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reviews Our regular review section features some of the best new books, films, and sound recordings in southern studies. From time to time, you'll also find reviews of important new museum exhibitions and public history sites, and retrospectives on classic works that continue to shape our understanding of the region and its people. Our aim is to explore the rich diversity of southern life and the methods and approaches of those who study it. Please write us to share your suggestions, or to add your name to our reviewer file. Tell About the South Four Photographic and Art Exhibitions of the 1 996 Olympic Arts Festival Reviewed by Andy Ambrose, historian and research coordinator at the Adanta History Center and associate editor ofAtlanta History: Afournal ofGeorgia and the South. In William Faulkner's novel Absalom, Absalom! Shreve McCannon implores his southern-born roommate to "Tellabout the South. What's itlike there. Whatdo they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live atall." During the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival that began inJune and ran through August , Adanta area museums, schools, and cultural arts institutions took up McCannon 's challenge, attempting through the use of varying media to explain to visitors what was and is unique about die South. This interpretive mix included musical and dance performances, craft and folk art demonstrations, literature readings, panel discussions, plays, movies, and a wide spectrum of history, photography , and art exhibitions. A closer look at four ofthe photography and art exhibitions that attempted to tell the world about the Soudi follows. One ofthe most ambitious exhibitions, in terms ofsubject matter and time peabove : Deckn Haun, Integration Protest, Monroe, North Carolina, 1961. Colkction ofthe High Museum of Art, purchased withfundsfrom the Massey Charitable Trust and lMcinda W. Bunnenfor the Bunnen Collection. From the exhibition Picturing die South, 1 860 to the Present, High Museum ofArt, 1996. 83 Alain Desvergnes, Yoknapatawpha, Oxford, Mississippi, ¡96). Courtesy ofthe artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago. From the exhibition Picturing the South, 1 860 to the Present, High Museum ofArt, 1996. riod addressed, was Picturing the South: i860 to the Present, 3. photographic exhibit organized by Atlanta's High Museum of Art. The goal of Picturing the South, according to its curator, Ellen Dugan, was "to examine how our understanding of southern history, identity, and character has been mediated through photography since the mid-nineteenth century." Towards this end, Dugan and her staff at the downtown branch of the High (the High Museum ofArt, Folk Art, and Photography Galleries) selected over 170 photographs culled from sixty public and private collections. Images presented in the show ranged from early black and white carte-devisites ofsoudierners and Civil War—era landscapes to full color reflections ofthe modern South. The mix included photographs well known to scholars of the South—such as Matthew Brady's images from the Civil War; New Deal—era pictures taken by Walker Evans, Marion Post Wolcott, Dorothea Lange, and Margaret Bourke-White; and Civil Rights movement photos by Danny Lyon and Charles Moore—as well as images less frequendy seen, from small daguerreotypes and ambrotypes produced by the South's earliest, and frequently unknown, photographers to more recent productions by the region's often undervalued visual artists. On the whole, Picturing the South accomplished much ofwhat it set out to do. It gave the viewer a cross section of regional themes, issues, events, and forces as expressed and revealed in selected photographs of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It presented the diversity of the southern landscape and its people, while at the same time suggesting some of the constants of the southern experience —racism, poverty, segregation, a rural lifestyle, and the impact and influence ofevangelical Christianity The exhibition also highlighted some ofthe important and dramatic changes that have occurred in the region over the last half century resulting from heightened urbanization and industrialization, increased cultural and ethnic diversity, and the successes and failures of the Civil Rights movement. Unfortunately, Picturing the South provided these striking and oftentimes emotional images in something of an interpretive vacuum. To be sure, the brochure that accompanied the exhibition contained a lengthy historical overview of the 84 Reviews South, written...


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