With this volume Patti Carr
Black, former director of the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson, has produced
a much-needed work and brings together previous research with a vast amount
of new information.
Copublished by the Mississippi
Historical Society, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History,
and the University Press of Mississippi, this elegant and comprehensive
volume is the first of the Society's Heritage of Mississippi Series. Black
has brought to the task a perspective on Mississippi art that was informed
by a lifetime's dedication to art, years of curating museum exhibitions
of Mississippi artists, and, specifically for this volume, three years
of intensive research in museums and private collections around the country.
Art in Mississippi she focuses on several hundred significant artists and
showcases in full color the work of more than two hundred.
Nationally acclaimed native
Mississippians are here-George Ohr, Walter Anderson, Marie Hull, Theora
Hamblett, William Dunlap, Sam Gilliam, William Hollings-worth, Jr., Karl
Wolfe, Mildred Nungester Wolfe, John McCrady, Ed McGowin, James Seawright,
and many others. Prominent artists who lived or worked in the state for
a significant period of time are included as well-John James Audubon, Louis
Comfort Tiffany, George Caleb Bingham, William Aiken Walker, and more.
There are many surprises here, for Black has gathered so much remarkable
art that readers will be staggered by the richness of the visual art tradition
Black explores how art reflects
the land and how modes of living and values dictated by Mississippi's changing
topography created a variety of art forms. She demonstrates the influence
of Mississippi's diverse cultures upon the art and shows how it has responded
in many forms-painting, architecture, sculpture, fine crafts-to the changing
aesthetics of national art movements. She observes that much art was created
to fill immediate needs of the times-reverent depictions of the Civil War,
highly wrought expressions of the intensely devout, and works of social
realism that grappled with a changing society.
Those who have long been
fascinated by the magnificent literature and music produced by this southern
state will encounter yet another treasure trove in Art in Mississippi,
1720-1980. Students of Mississippi's phenomenal cultural history will be
captivated by this splendid volume.
Patti Carr Black has written
and edited many books, including Agnes Grinstead Anderson's Approaching
the Magic Hour: Memories of Walter Anderson, Made by Hand: Mississippi
Folk Art, and Sea, Earth, Sky: The Art of Walter Anderson.
320 pp., 230 color plates