, Hess has relentlessly pursued his goals, amassing an unparalleled collection of ancestral artifacts in a period of only five years. Psychologically driven by his own personal history of a missing father, Hess’ cutting-edge genealogical research into his heritage lead to the discovery of a moving and deeply personal morality play; an American historical journey whose plausibility is built upon gross exaggeration, and an examination of the truths and fictions that comprise ʻhistory.ʼ Ultimately, says Hess, “The Paternal Suit shows not who I am, but who we are.”
The Paternal Suit Invitation
The Paternal Suit: Heirlooms from the F Scott Hess Family Foundation
Opening August 24, 2012
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
161 Calhoun St.
Charleston, SC 29424
Further venues in SC, AL, and CA.