Telfair Museums presents Sylvia Shaw Judson’s iconic sculpture Bird Girl within the context of the history and art of Bonaventure Cemetery. Made famous by Jack Leigh‘s photograph for the cover of John Berendt’s bestselling novel of Savannah, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Judson’s sculpture was removed from the cemetery to Telfair Museums where it has been enjoyed by visitors for decades.
This exhibition will connect visitors to the history of Bonaventure, from Mary Telfair’s visits to the cemetery in the 19th century to the present day. The exhibition includes Henry Cleenewerck’s 1860 romantic painting of the cemetery on the eve of the Civil War as well as twentieth-century impressionist and realist paintings by Emma Wilkins and Louis Bouche. Bonaventure’s beautiful natural and sculptural environment are represented in photographs from 19th-century stereographs to twentieth-century images by Edward Weston and Jack Leigh. The exhibition will include works from Telfair’s permanent collection as well as ongoing loans from the city of Savannah and local private collections.