New Mississippi Museum of Art exhibits display cultural life

Photographed are Memphis, Tennessee natives, Bill and Andra Eggleston, undated.

This fall, the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, Mississippi, will open two new exhibits featuring artists Maude Schuyler Clay and Jamal Cyrus.

Maude Schuyler Clay, a Mississippi native, made her career through documenting her life at home. Her exhibit, "Maude Schuyler Clay: Portraits of a Place," includes photographic works by Clay dating back to the 1980s, including work up to present day. The works range from family portraits to Mississippi Delta landscapes.

"The exhibition examines four realms of Maude’s work: the biography of the artist as seen in 'Little Gems,' her intimate portraits of her family and friends; chronicles of the social milieu of the Mississippi Delta told through a timeline of images of people who worked for Maude’s family over decades; 'Fruit Suite,' an on-going series of still life images; and her allegorical landscapes conveying a profound sense of place and time," wrote Phoenix Savage, a guest curator, in a press release for the exhibit.

Clay’s experience with life in the Delta has influenced her work immensely. "Delta Land" is a collection of her works published in 1999 that documented the landscape of Mississippi, including "disappearing Indigenous structure," as stated by Clay.

Also included in the exhibition is an installation entitled "Erasing Sally Mann." The installation showcases the relationship between Clay and Mann, an American photographer who gave Clay a note on the back of a photograph. Clay hung the note on a clothesline for a year, later photographing the steady deterioration of the note to display in the exhibition.  

"Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning" is a collection of works by Texas native Jamal Cyrus. Cyrus’ work examines moments in African American history, from the African diaspora to Black civil rights movements, and uses a variety of materials to display these statements.

"Jamal Cyrus’s expansive and multi-faceted practice invites us to explore African American identity within the contexts of historical eras and events, Black political movements, and the African diaspora," wrote Ryan N. Dennis, chief curator for the museum, in a press release.

This specific exhibition of Cyrus’ has been on tour across the country, previously being displayed in the Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Both exhibits will run from Oct. 29, 2022, to March 5, 2023. The Mississippi Museum of Art is open from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission to the museum is free to Mississippi State University students with a student ID due to the Collegiate Partnership Program introduced in 2021.

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