Encompassing over sixty landscape paintings, this exhibition offers a glimpse of the pre-settlement southern wilderness as late 18th-century naturalist William Bartram would have experienced it during his famed travels through the region. Philip Juras’s work combines direct observation with historical, scientific, and natural history research to depict, and in some cases re-imagine, landscapes as they appeared in the 1770s. Juras, a landscape painter based in Athens, Georgia, spent years researching Bartram and revisiting important sites the naturalist wrote about in his celebrated Travels of 1791. Juras’s paintings recreate Bartram’s lost southern frontier for contemporary viewers in much the same way that 19th-century American landscape painters like Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran brought the western frontier to the consciousness of the rapidly industrializing East.
Juras’s work explores many of the important and imperiled ecosystems that remain in the South today, providing viewers with a rare glimpse of the Southern frontier before its essence was irrevocably altered by European settlement.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue that places Juras’s work in the context of Bartram’s legacy and the American landscape movement. Distributed by the University of Georgia Press, the catalogue features essays by the artist as well as Dorinda Dallmeyer, Director of the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program at the University of Georgia; Holly Koons McCullough, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Telfair; and Janisse Ray, lauded poet and environmental advocate.
Available in Telfair Museums Stores or online.
April 14, 7pm
Philip Juras will give a talk on the landscapes featured in William Bartram’s Travels.