Sadly, I missed his collection that was recently displayed at LACMA (still hitting myself over the head about that one).
I haven't spent much time in the Southern region of the United States, so I can't say that I truly understand the Southern spirit (unless you count having a true understanding/appreciation for Southern cooking). Eggleston's photos, to me, capture what I imagine to be the spirit of the South in the 60's-70's. His use of color is magical, and his portraits + landscapes tell beautiful, deeply rooted stories that I find fascinating.
Here are some of my favorite photos (although it's difficult to choose).
All photographs via The Eggleston Trust