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Mississippi Museum of Art Presents Eudora Welty in New York, New Exhibition Marks Welty Centennial
Eudora Welty (1909–2001), Sunday Errand, circa 1935, vintage gelatin silver print. Courtesy Eudora Welty, LLC; Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

JACKSON, MI.- The Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) invites the public to celebrate the rich photographic heritage of one of Mississippi ’s most cherished writers, Eudora Welty. The Museum is marking the 100th anniversary of the writer’s birth (April 13, 1909) with a selection of her photographs in an exhibition entitled Eudora Welty in New York. The exhibition reprises a near complete re-creation of Welty’s first solo exhibition held in 1936 at the Photographic Galleries of Lugene Opticians in New York City.

During the Great Depression , the people of America suffered severe hardships and deprivations. Yet the spirit of the times was genuinely heroic, and some of the artists, many working for the Federal Works Progress Administration and Farm Securities Administration, captured it with true grandeur. One of these was a young Southern writer, Eudora Welty.

Welty’s photographs capture what she so eloquently reveals in her prose: the complexity and dignity of the human condition. Among the works are poignant images of her fellow Mississippians during the Great Depression. The photographs explore scenes from every day life that have changed or vanished forever.

“Welty referred to her photographs as ‘snapshots, ’” says MMA Director Betsy Bradley. “She valued the unpredictability of the moment. As in her novels, her photographs reveal that life, for her , was profound and passionate, ” adds Bradley.

According to Mary Alice White, director of the Eudora Welty House, which is collaborating with the Museum on the Jackson exhibition, “The Eudora Welty House and Eudora Welty Foundation are thrilled that the Mississippi Museum of Art is participating in the celebration. The Museum has always been supportive of our work and was one of the first organizations to sign on as a centennial venue.”

Eudora Welty in New York is organized by the Museum of the City of New York and runs through July 5, 2009, and is free to the public.

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