ATLANTA - One of the nation’s great literary voices, Eudora Welty revealed the lives and struggles of the rural South, earning her a Pulitzer Prize and the title of First Lady of Southern Literature. Many Americans, however, are not familiar with her accomplishments as a photographer during the Great Depression. Following college, Welty held various jobs at the local Jackson, Mississippi newspaper and at a radio station before becoming a publicity agent for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), part of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program.
Traveling through Mississippi opened her eyes to the misery of the Great Depression and resulted in powerful photographs. It was the insight of these experiences that first inspired Welty to seriously write short stories. In 1936, Welty's WPA job came to an end, her photographs were exhibited in a one women show in New York, and her first short stories, “Magic” and “Death of a Traveling Salesman,” were published. Welty’s photography and her writing came from the same impulse to create a dramatic narrative, and the combination of her images and her prose develop a more complete view as the themes, genres, people, and places she knew comes into focus.
Eudora Welty: Exposures and Reflections, a new exhibition on display at the Atlanta History Center from February 5 – May 8, 2011, creates a tie between the two art forms, demonstrating the relationship of Welty’s regional literary works to scenes from her photographic catalogue, resulting in a provocative view of the Depression-era South. The exhibition features forty of Welty’s photographs, as well as thirty-one volumes of first editions of Welty’s writings and photography, the three camera formats she used for her photography, and a short video, including American novelist Reynolds Price and journalist Robert MacNeil, talking about her photography.
Eudora Welty: Exposures and Reflections was developed by the Museum of Mobile in partnership with the Southern Literary Trail and funded by the Alabama Humanities Foundation.
People and Prose: Workshops for Kids Inspired by the Talents of Eudora Welty
Sunday, March 13, 2011
12:00 - 5:00 PM
Celebrate the literary and photographic talents of Eudora Welty by participating in family friendly workshops and guided tours of the exhibition, Eudora Welty: Exposures and Reflections. Channel Welty while your family uses their five senses to write their own Southern narratives. Then learn how to tell a story though photography and try your hand at creating your own Eudora Welty-inspired photographs. This program is included in the cost of general admission and free for members.
Support: Funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council.
Pearl Amelia McHaney
Eudora Welty: Narratives of the South in Word and Image
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
This program is presented in conjunction with the Atlanta History Center’s exhibition, Eudora Welty: Exposures and Reflections. Eudora Welty pursued the arts of photography and fiction with equal earnest in the 1930s seeking audience, education, and vocation. Welty's writing and her photographs illustrate the power of what can be observed, learned, and enjoyed when we have opportunities to read and see Welty’s arts. Dr. Pearl McHaney, associate professor of twentieth-century American literature at Georgia State University, will discuss the newly printed and framed photographs that Welty took in the 1930s of people, places, and the Southern environment.This lecture is held at Atlanta History Center.
Founded in 1926, the Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive, thirty-three-acre destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum, one of the Southeast’s largest history museums; two historic houses, the 1928 Swan House and the 1860 Smith Family Farm; the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; the Kenan Research Center; the Grand Overlook event space; Chick-Fil-A at the Coca-Cola Café, a museum shop, and acres of Historic Gardens with paths and a kid-friendly discovery trail.
In addition, the History Center operates the Margaret Mitchell House. Located in Midtown Atlanta, the two-acre campus features tours of the apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gone With the Wind, an exhibition highlighting the life of Margaret Mitchell, aGone With the Wind movie exhibition, and a museum shop