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Sandra Miller Black sits at Faulkner's writing table.

Gift ensures Faulkner furnishings stay with Rowan Oak

William Faulkner’s desk, typewriter and day bed are still in the office of the late Nobel Prize-winning author’s Oxford home.

One of his legions of fans is making sure that ambiance is preserved. – by ensuring that all of the furnishings in the antebellum house remain as “fixtures.”

Sandra Miller Black’s recent $500,000 gift helped the University of Mississippi ensure that all of Faulkner’s furnishings would remain in the home.

Faulkner’s house, which he named Rowan Oak in 1931, along with the outbuildings and land, was purchased by the university in 1974, but all furnishings remained the property of Faulkner’s extended family.

“I can’t imagine that the university didn’t already own all of this furniture, and it was just a shock to me that it could leave, that they could just pick it up in a truck and take it away,” Black said in a news release.

Black, an Ole Miss graduate, is married to John Black, a UM Foundation board member.

Mrs. Black and a group of friends in 1989 began attending the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, a celebration of the author’s work that draws hundreds of visitors to Oxford from all over the world. Annually, Rowan Oak draws upwards of 60,000 visitors from all 50 states and more than 50 foreign countries.

Rowan Oak was built in 1844 and stands on some 29 acres just south of the Square and campus in Oxford.


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