While Oxford MS is important for a lot of reasons, one of it’s most well known or famous citizens was William Faulkner. William Faulkner lived in Oxford MS and made his home at the now famous Rowan Oak, which is maintained by the University of Mississippi and can be toured on most days. If you make it to Oxford, you should be sure and place Faulkner’s Rowan Oak on your list of neat things to do while in town.
There were very few public photographs ever taken of William Faulkner at his home at Rowan Oak, so the fact that there is a collection of photographs that were taken by photographer Martin J. Dain that will be making the circuit around North Mississippi this summer is exciting news for Faulkner fans. The collection of 36 curated photos were taken between 1961 and 1963 of Faulkner in his home environment at his Rowan Oak home. This collection entitled “Faulkner’s World,” is on display now in Columbus, MS and it will be exhibited in Oxford in July and August, while in Tupelo in September and October.
Jan Swoope of the Columbus Dispatch at cdispatch.com wrote the following:
Photographer Martin J. Dain was one of the few who photographed author William Faulkner at Rowan Oak, the writer’s home in Oxford. A selection of those images are compiled in a traveling exhibit, “Faulkner’s World: The Photographs of Martin J. Dain,” on display at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library through June 22.
Dain’s photographs provide a unique journey into Faulkner’s environment. Taken between 1961 and 1963, the images portray the writer at home and provide a comprehensive look at the people and cultural traditions that inspired him.
This collection, consisting of 36 framed images, provides an extraordinary window through which to view community history and from which to reflect on culture and change in Oxford and the surrounding area, shared library archivist Mona K. Vance. As the exhibition discusses and interprets the legacy of Faulkner, it also provides an opportunity to prompt community dialogue.
On his first visit to Oxford in 1961, Dain made numerous photographs of the town and the surrounding rural Lafayette County, the inspiration for the author’s fictional Yoknapatawpha County. Dain returned in 1962 to photograph Faulkner’s funeral and made additional images of Lafayette County.
The exhibition opened at the University of Mississippi in 1997 and traveled for two years as part of the Faulkner Centennial Celebration. It had an encore tour in 2007 in conjunction with the Mississippi Reads project administered through the Mississippi Library Commission, and is once again available, this time for libraries, museums, and cultural centers in Mississippi and surrounding states. You can read the rest of the original article here.
We were excited to hear about the Oxford MS News – Faulkner’s world and the fact that the exhibition is coming to town, as we have not had the privilege of viewing the collection ourselves. While Oxford MS is a relatively small town in the scheme of things, it has become well known as a destination of choice for the Country Club types. The best way I can describe Oxford is that it has a “boutique” feel about it. Even if you can’t quite put your finger on it, you know it is a special place and that it has a very special atmosphere. If you are moving to Oxford or will just be passing through or visiting this summer, make it a point to see Oxford’s very own Rowan Oak and the Faulkner’s World exhibition. If you need rentals, be sure to contact us at Oxford MS Rentals and let us see what we an do to accommodate your stay while in town.
Below is an interesting YouTube video about Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance in 1949.