The Wild Treasury of Nature, a body of work by Philip Juras that includes 52 paintings of Little St. Simons Island, will be on display this summer at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art in Marietta, Georgia from July 9 – September 11. The Wild Treasury of Nature continues Philip Juras’s exploration of the pre-settlement wilderness of the American South as the earliest naturalists would have encountered it. His paintings illuminate the wild beauty and importance of Georgia’s coastal habitats through the lens of Little St. Simons Island, an undeveloped barrier island on the Georgia coast.
Strikingly composed and executed, Philip Juras’s paintings of Little St. Simons are based on extensive research and many hours spent at the sites he documents. From the contours of a pristine landscape down to the shape and color of its smallest plant, each scene is a historically and ecologically credible rendering of a place that has remained miraculously unspoiled. Through these visually stunning images of the islands’ habitats, Juras helps us understand the natural and historical forces continually at work on this unique place and other wild landscapes on the coast of Georgia.
The exhibit is accompanied by a beautiful, full color book from the University of Georgia Press, made possible by funding from the Wormsloe Foundation. The book features a foreword by Wendy Paulson, an introduction by Kevin Grogan, and essays by Dorinda G. Dallmeyer, Philip Juras, and Janice Simon. The writings describe the natural history and unique cultural past of Little St. Simons in particular and the southern barrier islands in general. They also place the artwork within the American landscape painting tradition and underscore the importance of vigilant stewardship for the coast.