Monday, May 23, 2016

savannah - anticipated and unexpected

Savannah is a wonderful small city to visit -leafy and tranquil and, well, old feeling.  Who knew that, for example, John Wesley had spent a year here?  At the same time, it's very quirky: yes, it's full of tourists - lots in little carriage-like buses, some in horse-drawn carriages - others, scooting along ...

Savannah is, as I was expecting, full of late C18th and early C19th houses, leafy squares with Spanish moss;

statues to notables;

but one never knows quite what's coming next.

Somehow the guidebooks fail to mention the extraordinary very early C20th architecture.

The Jepson Center for the Arts had a great exhibition (that started at Crystal Bridges) on American Art today - very full of craft-oriented stuff, including some extraordinary paper cutting by Hiromi Mizugai Moneyhun based on Japanese kiri-e, or hand-cut paper arts: there were three pieces taking various hair styles as their inspiration - here's a fragment of Gisoeng (Korea), from 2014.  

Then Angela Drakeford had a terrific piece, Self- Portrait II - flowers made of tar paper - and an artist's statement talking about its relevance to the fact that she was attacked for being too white in primarily black schools, too black in predominantly white ones.

And who knew that there were all kinds of unsuspected C19th riches in the Telfair Museum of Art - mostly American, but some European, and this wonderful mawkish Arthur Hacker, who went on to do all kinds of ghastly sub-Sargeant, sub-symbolist stuff, but executed - evidently - some early realist paintings, like the Crimean War themed Relics of the Brave (1882-3): it looks rather Newlyn School to me, but I don't know how far his connections with them went - though he was at the RA with Stanhope Forbes.

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