Lost Views of Georgia in 1736
In 1976 a Danish Scholar, searching through heaps of manuscripts in the Royal Library at Copenhagen, found an old sketchbook, lost and forgotten for two hundred years, with some fifty beautiful drawings of colonial Georgia. The drawings belonged to, and were presumably made by, a twenty-five -year-old German colonist, Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck, who came with the Salzburgers to Georgia in 1736. When he died in the 1790’s, the drawings were given to the King of Denmark, in whose library they remained unknown for two centuries. This is how a Danish author has come to edit a book on some Austrian emigrants who were brought by a British group to Georgia in America!
Idealistic and enthusiastic, well-educated and blessed with an amazing artistic gift, von Reck kept a vivid diary and made detailed pictures of what he saw in Georgia – plants, animals, Indians, houses, boats, settlements and scenes of work and play. Each drawing is as fresh on the paper as the day it was drawn. Von Reck intended to publish a magnificent, sumptuously illustrated folio volume of his travels, but, retiring from Georgia in disgrace after only a few months, he never did it. At last, these fascinating, previously unknown and evocative drawings can provide us with lost glimpses of the infant colony of Georgia only three years after its founding. The drawings are accompanied by selections from von Reck’s writings about Georgia.
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