Another art-related mystery, courtesy of the excellent Morris Art Museum in Augusta, Ga., which I visited earlier this month.
The painting above is entitled "The Sunny South," by an anonymous artist, painted during Reconstruction. You can see the painting online here.
I think that the birds in the painting (enlarged below) are a key to its meaning. Can you identify them? Do you think they symbolize something? If so, what?
Here's what I interpreted the birds in the painting to be, and to mean.
At first I thought the white birds were doves, but they just don't look quite right.
I think the darker birds are in the swallow family, but they are not quite Barn Swallows. So I am thinking the birds are purely metaphorical. The painting is of the Reconstruction era, and the white birds are still eating out of a bowl and trying to keep the dark birds away, forcing them to eat off the ground. But that's just me.