Published: Nov 23 2021
Size: 10.5 x 12
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 179 color plates
HARDCOVER: 978-1-64336-213-7
EBOOK: 978-1-64336-214-4

Art & Photography
Cultural Studies & Sociology
African American Studies
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Gullah Spirit

The Art of Jonathan Green

Jonathan Green







Jonathan Green is best known for his vibrant depictions of Gullah culture and life. For decades, his vividly colored paintings and prints have captured and preserved the daily rituals and Gullah traditions of his childhood in the Lowcountry marshes of South Carolina.

While Green's art continues to capture the same energy, color, and deep respect for his ancestors, his techniques have evolved to feature bolder brush strokes and a use of depth and texture, all guided by his maturing artistic vision that is more about experiencing freedom and contentment through his art. This vision is reflected in the 180 new paintings featured in Gullah Spirit. His open and inviting images beckon the world to not only see this vanishing culture but also to embrace its truth and enduring spirit.

Angela D. Mack, executive director of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina, provides a foreword. The book also includes short essays by historian Walter B. Edgar, educator Kim Cliett Long, and curator Kevin Grogan.

Jonathan Green is an award-winning artist and among the most recognized in the American South with works held in numerous permanent museum collections.

"Jonathan Green renders in glorious life-giving color the cultural landscape and very soul of the Gullah people. Each painting captures the vitalizing quality of his own beautiful spirit and unique lyrical artistry. And I am at once reminded of W. E. B. Du Bois, who described his own majestic The Souls of Black Folk as the effort 'to speak from within—to depict a world as we see it who dwell therein.'"—Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Harvard University and National President, Association for the Study of African American Life and History

"To understand the spirit of the Gullah, you must contend with the work of Jonathan Green. The vibrancy and truth of his paintings leap from these pages, wrap a shawl around your heart, and command you to dance with them! This book is a movement unto itself, decades in the making—and will hold a center stage spot in my library forever."—Tonya Matthews, CEO, International African American Museum

"You cannot stop admiring the art of Jonathan Green. He celebrates Gullah life with such tenderness, joy and immediacy—children on swings, women in their hats, and men telling stories in the crooks of trees—that it makes you hungry for more of his genius and for more Gullah culture."—Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes

"With this book, Jonathan Green continues to be the authoritative herald of Gullah visual arts. With his unique aesthetic sensibility, bold fashion designs, and vibrant colors, Green uses scenes from daily life to deftly explore Gullah culture, family, community, and deep spirituality. The result is simultaneously a gorgeous work of art and compelling memoir."—Bernard Powers, professor emeritus of history and founding director of the Center for the Study of Slavery at the College of Charleston

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