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by Miriam Karp and "Tarbelle" (a hoop skirt coated widi tar and feathers) addressed traditional images of the genteel South and the confining, even imprisoning aspects of an outdated and idealized vision of southern womanhood. Although the tone, approach, and style of Gone With the Wind was decidedly different from the other three exhibitions, the show nonetheless dealt with many of the same issues, historical events, and regional images that were presented in Picturing the South, Souls Grown Deep, and I've Know Rivers. As different as these exhibitions were in focus, organization, and interpretation, each shared a basic desire to tell Olympic visitors something important and revealing about the South. In the final analysis, no one exhibition succeeded in telling the whole story of the South, and none of the exhibitions was completely successful in telling even its small portion of the story. The American South, as these exhibits clearly revealed , is a much more complex region than prevailing stereotypes and traditional images would suggest. Its history, salient characteristics, and cultural contributions are not easily explained or represented in a single volume or a single exhibition ofphotographs or art. What these four Olympics Arts Festival exhibitions did succeed in doing, however, was to alert viewers to the ways in which the American South has often been defined and depicted over the years and to raise important questions about the accuracy and applicability of these images. In this way, die exhibitions, both individually and collectively, accomplished their primary objective—to tell the world about the South. The American South: Past, Present, and Future An exhibition curated by Andy Ambrose, on view at the Adanta History Center through 28 September 1997. Reviewed by Carla S. Huskey, a former resident of Adanta who is currendy adjunct instructor in English at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. In the 1 830s, when Stephen Harriman Longvisited the region now encompassed by die city ofAdanta, he commented that the area would "be a good location for one tavern, a blacksmith's shop, a grocery store, and nodiing else." Atlanta's humble beginnings and her tragic history have come to represent the story ofthe Old South. Nevertheless, to Adantans, the city and die region are much more than the above: A section ofthe lunch counterfrom the Greensboro sit-in ofi960, included in the 199J exhibition The American South: Past, Present, and Future. Reviews 89 stereotypical, somewhat mythical, often mystical figures that helped to establish them. The New South has become a region characterized by abrupt change and dynamic progress, ever reverent of the past while anxiously looking toward the future. Metropolitan areas like Adanta have become symbolic ofthe diversity and enthusiasm of the region, But if Adanta is to become die exemplary city of the latest New South, then what, in fact, should the city represent? The Adanta History Center (ahc) tackled that question in the recent exhibition TheAmerican South: Past, Present, and Future. The show utilized familiar images of the South to attract the curious visitor on the trail of Scarlett O'Hara, yet many of the stereotypical depictions fell away amid the well-crafted history lesson. Curator Andy Ambrose and his colleagues created an exhibition that honesdy depicted a region characterized by adaptation, progress, preservation, and a resounding sense of reverence. Visitors entering the exhibition were immediately confronted with a full-size reproduction ofa statue celebrating the boll weevil. The original statue was erected in the town of Enterprise, Alabama, in "profound appreciation of the boll weevil," which destroyed the cotton crop in Enterprise and forced the community to investigate alternative methods of farming. This text set the stage for the exhibition's proclamation that the South has indeed moved forward and welcomes change and progress while still retaining an accurate awareness ofthe past. The exhibition approached this view from eight perspectives: the biracial qualities ofthe region, economic factors, race relations, politics, religion, food, music, and literature. Strikingly apparent throughout the show was the ahc's effective use of the allotted gallery space. The opening "mini" exhibits included a variety of artifacts, photographs, and wall texts designed to emphasize the diversity of the region's population and agriculture. Crude farm implements, bills ofsale, and...


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pp. 89-92
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