Sonya Guffey fondly recalls the moment that the limited edition portrait of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler came to grace the front parlor of Mountain Oaks Manor in Ooltewah, TN. She remembers a woman barreling through the front door and exclaiming that she intended to give it to the manor as a gift. When Ms. Guffey replied, “Wait a minute. Are you sure you want to give this to me?” the lady replied, “This was a gift from my ex-mother in law. I am moving away. Either you take it or I am putting this in your garbage!”
Sonya hung the delicate portrait and upon further inspection, noticed something behind the framed picture. Tucked behind Scarlett and Rhett lay a beautiful lithograph of Scarlett’s lover Ashley Wilkes. Guffey could see the lithograph’s original intention as a playbill from many years ago.
Both of these pictures represent a great deal of symbology. The pillar behind Scarlett and Rhett is a symbol of their combined strength. Scarlett herself, brightly dressed in red, is a symbol of love and passion, in the face of Northern as well as male aggression. The bow tie and suit worn by Ashley represent the properness of this character as well as his adherence to tradition. The lace represents the delicateness that remains in the face of adversity, both personal and political. In a broader sense, it refers to Ashley’s unwillingness to leave his betrothed for his love. Today, Ashley Wilkes and Scarlett O’Hara, together, rightfully grace the parlor’s eastern wall.
Guffey found an equally elegant portrait of Rhett Butler, alone, at a local antique mall. Just like the amazing gifted portraits, this one also held true symbolism in the print. The tones chosen represent serenity, stability, inspiration, and wisdom-all characteristics Rhett’s character exhibited.
The pictures within the Mountain Oaks Manor display stories, symbology, and beauty. The fact that Mountain Oaks Manor is the holder of them all is a testimony to not only the time period that inspired them but also the modern circumstances that resulted in their existence within the Mountain Oaks Manor.
Mountain Oaks Manor is open for tea, weddings, corporate parties, and other events. Contact Sonya Guffey today to reserve a space for your special event. Upon arrival, feel free to browse the artwork that exists throughout the manor and feel free to ask any questions.