Arts & Culture

Picturing Mississippi

“One place understood helps us understand all places better,” wrote the Mississippi author Eudora Welty. A new exhibition in honor of her home state’s bicentennial in December aims to present a full picture through the eyes of artists past and present. On December 9, in concurrence with the grand openings of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art, in Jackson, will open Picturing Mississippi: Land of Plenty, Pain, and Promise. With the work of more than a hundred artists on loan from sixty different institutions, the exhibition traces the entirety of the state’s history, from its native people and the first European settlers through slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Movement, and up to the present. “This is a very complicated place,” says the museum’s director, Betsy Bradley, “and the complications affect artists at a very deep level.”

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EUDORA WELTY (1909–2001)
Tomato Packers’ Recess, Crystal Springs, 1935–1936

Contemporary gelatin silver print. 14 x 11 ¼ in.

Photo: Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Miller, 2000.013.

Horn Island, 1960

Oil on board. 24 ¼ x 60 in.

Photo: (framed) Collection of the Family of Walter I. Anderson, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, EL 1.03.1.

Wild Turkey Cock, Hen, and Young, 1826

Oil on linen. 47 ½ x 59 ½ in.

Photo: Collection of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2013.44.

The Jolly Flatboatmen, 1877-78

Oil on canvas. 26 ¼ x 36 ¼ in.

Photo: Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.15.

DNA: Black Painting: IV, 2015

Oil paint stick, graphite, and paper on board. 84 x 84 in.

Photo: Courtesy of McArthur Binion and Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, New York. GL10185.

Cloudscape with Soybeans, 2016

Oil on wood panel. 42 x 42 in.

Photo: Collection of Paul and Tanya Ellis, Ridgeland, Mississippi.

GEORGE CATLIN (1796-1872)
Mósho-la-túb-bee, He Who Puts Out and Kills, Chief of the Tribe, 1834

Oil on canvas. 29 x 24 in.

Photo: Collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr., 1985.66.294.

Time of Change (National Guardsmen protecting the Freedom Riders during their ride from Montgomery to Jackson, Mississippi), 1961, printed later.

Gelatin silver print. 9 x 13 in. (image).

Photo: Collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2014.18.5.

SAM GILLIAM (b. 1933)
Red April, 1970

Acrylic on canvas. 110 x 160 in.

Photo: Collection of University of Iowa Museum of Art, Gift of the Longview Foundation and Museum purchase, Iowa City, Iowa. 1971.11.

RANDY HAYES (b. 1944)
House (Victorian) on Mound (Mississippian), 2015

Oil and photograph on canvas. 40 x 58 in.

Photo: Collection of Ellen and Eason Leake, Ridgeland, Mississippi.

DANNY LYON (b. 1942)
Bob Dylan plays behind the SNCC office, Greenwood, Mississippi, 1963

Gelatin silver print. 13 x 8 ¾ in.

Photo: Collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2011.12.27.

GWENDOLYN A. MAGEE (1943–2011)
Our New Day Begun, 2000

Textile. 70 ½ x 73 ¼ in.

Photo: Estate of Gwendolyn A. Magee, New Orleans, Louisiana.

GEORGE OHR (1857-1918)
Petticoat Vase, ca. 1898

Glazed ceramic. 7 ¾ x 4 ¾ x 4 ¾ in.

Photo: Collection of the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art. Gift of David Whitney in honor of Frank and Berta Gehry, 2003.012.001.

Riverman on the Mississippi, 1940

Oil on canvas. 43 ¾ x 31 ¾ in.

Photo: Collection of Muscatine Art Center, Iowa. 1993.13.

ANDY WARHOL (1930–1987)
Triple Elvis, 1963

Aluminum paint and printer’s ink silkscreened on canvas. 82⅜ x 71⅛ in.

Photo: Collection of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis, 85.453. © 2017 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

ROBERT BRAMMER (1811-1853)
Mississippi Panorama, 1842-53.

Oil on canvas. 29 x 36 in.

Photo: Private Collection

Hamblett Hill, 1965

Oil on canvas. 51 ¼ x 31 ½ in.

Photo: (framed) Collection of the University of Mississippi Museum. Bequest of Theora Hamblett, 1978.11.9.

Cotton Gin in Adams County, Mississippi, 1883.

Oil on canvas. 14 ¼ x 22 ⅛ in.

Photo: Collection of New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana. Gift of Paul J. Leaman Jr., 94.267.