This exhibit of 68 oil paintings by landscape artist Philip Juras offers a glimpse of the pre-settlement southern wilderness as William Bartram described it. Juras combines direct observation with historical, scientific, and natural history research to depict, and in some cases re-create, landscapes as they appeared in the 1770s. The paintings bring the long lost southern frontier to 21st century eyes in much the same way that 19th century American landscape painters like Bierstadt and Moran brought the western frontier to the consciousness of the industrializing nation. The exhibit will acquaint the viewer with many of the important and imperiled ecosystems that remain in the South today – remnant natural communities that would greatly benefit from wider public awareness.
The exhibit book (128 pages) published in conjunction with the exhibit features more than 60 reproductions of Juras’s paintings along with essays by Juras, Dorinda Dallmeyer of the University of Georgia, Holly Koons McCullough of the Telfair, and lauded poet and environmental advocate Janisse Ray. The essays place the work in the context of Bartram’s legacy and the American landscape movement, and reveal the ecology and history underlying the work. It was published in January 2011 by the Telfair Museum and distributed by the University of Georgia Press.
Several of the paintings in the exhibit are also included in Bartram’s Living Legacy: The Travels and the Nature of the South, an anthology of essays by southern nature writers inspired by Bartram, published by Mercer University Press September, 2010.