MYSTERY PHOTO:  Very official-looking room

Hanahan photographer Chuck Boyd sent along this very official-looking local mystery.  But what and where is it?  Send your best guess – plus your name and hometown – to  In the subject line, write: “Mystery Photo guess.”

Virginia sleuth solves tough mystery

Last week’s mystery was one of the toughest ever.  It sought the location of a portrait of retired Democratic U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings of Isle of Palms was one of the toughest in a long time.

Chris Brooks of Mount Pleasant  got a half mark for knowing that the portrait was moved from what was the Hollings Judicial Center before it was renamed for the late federal judge Waties Waring.  Upon the renaming, which was requested by Hollings (the only time a federal building has been renamed like this), the portrait was moved to Columbia.

But only one Currents reader — George Graf of Palmyra, Va., — knew that the portrait is now in a room in a new part of the Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina that is named in honor of Hollings.

Graf went through a painstaking process that included phone calls and lots of Internet searches.  Let’s let him explain:

“The portrait was painted by noted artist Robert Bruce Williams in 1988, and is Senator Hollings’ personal favorite.  The portrait was unveiled at an event celebrating Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 22, 2016, in the Hollings Library Program Room after passing through the front of Thomas Cooper Library on Greene Street.  …

“[This was] another extremely difficult mystery pursuit.  No images of the portrait in question showed up in any of my deep and thorough search methods.  I was almost ready to wave the white flag, but then I resorted to the old analog methods.  I started calling all the organizations and buildings named after Senator Hollings including NIST, NOAA and most all of the ones in the Charleston area.  … Anyway, after searching Senator Hollings’ other portraits, [it] seemed many politicians had theirs done by Michael Del Priore (a renowned South Carolina portrait artist).  So, I sent him a personal email.  He was the only one who responded to any of my phone calls or emails in South Carolina.  He told me about Robert Bruce Williams doing the portrait but not any more info.  However, that was enough for me to track down your mystery information.  Thanks to Michael!  Also, I learned so much about Judge Waring and Senator Hollings.”

And thanks to George for proving again to be a super Mystery Photo sleuth.

Send us a mystery:  If you have a photo that you believe will stump readers, send it along (but make sure to tell us what it is because it may stump us too!)   Send it along to


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