This Week’s Various

Oakman, Alabama Library Building

library in Oakman, Alabama

The New York Public Library has calculated its most-loaned books of all time, and The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats comes in at number one. To Kill a Mockingbird is #5.  BTW, the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Miss houses the Ezra Jack Keats Papers and Archive, and includes …manuscripts, typescripts, sketches, dummies, illustrations, and proofs for 37 books written and/or illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats. Also included are his personal papers, personal and professional correspondence, fan mail and artwork from children, photographs and childhood memorabilia. Complementing the artwork created for children’s books are numerous examples of his easel art, dating back to his high school years.

In April, the winners of the EJK Award travel to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to accept their prizes at a luncheon honoring Ezra Jack Keats. The event, part of the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival, is hosted by the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The NYPL is also issuing special ‘The Snowy Day’ library cards.

Vogue with Chicago’s upcoming Museum of Contemporary Art exhibit, Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, opening February 29, and gives mention of a Simone Leigh face jug — and here at Hyperallergic are pics of more of her pieces.

Caluda's King Cake

The first king cake of the season, from Caluda’s via our friends at King Cake Hub, and everybody loved

Two Lives in Photography: Maude Schuyler Clay & Langdon Clay at the University of Mississippi Museum, through February 15.

From Christie’s: ‘A new world in my view’: the art of Sister Gertrude Morgan (the video is fab and narrated by Ben Jaffe) — they’re presenting three of her pieces at their Outsider Art sale on January 17.

Rosa Parks' Home

a home Rosa Parks lived in, Henry County AL // a pic I took in 2011

Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words book available from the LOC and elsewhere in conjunction with the exhibition by the same name in the Library of Congress Jefferson Tower.

Until recently, Rosa Parks’s personal papers were unavailable to the public...the civil rights icon is revealed for the first time in print through her private manuscripts and handwritten notes. Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words illumines her inner thoughts, her ongoing struggles, and how she came to be the person who stood up by sitting down. 

E.V. Day – Divas Ascending is on view at the Memphis Brooks through July 5, 2020:

Artist E.V. Day has repurposed costumes from the New York City Opera archives to make Divas Ascending, a series of sculptures that transform familiar icons of women’s empowerment and entrapment into new objects that confound conventional readings of these clichés. Using tension to suspend, stretch, and shred garments and to create forms that the artist likens to futurist abstract paintings in three dimensions, Day has created work that transforms rigid symbols into a range of emotions: anxiety, ecstasy, liberation, and release.

Joe Minter's African Village in America Art Environment, Birmingham AL
Joe Minter’s African Village in America, Birmingham AL // a pic I took in 2006

There’s so much talk about why use one term or another, and in one of this week’s emails, the Outsider Art Fair in NYC describes why they continue to use use “Outsider” in their name:

4) OAF is unlike any other fair. While we appreciate all kinds of art, we make a distinction between works mainly informed by other art and art history from those made by self-taught artists with completely non-academic backgrounds. We use the term outsider art, coined in 1972 by British scholar Roger Cardinal, and the name bestowed upon our fair twenty-eight years ago by our founder. Other terms like self-taught, art brut, vernacular or visionary, all have their place, but we prefer outsider art because an overwhelming majority of people recognize the term and understand what it implies.

Museum of Visionary Art, Baltimore MD

The wall of the Museum of Visionary Art in Baltimore, from a visit in 2006

Her Spirit Made Concrete: Now celebrating 25 years in Baltimore, AVAM is a reflection fo the woman who created it in Baltimore Magazine.

“Even in the beginning, I never would have given so much of my heart and my mind to something that was just about hip, cool art,” Hoffberger says. “I want to share with people what gets you through life and inspires you, rather than, ‘This is by so-and-so and sold at Christie’s for whatever.’ I think it’s too late in the world to just be about visual stuff. A lot of people do that really well, but it was never my interest.

Stretch Mural, Warrior AL

found this week in Warrior, Alabama

The Chef Restoring Appalachia’s World-Class Food Culture: A coal fortune is fueling the revival of a cuisine it nearly destroyed and I was approx 99.9% sure this was going to be another article on Sean Brock (btw, did you know he’s a fab photographer too? Seriously.) but nothing against Sean, but fabulously… it’s on Travis Milton.

…he left, even shedding his accent. Countless Appalachians have done the same, creating a kind of diaspora, a brain drain. Milton and Nicewonder hope to reverse that, to redefine a region known for poverty, branded as hick, and defined by its dying coal industry as a thriving culinary destination. In truth, though, Milton says, it’s not so much a redefinition as a return to a past that went unappreciated and is almost lost.

Killer Cereal, Tupelo MS

In Tupelo, took the boys to Killer Cereal — a cereal-only restaurant. There are several in this genre around and it seems like a super-easy concept, too. Shugie went with the Bates’ Cuckoo Cocoa Bowl (Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Krave Chocolate, whipped cream) but they also have a create-your-own with choice of two cereals, a mix-in, and a milk with option of a topping. PS are Cocoa Pebbles just brown Rice Krispies? They taste like nothing.

St. Andrew's, Sewanee TN

St Andrew’s, from a visit in 2013

Reading about James Agee this week, and never realized that after his dad died when James was 7 or so, his mom moved them to the campus of St Andrew’s School in Monteagle, and it was Father Flye there who mentored him and where he flourished in writing.

Below, Samuel Barber’s composition from Agee’s Knoxville: Summer 1915 in A Death in the Family which is **one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read.**

Lyrics here.

This is Renee Fleming performing:

Anyway, hi from Alabama

My Boys

At the NYT: A Painter Resurrects Louisiana’s Vanished Creole Culture: Andrew LaMar Hopkins celebrates the rich contributions of 19th-Century New Orleans in his folk art style (and drag) on Andrew LaMar Hopkins, who also goes by Désirée Joséphine Duplantier. His folk art paintings depict in particular the lives of free Creoles of color in the 19th C. They’re available at Nadine Blake’s gallery on Royal Street and — among others — on view at Dooky Chase. A dozen of his pieces will be at the Winter Show at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC beginning January 24.

In 1830, the moment in time Mr. Hopkins is fond of using for many of his creations, free Creoles of color in New Orleans owned some $15 million of property in the city. Mostly French speaking, these artisans, shopkeepers and artists were in no small part responsible for the look of the French Quarter — its ironwork, decorative plaster, its architecture and fashionable shops. Like white Creoles, some owned slaves, and some later fought for the Confederacy. Despite many laws restricting their rights they played a significant role in civic life. It’s a big story rarely told.

Neither the New Orleans Museum of Art nor the well-heeled Historic New Orleans Collection has mounted an exhibition…

Andrew’s IG, Shop

Last Day Gospel of Christ Church, Akron AL

Last Day Gospel of Christ Church, Akron AL, from a visit in 2013

APT premieres Alabama Gospel Roots January 18 at 8:00p, with groups from around the state recording at APT’s Madison Avenue Studio in Montgomery.

Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock AR

a Dale Chihuly sculpture at the Clinton Museum and Library in Little Rock, from a visit in 2006

Chihuly at Cheekwood in Nashville from April 25 – Nov 1, 2020.

Amistad Mural, Talladega College, Talladega AL

one of the Amistad mural selections, pre-restoration, at Talladega College in 2007

Talladega College opens its new Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art on January 31, home to the restored Hale Woodruff Amistad murals.

From Architectural Digest: Photographer Douglas Friedman Makes His Home on the Range in Marfa, Texas


Pretty empty in the stands when we went to the Nov 23 Bama v WC game. Which, yeah, WC, but still.

At SI, Unexcused Absence: Why is College Football Attendance Dropping?

Florida isn’t alone—and plenty other schools have it much worse. From 2014 to ’18, attendance across the FBS fell by 7.6%. Last year, on average, 41,856 fans went to games. That’s the lowest turnout since 1996; even major programs like Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Ole Miss suffered declines of greater than 5%. The NCAA has yet to release its full report on 2019’s numbers, but pictures of nearly-empty stadiums, from big to small programs, popped up every fall weekend on Twitter…

On this date in 1897 nothing happened. Austin TX

above, a pic I took last month in Austin

From KUT, an interview with John Langmore in Photographer Made It His Mission To Capture East Austin’s ‘Essence’ Before It Disappears

Best Stop, Scott LA

above, the Zapp’s scene last month when we were at Best Stop in Scott LA

Zapp’s has a new flavor, Evil Eye, “subtle with mild heat, yet bursting with flavor.” 

Hog Leg BBQ, Arab AL

above, the hoecake at Hog Leg Barbecue in Arab AL

Cornbread’s Connection to Barbecue from the Houston Chronicle

In a travelogue from 1853, “A Journey Through Texas,” New York-based writer and architect Frederick Law Olmsted lamented the ubiquity of cornbread as the main sustenance of Texas and the American South: “I made the first practical acquaintance with what shortly was to be the bane of my life, namely, cornbread and bacon.”

Temple Theater, Meridian MS

above, the Temple Theater in Meridian MS, where Jimmie Rodgers played, and where his funeral took place in 1933

At aeon: How an American country music pioneer entered African mythology

In 1933, the US country music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers died of tuberculosis. Just 35 years old and at the peak of his career, his demise left a legacy of a life and career unfinished. This installment from the US animator Drew Christie’s Drawn & Recorded series, which tells little-known stories from the annals of modern music history, recounts the improbable story of how, in death, Rodgers would go on to inspire not just luminaries of American music, but also the Kipsigis peoples of the Rift Valley in Kenya – whose folk music found its way back to the US decades later.

Yes to They Like that Soft Bread at Bitter Southerner:

In the mountains of East Tennessee,  folks have a particular fondness for a sandwich that’s spent a few seconds in a Fresh-O-Matic steamer. Knoxvillians know that soft-bread love in their bones, but nobody seems to know exactly where it comes from. Chelsey Mae Johnson aimed to find out.

Outside Knoxville and environs, the Momma Goldberg’s chain that started in Auburn and is now… a lot of places… steams their sandwiches.

St. Cletus Catholic Church St. Joseph's Day Altar, Gretna Louisiana

above, St Lucy at a St Joseph’s Day altar at St Cletus Catholic Church in Gretna LA, from a visit in 2012

I’m Obsessed with Saint Lucy’s Extra Set of Eyes in this Renaissance Painting by Alexxa Gotthardt at artsy

Extra-Hot Chicken from Prince's Hot Chicken, Nashville TN

the extra-hot at the original Prince’s in Nashville

Kim Prince opened Hotville in in Los Angeles last December, after doing a hot chicken popup there the last couple of years. With that last name, you know where she got started. The NYT reports.

Bourbon, Missouri water tower

found in Bourbon, MO last month
Have a fun weekend, friends! xoxo!