Savannah || The Joys of Boating

Dolphin watching may not be as hair raising an experience as some of Savannah’s famous ghosts and their spooky stories, but rewarding it definitely is. One look at the expression of sheer, unpretentious joy on that kid’s face was enough to make the trip worthwhile. And there were dolphins too, but these fellows are as easy to catch on camera as Savannah’s famous ghosts.

Dolphin Magic, Savannah GA

April 3rd, 2018

Savannah || The Jepson Center

Part two of our Telfair Museums round, just across the street from the Telfair Academy is the most recent addition to the group, the Jepson Center. Designed by architect Moshe Safdie (see also the National Gallery of Canada), this sleek art space was opened to the public in 2006. It is home to Savannah’s famous Bird Girl and, on the day of our visit, some pretty powerful works attempting to address the region’s atrocious past relationship with slavery through contemporary art.

Adolfo Alvarado (b. 1982)
Piece, 2018
Mixed media


Adolfo Alvarado (b. 1982)
Tweet Tweet, 2018
Mixed media


“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, the 1994 publication of John Berendt’s bestselling novel with Jack Leigh’s cover photograph featuring Silvia Shaw Judson’s Bird Girl sculpture from Bonaventure cemetery, brought a tidal wave of tourism to Savannah. Devotees of the book flocked to Bonaventure, some trampling the gravesite, which resulted to the removal of Judson’s sculpture to Telfair Museums.


Gene Kogan
Cubist Mirror, 2016
Interactive installation (people standing in front of it, can see themselves as a cubist painting)


Wangshu Sun
Dream of Wings, 2017
Interactive virtual reality installation (people sitting in the chair, open their arms and dream they can fly)


Paul Stephen Benjamin (b. 1966)
God Bless America, 2016
Three-channel video installation, 54 video monitors, DVDs, cables and cords


Paul Stephen Benjamin (b. 1966)
H.Res 194, 2017
Black Light, Black T8 Fixture 32W, Black Cords

”I’m curious about the relationship of the colour black and ”blackness”. What is its visual aspect?”

Benjamin’s new site-specific black light work H.Res 194 connects the medium of black lights with the subject of House Resolution 194, titled ”Apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans” and passed on July 29, 2008 by the 110th Congress. H.Res 194 suggests that shining a light, literally and conceptually, on a difficult past by acknowledging something through gesture, even if symbolic, is a positive step to change and grow as a nation.


Paul Stephen Benjamin (b. 1966)
Summer Breeze, 2016/17
Three-channel video installation, 40 video monitors, DVDs, cables and cords

Summer Breeze shows performances of the song ”Strange Fruit” by two leading African American vocalists: Billie Holiday and Jill Scott.

Strange Fruit is a poem written by Abel Meeropol, under the pseudonym Lewis Allan, a New York City poet, educator and social activist of Jewish descent, as a response to his viewing a photograph of the lynching of J. Thomas Shipp and Abraham S. Smith, taken by Lawrence Beitler on Augus 7, 1930, which became the most iconic photograph of lynching in America.


In 1850, Swiss-American biologist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) commissioned a series of photographs for his study of ”races”. Agassiz intended to use these portraits as visual evidence to support his racist theories of the inferiority of Africans and to prepare a taxonomy of the enslaved population. He commissioned photographer Joseph T. Zealy (1812-1893) of Columbia, South Carolina, to produce a series of daguerreotypes of slaves.

Weems discovered Agassiz’s images in museum and university archives and appropriated them for her own use in 1992. In this series, Weems exposes how photography has played a key role throughout history in shaping and supporting racism, stereotyping and social injustice.


Radiance, by Teri Yarbrow and Max Almy with  Josephine Leong
Immersive virtual reality mandalas


We thought it best to leave the third site, Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, for another day; three museums in a row seemed like an overkill and, besides, tickets not only give access to all three sites, but they also remain valid for a week.

Jepson Center, Savannah GA

April 3rd, 2018

Savannah || Telfair Academy of Arts & Sciences

The Telfair Academy, the Jepson Center and the Owens-Thomas House are three distinctly different buildings in close distance with each other, united under the umbrella of Telfair Museums. Each one houses an art collection that corresponds to the period it was built.

Let us start today with a visit to the Telfair Academy. Designed by William Jay in neoclassical Regency style, completed in 1819 as a residence for Alexander Telfair, it houses 19th- and 20th-century American and European art. Athanadoros, Hagesandros and Polydoros of Rhodes
Laocoön and His Sons, early first century A.D.
(cast madxe before 1893)

The original version of this sculpture can be found in the collection of the Vatican Museums, Rome.


Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
Brooklyn Bridge in Winter, 1904
Oil on canvas


Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939)
The Garden Umbrella, by 1910
Oil on canvas


Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939)
The Hammock, by 1915
Oil on canvas


Henri Caro-Delvaille (1875-1928)
La toilette d’Herminie, 1906
Oil on canvas


Józef Brandt (1841-1915)
Ein Gefecht (A Battle), 1888
Oil on canvas


Julian Story (1857-1919)
The Black Prince at Crécy, 1888 (detail)
Oil on canvas


Walter MacEwen (1860-1943)
The Lacemakers, c. 1885-1900
Oil on canvas


Carl Ludwig Brandt (1831-1905)
Mary Telfair, 1896

Carl Brandt was the first director of the Telfair, serving in that capacity from 1883 until his demise in 1905. His portrait of local philanthropist Mary Telfair (1791-1875), whose bequest of her home to the public as an ”academy of arts and sciences” allowed the creation of the Telfair Museum of Art, was commissioned by the museum’s trustees.


Raoul du Gardier (1871-1952)
Calme blanc, 1905-8
Oil on canvas


Gari Melchers (1860-1932)
Madonna of the Fields, c. 1895
Gouache on canvas


Telfair Museums, Savannah, GA

April 3rd, 2018

Walking in Savannah || Reconnaissance

Savannah is beautiful, discreet and laid-back in an elegant sort of way. If Savannah was a person, she would have been a lady of a certain age and of the Victorian era, sipping her afternoon tea in her lovely garden with friends. As it happens, Savannah is a cool city that attracts millions of tourists every year and yet still manages to keep her composure and good manners, making sure everyone enjoys generous doses of that famous Southern Hospitality and some take away booze* which makes walking in the city all the more interesting. This lady sure has style!

*In Savannah, it is permitted  to carry open drinks as long as they are held in a plastic cup (not in a bottle or mug) and are consumed within the Historic District.

Images from our first day walk –  some interesting places to bookmark:

The Independent Presbyterian Church
The Foley House Inn
First Baptist Church
The Savannah College of Art and Design
The Paris Market
Marshall House
Savannah Taphouse
Colonial Park Cemetery
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Lucas Theatre for the Arts
Leopold’s Ice cream

April 2nd, 2018

You know you are in Savannah when…

When her majesty the Queen Georgia of Savannah herself invites you on board for cocktails and old time tales; when the ”sweetheart of seafaring men of the world”, Miss Florence Matus ”the waving girl” is still waving her handkerchief welcoming you to her home, just as she did for every passing ship, every single day for forty-four years; and when the night that falls sweetly over the city’s cobblestone squares brings Savannah’s secret world of spirits to life, old souls walk past you and fade into the mist, like a midsummer night’s breeze.

Walking along the East River Street, Johnson Square & Reynolds Square

Savannah, GA

April 1st, 2018