The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways Traveling Exhibit in Georgetown

October 2020
Written By: 
Julie Flanagan
Photographs by: 
Steve Harwood

The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways traveling exhibit will make a stop in Georgetown this fall

The Water/Ways exhibit takes a deep look at water as an essential component of life on our planet, from shaping landscapes to impacting climate.

Though our world is made up of water, how often do we step back and think about its impact? The traveling Water/Ways exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street, which will make a stop in Georgetown at the South Carolina Maritime Museum this fall, will have us do just that.

Water/Ways takes a deep look at water as an essential component of life on our planet and how it helps shape and sculpt landscapes, powers the environment’s engine and impacts climate. Both humans and animals rely on water for food supplies, hygiene, hydration and health, but its impact goes far beyond environmental and biological. Living on the coast and near so many rivers, we know well how attractive water can be as a source of peace and contemplation, a venue to play, and a place to connect to nature. Water also has a practical role in our society, dictating settlement patterns, shaping economic planning and eliciting resourcefulness.

Americans are connected to water in ways we may not even realize, and water connects us all as a shared resource. With compelling imagery, text, videos and interactives, Water/Ways reveals how big a role it plays in our lives by exploring big questions. How do we use water? How does it unite our communities? How does it affect the way we live? How do we care for it and sustain it?

The exhibit will travel all over the country, and for South Carolina six small communities were selected to host for 2020-2021. Water/Ways will feature five free-standing units with photos, texts and objects; a video monitor; interactive kiosks; a model of a watershed and more. It will be hosted at the South Carolina Maritime Museum from September 28 to November 8. Visit for more details.

Smithsonian Traveling Water/Ways Exhibit

September 28–November 8, Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
South Carolina Maritime Museum 
729 Front St., Georgetown
(843) 520-0111