Welcome to Visit Augusta GA blog

The Start: A Southern Art Mystery

original

New Orleans: 1917

Robert Wadsworth Grafton and Louis Oscar Griffith sat in their temporary studio in the lobby of the Saint Charles Hotel. Surrounded by a throng of people, you could feel the excitement buzzing as they watched the pair of artists work in tandem to carefully blend colors and brush strokes on dual canvases.

Topped by a gleaming white dome that was visible for miles, the Saint Charles Hotel was the grandest in the South and the first of all great American hotels. To commemorate the revitalization of horse racing in New Orleans, the grand hotel commissioned two paintings – “The Start” and “The Finish” – to capture the exhilaration of the horse races taking place at the newly opened New Orleans Fair Grounds, originally called Union Race Course.

Delighted onlookers, tourists, fellow artists and art students watched as the two American Impressionist painters, Grafton and Griffith, employed a dazzling array of colors to emphasize the brilliant Louisiana sunlight reflecting off the muscular bodies of the horses jockeying for position – the intensity of the race clearly etched in the faces of the jockeys.

The finished canvases were hung on display in the Saint Charles Hotel’s Men’s Café. Art reporter Flo Field loved the painting so much that in an article in the February 18, 1917 issue of the Times-Picayune paper, she wrote: “It isn’t a picture. It moves! The horses aren’t painted. They are racing.”

Grafton and Griffith made an immediate and enduring impression on New Orleans. During the early twentieth century, the two Midwestern artists wintered in the Crescent City and became active members of the artistic and literary community centered in the Vieux Carre. After the completion of the murals, the pair maintained an enduring relationship with the Saint Charles Hotel and even hosted an impressive exhibition of their New Orleans paintings at the hotel in 1922.

Although the Saint Charles Hotel was a local favorite and host to Mardi Gras balls and society events, after two fires and rebuilds, the hotel was torn down in 1974.  With the fall of the South’s first grand hotel, The Start and The Finish melted into obscurity. Then, in January 2007, “The Start” burst back onto the art scene when it was presented at an estate auction in New Orleans. Grafton and Griffith paintings of New Orleans are highly prized today. With interest from several southern institutions, the painting sold to the Morris Museum of Art for a record price and was added to their permanent collection.

original

Today, visitors to the Morris Museum in Augusta, Georgia can get a glimpse of the New Orleans Fairgrounds through the eyes of Grafton and Griffith – just as they would have seen it nearly one hundred years ago. “The Start” is rich with details, including the presence of a timekeeper in a wooden tower, a crescent shaped moon clock announcing the time of the next race at 4:10 p.m., and the results board with two men readied to place the winning horse’s number in the appropriate slot.

It should be noted that there are indications that the painting could have originally been “The Finish” – but with the fate of the second painting still a mystery, visitors have to decide for themselves.

To see “The Start” along with other art that captures the South and works by southern artsits, visit the Morris Museum of Art at 1 Tenth Street in Augusta, Georgia. For information on upcoming exhibits and events, visit TheMorris.org or call (706) 724-7501.

Augusta Gift Guide

When trying to find the perfect gift, we all need a little help sometimes. When shopping we love local shops for their unique offerings.

Here are our 4 picks for gifts around $100, $50 and $25 at locally owned retail shops around Augusta. Click on the item links to purchase online (where available) or stop by Augusta’s local retail shops to find these and other unique items.

Around $100

original

1) High Cotton MacIntosh Tartan Suspenders from Low Country Clothier – $125 – Buy Now

2) Tire City Potters Altered Centerpiece -$108 – Buy Now

3) Palm Frond Cuff Bracelet by Gogo Ferguson at the Morris Museum Store – $75

4) Men’s Augusta, Georgia Wind Jacket at the Augusta Visitor Center- $92

Around $50

original

1) Tire City Potters Green Parafin Oil Lamp – $53 – Buy Now

2) Ronaldo Infinity Bracelet at The Swank Co. - $50

3) Blown Glass Votive Holder by Loretta Eby at Art on Broad - $32

4) Gourmet Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar set from High Country Olive Oils - $30 – $55 – Buy Now

Around $25

original

1) Tire City Potters Faceted White Bowl – $28 – Buy Now

2) Fruitland Augusta Peach Tea Vodka at White Horse – $25

3) Stain Glass Peaches by Schweitzer Art Glass at the Augusta Visitor Center – $16

4) Jewelry by Popli Tin at Art on Broad – $15 – $26

Local Store Information:

Art on Broad – 1028 Broad Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 722-1028

Augusta Visitor Center – 560 Reynolds Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 724-4067

High Country Olive Oils – 343 Highland Avenue, Augusta Ga – (706) 854-0055

Low Country Clothier – 426 Furys Ferry Road, Augusta Ga – (706) 869-4230

Morris Museum of Art Store – 1 Tenth Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 724-7501

The Swank Co. – 391 Highland Avenue, Augusta Ga – (706) 364-3421

Tire City Potters – 210 Tenth Street, Augusta Ga – (706) 294-3871

White Horse Wine & Spirits – 497 Highland Avenue, Augusta Ga – (706) 733-2262

Top 5 Spooky Fun Ways to Enjoy the Weekend

If you’re looking for ways to get in the spooky spirit of the season, Augusta offers lots of fun experiences! Here are our top five:

1. Nightmare Plantation: October 25, 26, 27 & 31 from 7 p.m. – Until. November 1 & 2 from 7 p.m. – Until.

Located at the old Dodge Plantation in Grovetown, Ga., the Plantation covers more than 21 acres & features a 110-years old plantation house, whose owners have experienced numerous paranormal activities during their 35 years at the property. Guests will find themselves walking, running, screaming, jumping & cowering as they attempt to dodge the Plantation’s Caretaker who oversees the property’s lost souls. Thursday – Saturday Admission is $20, Sunday is $15.  For more information visit NightmarePlantation.net.

2. Nightmare on Broad Street: October 25 at 8 p.m. Downtown Augusta.

Celebrate all things fun and spooky in Augusta. Wear your best Halloween costume and ride the trolley through downtown with stops at participating bars and restaurants. Registration begins at 6 p.m. at the corner of 11th & Broad Street. Admission is $10. For more information, visit their Facebook Page.

3. Black Cat Ball: October 26 at 8 p.m. Le Chat Noir.

Dress in your best costume and head to Augusta’s “off Broad Street” theatre for a night of Hoodoo themed fun with victuals by Grimm – in addtion to the spooky fare there will be some cajun/creole favorites. Full service bar and drink specials set up at stations manned by some unsavory characters. Musical conjurings by DJ Codec to dance by. Costumes not required but preferred. Contest categories will be Greatest Gris-Gris – best Hoodoo priest/priestess, Most Wretchedly Hexed – victim of a horrible curse, Mr. Mojo Risin – your best zombie. Admission is $10 in advance, $13 at the door. For more information visit LCNAugusta.com.

4. B Mini Movie Marathon: October 26. Noon – 5 p.m. Morris Museum of Art.

Screen and discuss cult classic horror films in the museum’s auditorium with alternative cinema guru Michael J. Weldon and film fanatic and director Matthew Buzzell. Popcorn and drinks included. Admission is $5. For more information visit TheMorris.org.

5. Spirits of Hallowed Eve Tours: October 26 from 6 – 9 p.m. Living History Park.

Walk amongst the ghosts of yesteryear in a Colonial setting. Tours begin every 15 – 20 minutes throughout the evening. Reservations are required. Email Pam@colonialtimes.us with your reservation requests. Include your name, address, home phone, cell phone, number in your group, and the time you are requesting. Closest available tour starting time will be assigned. Admission is $1 per person or $5 per family.

For a full calendar of events for October 25 – November 3, 2013 click here: http://www.augustaga.org/content/download/11606/246704/file/COE%2010-25%20to%2011-03.pdf

The “A” List

Top 5 things to get excited about in Augusta, Ga this October

Westobou Festival: October 2 – 6, 2013

From film and music collaborations like Joan of Arc + Kim Gordon with Body/Head to up-and-coming artists JOHNNYSWIM to world renowned Mark Morris Dance Group and “modern day Mark Twain” writer Roy Blount Jr., Westobou Festival brings innovative indie art and culture to the front and center of Augusta’s scene for five full days. For more info, visit WestobouFestival.com.

The Color Run: October 5, 2013

What do you get when you add head-to-toe paint to an untimed 5K that you can run, walk or both? The “Happiest 5K on the Planet”! Regardless of your age or athletic ability, you can experience the fun. At each kilometer, participants are doused in powder paint until they reach the party at the finish line! For more info, visit TheColorRun.com/Augusta.

Augusta Hispanic Festival: October 11 – 12, 2013

The Augusta Common is bursting with awesome authentic food and cultural performances during the Hispanic Festival! I dare you to try and walk downtown with being lured in by the smell of the food and the promise of fresh piña coladas served straight from the pineapple! Click here to see the Hispanic Festival video on YouTube. For more info, visit Elcervantino.org.

Augusta Greek Festival: October 11 – 13, 2013

You don’t eat no meat? That’s OK. They’ve got lamb. And baklava. Shop for great gifts at the bazaar, sit down and watch a traditional dance or two and make sure you try the food! You’ll feel like you’re part of a big Greek family before you leave. Click here to see the Greek Festival video on YouTube. For more info, visit HolyTrinityAugusta.org

Dark Corners: The Appalachian Murder Ballads: October 17, 2013

Asheville North Carolina artist, Julyan Davis, discusses his exhibition accompanied by a performance of murder ballads by folk musicians Greg and Lucretia Speas during the exhibition opening. You’ve gotta admit that a little macabre art and music is perfect for the festive and fun atmosphere leading up to Halloween. For more info, visit TheMorris.org.

October is a great month in Augusta and there’s lots more to do – check out our online calendar for a full list of events!

See ya’ll around!

Augusta Calendar of Events: 9/19 – 10/6

Blogroll
Categories
Visit Augusta GA’s Websites
Photos fromflickr
			<p><a href=\"http://www.flickr.com/people/augustacvb/\">Visit Augusta GA</a> posted a photo:</p>	<p><a href=\"http://www.flickr.com/photos/augustacvb/5860441211/\" title=\".Top 10 in 10\"><img src=\"http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2716/5860441211_092498044d_m.jpg\" width=\"155\" height=\"240\" alt=\".Top 10 in 10\" /></a></p><p>.Our very own Katrina Hollmann was recognized as one of the top 10 young professionals to watch over the next 10 years.</p>			<p><a href=\"http://www.flickr.com/people/augustacvb/\">Visit Augusta GA</a> posted a photo:</p>	<p><a href=\"http://www.flickr.com/photos/augustacvb/5860991940/\" title=\".Top 10 in 10\"><img src=\"http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3213/5860991940_7539c15700_m.jpg\" width=\"240\" height=\"155\" alt=\".Top 10 in 10\" /></a></p><p>.We're so proud of Katrina! And we're glad to have her on our team!</p> More Photo »
Folow us ontwitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Email Subscription
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.