The current exhibition at the Savannah College of Art & Design, “Jack Leigh: Full Circle, Low Country Photographs, 1972-2004,” features photographs and other materials on loan from his collection at UGA’s Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
The exhibition is the first museum survey of work by the acclaimed Savannah-based photographer since his death 10 years ago. In addition to exploring Leigh’s documentation of low-country terrain and traditions, the exhibition traces threads of influence in his career.
Leigh is perhaps best known for his photograph “Midnight,” which depicts the “Bird Girl” stature in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery. The image was commissioned by Random House for the cover of John Berendt’s novel, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Leigh’s cover photograph became inextricably tied to the success of the novel, bringing Leigh international acclaim. Included in the loan from Hargrett is Leigh’s “test print” of the photo which illustrates how he created the famous image.
Leigh began his photography career in 1972 following studies at UGA. He was the author of six highly acclaimed books of photography. Leigh died in 2004.