JACKSON — While Eudora Welty was most known for her novels and short stories, with their seemingly simple explorations of the everyday lives of Southern people, which were, in reality, sophisticated and cryptic expositions of the human condition and the interplay between the sexes, she was also an accomplished photographer.
Welty, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel “The Optimist’s Daughter” in 1973 and died at the age of 92 in Jackson July 23, used her camera to document the everyday lives of Mississippians. And some of her work, which makes up the Eudora Welty Photograph Portfolio, was recently donated by AmSouth to the Mississippi Museum of Art.
AmSouth has always been a financial supporter of the MMA, and the MMA has always been the custodian of the 18 limited edition photograph prints belonging to AmSouth that make up Welty’s portfolio, which depicts the effects of the Depression on Mississippians during the 1930s. The prints were made in the 1970s and 1980s. Welty signed each one of the prints.
On Sept. 26 the photographs — published in 1992 in cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and acquired by the bank in 1992 — were donated by AmSouth to remain a part of the MMA’s permanent collection.
“AmSouth always gave us permission to use the photographs as we liked,” explained MMA chief curator Ren