Robert Barnwell Cuthbert

July 10, 1934 ~ December 17, 2021 (age 87)


Robert Barnwell Cuthbert, 87, former employee of the U.S. Vegetable Lab for more than forty years and a historian of Lowcountry South Carolina, passed away on December 17, 2021.

Robert was the son of Edmund Rhett Cuthbert and Amelia Laug Cuthbert. He was preceded in death by his brother Edmund Rhett Cuthbert. He leaves behind a number of cousins, most particularly his namesake, Robert Barnwell Cuthbert (Sara), as well as devoted friends Susan and Stephen Hoffius, David York, and the family of Renee M. and Stuart White, all of whom he dearly loved.

Robert was an exceedingly generous man, one of great curiosity about the arts, history, and intellectualism. He was fascinated by the writers and editors of “The New Yorker,” and routinely followed in their footsteps along the streets of New York City where he often stayed at the Algonquin Hotel. He was enraptured by the mountains of North Carolina, where he drank in the art of Black Mountain College and researched all the Lowcountry families who summered at Flat Rock.

He was a scholar of the Charleston Renaissance, having processed the papers of Alice Ravenel Huger Smith for the South Carolina Historical Society. From his early years Robert dabbled in watercolors and pencil drawings. He was a close friend of artist William Halsey and late in life he prepared collages in the manner of Halsey and Merton Simpson. He was the coeditor of “Northern Money, Southern Land: The Lowcountry Plantation Sketches of Chlotilde R. Martin” and the author of “Flat Rock of the Old Time: Letters from the Mountains to the Lowcountry, 1837-1939.”  As Langdon Cheves III said of a resident of Flat Rock, “We will not see another to compare with him.” The same can be said of Robert. He was genteel and overwhelmingly kind—a true gentleman. With his passing goes both a relic of the past and an inspiration for the future.

His family and friends are especially grateful to the caregivers whose loving attention allowed him to remain at home for as long as he could: Regina Goodwin, Winnifred Graham, Betty Moultrie, Mike Moultrie, and Juliette and Henry Spells.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be made to the South Carolina Historical Society, 100 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401 or the Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401.

A graveside service will be held on Monday, January 3, 2022 at 11 o’clock at St. Paul’s Anglican Churchyard.

Arrangements by PARKS FUNERAL HOME, 130 W. 1st North Street, Summerville, SC 29483.

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Graveside Service
January 3, 2022

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
St. Paul's Summerville Churchyard
316 West Carolina Avenue
Summerville, SC 29483

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