This handsome Thursday gate is from Brookgreen Gardens. The two Great Danes above were designed by Anna Hyatt Huntington in 1929 and carved from granite by Robert Bailie.
It is a beautiful, massive piece, and as you can see from the bottom shot of the decorations, in the center is B G for Brookgreen Gardens. There are three animals on each side, except one is missing. I tried to find a photo online where I could determine what it was, but I wasn’t successful.
There is a nice walking path and view from either side of the gate – massive live oaks or Youth Taming the Wild sculpture carved from limestone in 1927.
Last Saturday, I went there with friends to a lecture entitled “From slave to soldier to freedom.” We spent a wonderful hour with Gilbert Walker Jr. who is an Artist Blacksmith from Savannah, Georgia. He shared many interesting facts about Gullah Geechee Heritage and the creation of these beautiful black iron pieces of art.
The week before, we visited the story quilt and fabric collages in the Lowcountry display, “Shine On, Gullah, Shine On.”
The Gullah Geechee people were originally brought to this area as slaves from Western Africa because of their experience in growing rice. Brookgreen Gardens was originally four rice plantations that were combined by the Huntington family so their link to this property is deeply rooted.
February is African American History month so it was perfect timing to visit and learn more about the Gullah Geechee contribution to the area history.
Brookgreen Gardens admission tickets are valid for seven consecutive days which allows you to come and go to see or hear what peaks your interest. It is a beautiful and serene environment and will definitely require more than one visit to see it all. Wear good walking shoes and charge your phone or camera batteries. 🙂
Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, February 23, 2017.
- “Gilbert Walker Jr. spent 20 years as a Savannah police officer before moving to the Chatham County District Attorney’s officer as an investigator in 2009. But just as important is his role as a blacksmith, a skill he has pursued since 2004. Walker, the descendant of Gullah people along the coast, considers blacksmithing a dying art among blacks and one he wants to preserve. “
- “Growing up in Savannah, as a descendant of the Gullah people along the coast, I tell their story through art as I force my will onto the elements. My business is based on the life and history of the Gullah people of the southeast. My great-grandfather served in the Civil War, and I thought it was a great idea to connect with my history and I began doing reenactments … and I got into that sort of storytelling and reenacting.
- “Through research, he found a lot of slaves were “imported” for blacksmithing. In Africa, blacksmiths are revered. … They made weapons and tools … and took ore and other elements to manipulate the earth itself and form it into what they wanted — it was magical.”