For nearly 40 years, artist Preston Russell has created paintings inspired by the people, architecture, and history of Savannah and the Low Country. Often populated with ghost-like figures from the past, Russell’s canvases possess an enigmatic quality and a surprising element of tension, further heightened by the artist’s unique compositional choices.
Viewing Russell’s work, it seems fitting that he cites Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper as his greatest artistic influences. Russell, who is primarily self-taught, has lived and worked in Savannah since the early 1970s and was a founding member of Gallery 209 on River Street. In 1976, three of his paintings were selected by the French government for inclusion in the American Artists in Paris Bicentennial exhibition. His work can be found in private collections around the country and in Europe, as well as in museum collections including the Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, and the Telfair Museums.
Raised in Tennessee, Russell attended Tulane University and Vanderbilt Medical School. He went on to practice medicine in Savannah for over 30 years. Russell paints nearly every day in his studio, a converted carriage house behind his 1860s home in historic downtown Savannah. He is also active as a historian; Russell and his wife, Barbara, co-authored Savannah: A History of Her People Since 1733, first published in 1992 and currently in its sixth printing.
Gallery Talk by artist Preston Russell
Monday, August 20 / 11 am / TA
Lecture: Preston Russell
November 1 / 6 pm / TA
Savannah-based painter Preston Russell discusses his work. Free to members or with museum admission. Reception will follow lecture.