Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Here are the four city maps in their first phase:
Now, any guesses as to which cities I am drawing? Come, on...
Sunday, March 29, 2009
The first flag of independence raised in the South, by the citizens of Savannah, Ga. November 8th, 1860 / drawn by Henry Cleenewerck, Savannah, Ga. ; lithographed by R.H. Howell, Savannah, Ga.
War Between the States
War of the Rebellion
War for Southern Independence
War of Northern Aggression
Second American Revolution
SezessionskriegAmerikanischer Bürgerkrieg (German)
The Late Unpleasantness
The Lost Cause
Reading the book over the course of about five months, these events lodged in my mind. I think they most epitomize the cruelty, arrogant dissent, disgrace, jubilation, disconsolation, fear, and hope between the 1850s and 1870s in Savannah.
New Year's Day festivities included a "celebratory but subdued" dinner held by black clergy from all over the city. About 3,000 blacks joined in New Year's Eve festivities of the Union soldiers near Port Royal SC when an elderly black man and two women spontaneously began to sing My Country, 'Tis of Thee...
Savannah freedman James Simms wrote, of the Emancipation, "Who, then, could estimate or describe with tongue or pen the struggle in their hearts between hope and fear? Who can measure the prayer offered in secret at this period and know its effects?" (Saving Savannah, Jacqueline Jones)
First African Baptist Church, Historic American Buildings Survey,1936
"Many African Americans saw Union troops...as a grand army of liberation. At the sight or sound of the approaching vast procession, thousands of black men, women, and children along the way came out into the open, eager to free themselves as the Yankees passed by. Some emerged from the slave quarters, others from nearby swamps where they had been hiding. To greet the invaders, some dressed in their finest clothes - the women in fancy bonnets, the men wearing a pair of the master's cast-off gloves...For the most part, northern soldiers regarded the slaves with a combination of pity, contempt, and amusement." (Saving Savannah, Jacqueline Jones)
The slaves provided food, laundry and cook services, military intelligence, and muscle to the Union troops. At Ebenezer Creek, near Savannah, a Union general and his troops crossed over a pontoon bridge then pulled it up before the black refugees following them could cross. Some drowned, others were left to die at the hands of Confederate troops.
"On the morning of January 10, 1865, five hundred black children, ragged, shoeless, and shivering from the cold, assembled in the sanctuary of Savannah's First African Baptist Church. Spilling out into the street, they marched en masse through Franklin Square to the edge of the city market on Ellis Square, and on to the imposing three-story brick structure on St. Julian Street - their new school, the old Bryan Slave Mart...This "army of colored children...seemed to excite feeling and interest, second only to that of Gen. Sherman's army," in the words of one observer. Then, in the building where traders had bought and sold slaves just a few weeks before, pupils took their seats...surrounded by remnants of the old regime - handcuffs, whips, paddles, sales receipts for slaves - and positioned in front of the auctioneer's desk, now occupied by their teacher." (Saving Savannah, Jacqueline Jones)
These were the bold efforts of the black-led Savannah Education Association (SEA.) By Spring 1866, the organization was unable to pay its teachers without government or private funding and was forced to fold. Public funds for education of former slaves and their children was almost non-existent. The AMA, American Missionary Association, backed by Northern philanthropists, competed to monopolize black education, aimed to shut down the SEA and was satisfied when there was "no opposition" in the field of black education. Print showing President Grant sitting at a large table, with group of men clustered around (identitied below print), signing the 15th amendment granting that the right to vote cannot be denied on basis of race or color. Vignettes along sides and bottom show African Americans in military service, at school, on the farm, and voting.
While in Savannah, the Freedom Trail tours offer the history of enslaved and freed African-Americans in Savannah. The Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum chronicles the Civil Rights Movement in Savannah in the 1960s. Some places that saw these events unfold - rallies, sham elections, secret education, slave sales, stocks and chain gangs, parades and fights, trials - keep their secrets from the surface. Some memorialize with plaques and signs. The places we pass by, enjoy or work in every day were built by slaves or freedmen, cradled injustice or hope, were trampled by soldiers, honor Confederate dead, honor enslaved inhabitants of the city: they were used by this Civil War, not just arranged for touring. The City is a living museum.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Rand McNally pales in comparison. Mapquest certainly holds no candle. These maps were created by artist-engravers in Great Britain, published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge whose object was to "furnish the means of instruction to those who are desirous of acquiring it, and to excite the desire of those who are indifferent to it..."
I have defined a loose set of graphic rules for cohesion within what I intend to be a wide family of city maps. Some samples from my palette:
I do enjoy making lots of small lines under good light, trying to be conscientous, and thinking about things.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Today, another Turning Point occurred in the public hearing room at the Metropolitan Planning Commission in downtown Savannah. A landmark project was APPROVED for Part I: Height & Mass Review, after a laborious and surreal initial hearing last month. The design of the Savannah College of Art & Design Museum of Art and the Walter O. Evans Center for African-American Art, purportedly the largest in the nation, has the overwhelming support of the Historic Savannah Foundation, The Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, Savannah Development & Renewal Authority, and numerous private citizens who spoke passionately and wrote in support of the project -- and now, the Approval of the Historic District Board of Review, to proceed with Design Detail. The Museum will be a major contribution to the city, a star in SCAD's urban campus, the result of 31 years of historic preservation by adaptive re-use of over 50 of Savannah's great buildings. Admittedly, I wish every last person was as convinced as we are that this is the right design on the right site in the right city, but I suppose the drama, the twists and turns of events, the web of powerful people the controversy has drawn, makes for a much more exciting movie. Really - the movie's in the making. But we've got to get on with the making of a modern Museum of concrete and glass within and in preservation of a Ruin of Savannah grey brick, the 1854 UpFreight Warehouse for the Central of Georgia Railroad.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Brrr. Cold snap in Savannah. I just took a brisk walk to verify these tricky chimneys before I finalized the stitched-together streetscape for the 10 Block of West Jones Street. The streetlights shone brilliantly on me, but they did nothing for the buildings, as I stood in the middle of the brick street and tried to see into the darkness above the rooflines. I'll have to check one more time in the daylight.
I like this block for it's unfinished/deteriorated nature: Three Great Buildings and asphaldt lots on the corners. Eichberg's centerpiece cannot be overlooked.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Building on the successful elements of my Fall Series,
For Spring, I will have the following series of drawings:
: SILHOUETTES (4 images/2 new)
: VINTAGE AUTOMOBILES (6 images/2 new)
: FROM THE BIRDS EYE [Turn of the Century City Map-drawings] (4 new images)
: STREETSCAPES (5 new images)
: DOMESTIC CASEMENTS [Vintage Dress Patterns] (8 new images) + [Vintage Apron Patterns] (8 images)
: DOMESTIC CASEMENTS [Recipe Cards] (3 prototypes)
: SAVANNAH MAP-DRAWINGS (4 images/1 new)
That's the realistic version, paring down what I want to do by the limits of what I can do, in the time I have - and I am notorious for underestimating Time.
Of course, I will continue to work on the Jones Street Blocks for This is Savannah Vol. 1 (but I need a little expansion sometimes.) I am looking forward to recording my progress here as I start to really make these things.
A very cursory image of this weekend's habit, beginning the base layer drawings for the Turn of the Century map-drawings >> Any guesses on which Cities comprise the initial Four?