Ferris photo part of state museum exhibit
Published 12:00 am Monday, November 29, 2004
[11/29/04]A photograph by Vicksburg native and Southern folklorist Dr. William Ferris will be among those displayed in a special show at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson.
The show, called “Picture Show: Photographs from the Permanent Collection,” will hang in the Mississippi Museum of Art through March 27. The museum is located at 210 E. Pascagoula St. The museum is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students age 6 through college and free for children 5 and younger.
“The museum has selectively acquired some very significant photographs over the years, and the collection now includes some of the world’s most prominent photographers,” said Ren Paul Barilleaux, deputy director for programs at MMA.
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“This exhibit is the most comprehensive survey of our collection of photographs in the last decade,” he said.
The photo taken by Ferris is called “Touch.” Ferris is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.
“It was taken in Batesville in 1968,” Ferris said in a telephone interview from his home in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Ferris grew up on his family’s farm in south Warren County and served as director of the National Endowment for the Humanities during the Clinton administration. He is the author of several books and collections and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.
He said the subjects of the photo are Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Mahan and said it was taken on one of his first trips around Mississippi studying folklore.
“He was a folk artist and did paintings and sketches,” Ferris recalled.
He said he was invited to the Mahans’ home and shared a meal with them.
Not only does the photo show a couple who have shared tough times during their lives, but also a warmth and a deep connection, Ferris said.
The photo was taken outside the Mahan home, which was near the railroad tracks near Batesville.
In addition to Ferris, another photographer with a Vicksburg connection will have an image on display. David Rae Morris worked as a photographer for The Vicksburg Post in the 1980s. He now lives in New Orleans.
Other photographers with Mississippi connections in the exhibit are Eudora Welty, Franke West Keating, Bern Keating and Birney Imes as well as such internationally known photographers as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Alfred Eisenstaedt.