An appreciation of the art and personal collection of a renowned Gullah artist
Jonathan Green is a native South Carolinian known for his vivid depiction of the lowcountry Gullah culture that shaped his childhood and his worldview. This volume, based on the 2008 exhibit Jonathan Green: The Artist & The Collector at the Franklin G. Burroughs–Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum of Myrtle Beach, celebrates Green's extraordinary paintings as well as his captivating private collection of African American paintings, sculptures, and fine art prints.
This heavily illustrated book features thirty–one colorful paintings that Green created over three decades, often inspired by personal experiences, family traditions, and the simple joys of life in the coastal lowcountry.
In addition to images of Green's original works of art, the book includes insight into the artist as a collector by Green's cocollector Richard Weedman, who writes about Green's formative years, noting that he was continually frustrated by major museums' lack of recognition of African American artists' work. Green's selections include many artists who painted during the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration period (1935–1943). Weedman adds that "the images created by these artists . . . reflected experiences and values that spoke to Green's own sense of history and cultural identity."
Together Green and Weedman have amassed hundreds of works of art by notable and emerging artists. Forty of these, all by African Americans, are showcased in this collection, including works by Romare Bearden, William Carter, Elizabeth Catlett, David Driscoll, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Hughie Lee-Smith, and Charles White.
In addition to the essay by Weedman, this volume also includes a foreword by Patricia Goodwin, the executive director of the Franklin G. Burroughs–Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum of Myrtle Beach; a biography of Jonathan Green by art historian and fellow South Carolina artist Alec Simpson; an artist statement by Jonathan Green; and an essay on the artist by Jay Williams, curator for the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia.