Full Circle, Jack Leigh’s First Museum Survey
Full Circle is Leigh’s inaugural museum survey since his death ten years ago and gives visitors an insightful look into a photographer whose oeuvre extends far beyond photographing Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery where one can find an iconic statue called Bird Girl.
His unsettling work evokes feelings of isolation and despair, such as Ossabaw Creature which captures his dark interpretation of coastal Georgia.
Early Life and Education
Jack Leigh was born in Tecumseh, Michigan in 1900. At the University of Georgia he studied fine arts before switching his focus to photography. Following graduation he moved to Europe and started work as a photojournalist.
Random House asked him to photograph Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery’s Bird Girl statue for John Berendt’s novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; its iconic image quickly became synonymous with its record-breaking success, as well as opening doors to an international career for Leigh.
His award-winning photographs can be found in numerous private and corporate collections worldwide, six books have been written about him, and he exhibited internationally before passing away at age 55 in 2004 – being interred at Bonaventure Cemetery before SCAD Museum of Art hosted an exhibition called Full Circle: Low Country Photographs 1972-2004 of his works.
Jack Leigh began his photographic career as a portrait and documentary photographer in 1972 and soon gained international acclaim for his images of Southern culture. Leigh became particularly noted for documenting rapidly disappearing traditions across the South Carolina marshscapes and remote hamlets along the Ogeechee River, frequently photographing individuals within these environments such as oystermen in South Carolina marshescaps or individuals and their environments such as oystermen living off South Carolina marshlandscapes or remote hamlets along its course.
Random House hired Leigh’s photograph of Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery’s Bird Girl statue to grace their record-setting novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt; its cover quickly became an international phenomenon and catapulted Leigh into worldwide recognition.
Lilly Belle poses a constant threat to Elite Ops operative Travis Caine (Black Jack), along with her former team. To safeguard Lilly and uncover all that she knows before it’s too late.
Achievement and Honors
Jack Leigh’s stunning photography captured the spirit of Lowcountry living. His subjects — oystermen, shrimp boat crews and residents of rural areas– typified this disappearing way of life.
Jack not only films for Eight Engines but has also directed and produced his own short film ‘Getting the Miles in the Legs’ which premiered at Manchester Lift Off Festival earlier this year. Additionally, he is part of the team behind Human Nature which has won national awards.
This exhibition goes beyond the iconic image of the statue to trace Leigh’s documentation of low country terrain, industries, and people in his documentation of Lowcountry geography and people. His photos will be featured alongside works by photographers that influenced him such as Eva Rubenstein, Walker Evans, Helen Levitt as well as Sally Mann and William Christenberry who provided their inspirations.
Leigh was born in 1900 in Tecumseh, Michigan. After graduating high school in 1918 and marrying Lillis Albertine Howard two years later in 1925 he opened a farm and dairy business together in Kalamazoo, Michigan with two of their four children.
Leigh was an esteemed portrait and documentary photographer in Savannah, Georgia when Random House asked him to photograph an image for John Berendt’s novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’s cover. Leigh shot an iconic photograph of Bonaventure Cemetery’s Bird Girl statue – now synonymous with its phenomenal success and catapulting him to international recognition.
This work showcases Leigh’s distinctive photographic vision in which water, sand and sky all share similar shades of gray. His use of lens compression emphasizes Sylvia Shaw Judson’s Bronze Bird Girl sculpture and enhances its height and grandeur.
Jack Wright has made himself known in the industry with some outstanding work, earning nominations and accolades from across the board. Much of this success can be credited to his family support.
He is an extremely gifted actor, writer, director and producer with a fantastic sense of humor – which has made him extremely popular on social media platforms like Twitter. Additionally, he has played roles in several movies and television series.
He is best-known for his portrayal of Kenneth Parcell on the hit television series 30 Rock. Additionally, he has made appearances in movies such as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.