A book of murals|Riverfront project steps into hardback

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 28, 2009

Prints of all of Vicksburg’s 32 historical riverfront murals will be available in one collection for the first time this fall as Nelly Caldwell, former chairman of the Riverfront Mural Committee, and the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation have teamed up to publish a hardcover book.

“We’ve had so many tourists and locals request a book like this that we finally decided to put one together,” said Nancy Bell, executive director of the VFHP.

To order

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The Vicksburg Riverfront Murals Book costs $30 and is available by pre-order only. Order forms can be picked up at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum, 1107 Washington St., or checks can be sent to: Riverfront Murals Book, c/o Nellie Caldwell, 704 Newit Vick Drive, Vicksburg, MS, 39183. The deadline to order is Oct. 12, and the books will arrive about 30 days later. They will be available for pick up at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum. Shipping and handling charges will apply to orders requiring delivery.

The book will cost $30 and is available by pre-order only, with the deadline to order on Oct. 12. Caldwell said the books will arrive about 30 days later — in more than enough time to be given as Christmas gifts, she stressed — and will be available for pickup at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum on Washington Street. 

“It’s a wonderful coffee table book for people who are from Vicksburg or for those who are from Vicksburg and have since moved away,” said Caldwell, who was among those who brought the Riverfront Mural Committee together eight years ago.

Planning for the historical murals began in 2001, and the first was unveiled in April 2002. All were created by a team led by Lafayette, La.-muralist Robert Dafford, and the final was unveiled in May. The Riverfront Mural Committee dissolved after the final unveiling, having reached its goal of covering the concrete floodwall with murals in just more than eight years.

Much more than just beautiful paintings, the murals are a chronological timeline celebrating the people, places and significant events that have shaped the history of Vicksburg. The book will feature reprints of the murals and  abbreviated histories, written by Bell, that accompany each mural at the floodwall.

“You can go down and look at the murals and read the plaques, but until now visitors or locals haven’t had anything they could take home with them to remember all of the murals and history,” said Bell. “The greatest thing about this book is that it will spread the history and heritage of Vicksburg to more people.”

The entire floodwall mural project has been a nonprofit endeavor from the beginning, Caldwell and Bell said, and the book project likely will be no exception. However, any proceeds from the book will benefit the mural maintenance fund and the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation. Caldwell said the book was not created as a fundraising project so much as a preservation effort.

“For me, this is strictly about preserving these beautiful images and the history of Vicksburg,” she said, adding she anticipates about 200 books to be ordered. “We are very proud of what we were able to accomplish with the murals.”

Aside from the book, prints, posters and notecards featuring the Riverfront Murals are also available at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum and online at www.riverfrontmurals.com.


Contact Steve Sanoski at ssanoski@vicksburgpost.com