This Week’s Various

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As always, all images unless otherwise noted copyright Deep Fried Kudzu. Like to use one elsewhere? Kindly contact me here.

Governor's Suite, Marriott Shoals Hotel, Florence AL

The custom Sun Records guitar made by Gibson, presented to Sam Phillips, celebrating “50 years of Sam’s Sun Records and the birth of Rock ‘n Roll.” It’s in the Governor’s Suite at the Marriott Shoals Hotel, Florence AL. From a stay there in 2018

Primary Wave Music in NY has purchased Memphis/now Nashville-based Sun Records‘ assets — that means the recordings, the logo, the brand — from the family that owns the corporation, the Singleton family who bought it from Sam Phillips in 1969. 80yo John A. Singleton says one part in selling it was that he doesn’t have anyone in the family to hand it down to.

The only thing that wasn’t included was Elvis Presley’s releases, because they already belong to Sony, and some small labels and some songwriting copyrights. From the NYT:

 In total, about 6,000 recordings are part of the deal, among them some epochal classics: Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk the Line,” Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” Carl Perkins’s “Blue Suede Shoes” and the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love.”

Walker Evans American Photographs is a traveling exhibit of 60 photographs celebrating his landmark solo show at MoMA in 1938. Its first stop is the Art Museum of West Virginia University, and its on currently through April 25.

Gallery, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock

from a visit to the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, in 2015

The Arkansas Arts Center is now the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts. Currently, it is being developed as part of a $142M plan that includes design by MacArthur Foundation “genius award” winners Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects and Kate Orff of SCAPE Landscape Architecture. It is scheduled to open spring 2022.

Studio Gang and SCAPE also worked together on the upcoming Tom Lee Park in Memphis.

Square Books is promoting pre-orders for A Place Like Mississippi: From Faulkner and Welty to Wright and Ward (Square Books here, Amazon here). Via the publisher, this review:

“Ralph Eubanks’ A Place Like Mississippi is the book all of us Mississippi writers, dead and alive, need to read. It is indeed a strange but glorious sensation to see your literary and geographic lineage so beautifully and rigorously explored and valued as it’s still being created. A Place Like Mississippi is further proof that while Mississippi is 50th in many things, when it comes to riveting, textured, literary art, we one of one, as is the genius of Ralph Eubanks.” —Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: An American Memoir

Country Store near Moundville, Alabama by Walker Evans. From the Library of Congress, Control Number 2017762321. No known copyright restrictions on image.

February 4, Swann Galleries will host auction The Artists of the WPA, featuring paintings, prints, photographs, posters, books, and more by artists who were employed by the Works Progress Administration.  Among the 230 or so lots:

Thomas Hart Benton lithographs // Lester Beall posters promoting the Rural Electrification Administration // Marion Post Wolcott silver print of a man in the Camden, Alabama area // Charles Crutch silver print of men playing checkers in Red Bank, Tennessee // files & photographs of Arthur Getz projects, including “Cotton Field” in Luverne, Alabama // Dorothea Lange silver print of a tenant farmer near Anniston, Alabama // Russell Lee silver prints of Appalachian life // Walker Evans silver print of Vicksburg, Mississippi neighborhood, a country store near Moundville, Alabama, and a showbill from Demopolis, Alabama

Arnold's Country Kitchen, Nashville TN

from a visit to Arnold’s, 2016

Nashville’s beloved meat & three, Arnold’s, is starting Arnold’s After Dark, with the restaurant transforming after its existing hours, beginning Feb 11. This, from Eater:

…transform the original buffet line into a bar (the new daytime buffet line is just a few feet back) — and Pendley’s brews from TennFold will be on offer alongside cocktails from Urban Grub’s Wil Schultz. Arnold’s hasn’t shared the final cocktail or food menus just yet, but teases frozen mint juleps and other refreshing Arnold’s-inspired cocktails alongside some new food offerings…

The Neal Auction Company Winter Estates Auction Feb 5-7 includes the estate of Julia Reed, from which I found five works by William Dunlap, including the 40×82″ ‘Mississippi – Father of Waters – History of Mud’ and 39×52 ‘Jeffersonian Democracy: A Work in Progress’ as well as some very fine photography, including Jane Rule Burdine’s 1971 ‘Curtain, College Hill, Lafayette County, Mississippi’ and Jack Spencer’s 2014 ‘M&E Service Center, Greenville, Mississippi’. On page 66-67 of the catalog, a few Ida Kohlmeyers. Lot 554: ‘I am in the House’ woodcarving by James Surls. Lots 598-601, George Rodrigue Blue Dogs.  Day three includes works by Mose T, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Bernice Sims, Joe Light.

O'Hanlon's in Geneva, Georgia

fatback biscuit, 2017

Atlanta Magazine on 11 Places to find Fluffy, Comforting Biscuits in Atlanta includes that really pretty one from Sun in My Belly. Also: really like Matt’s post at SIMB about hosting: One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was, “You have to invite yourself to the party.” Every time we host, my wife and I aim to finish preparation 30 minutes before our guests arrive, so that we can have a private drink together and set the tone for the evening. It’s really cool when you think of a party as a living, growing entity: the party starts with my wife and me; we establish its identity by peacefully enjoying that first cocktail, and then we invite each guest that arrives following into this positive ambiance.

And: Redbird looks beyond fab.

George Ohr

(these pieces not included in the sale) examples of George Ohr pottery, 2012

The Slotin Southern Folk Pottery Extravaganza auction will be Feb 13. It’s 327 lots, including many one would expect; was very happy to see several works by George Ohr — those seem to have very conservative estimates.

Christie’s Outsider and Vernacular Art auction came in at  $2,137,750; that’s  > 2x the total low estimate. The hammer price of $293,750 for Bill Traylor’s 1939-42 ‘Two Dogs Fighting; Man Chasing Dog’ was also more than double the low estimate. Thornton Dial’s 2003 ‘Creation of Life in the Blackberry Patch’ realized $150k.

From the NYPL:

In this episode, NYPL’s Joshua Chuang and renowned art historian Svetlana Alpers, author of the recently published Walker Evans: Starting from Scratch will discuss how the great American artist came to develop his eye, as well as the influential encounters Evans had as a young artist at the NYPL.

(via Square Books, via Amazon)

Lonnie Holley and Matthew E. White collab on Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection, out April 19. In the meantime, they released This Here Jungle of Moderness/Composition 14:

Super random section:

The Washingtonian with 10 Decadent Pie Recipes from DC Chefs for National Pie Day includes some from shuttered restaurants; the list: Baked and Wired’s Peaches-and-Cream Pie // BlackSalt’s Caramel/Apple Streusel Pie // NoPa’s Peach-Melba Handpies // Founding Farmers’ Chicken Pot Pie // Bar Pilar’s Buttermilk Pie // General Store’s Coconut-Cream Pie // Againn’s Banoffee Pie // Buzz Bakery’s Brown-Sugar Pie // Tabard Inn’s Crab Tart // Red Truck Bakery’s Pumpkin Pie

Botticelli’s circa 1480 “Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Roundel” (or, to me, “Guy Who Really Looks Like My Boyfriend, My Sophomore Year of College”) sold at Sotheby’s for a record-breaking $92.2M this week, which I guess also means I told my kids a lie when I explained “nobody is spending serious money during a pandemic and that includes us”

I mean, I want a melted disco ball but we’ll pass for now

Joanna Mang at Jezebel with We Have to Save Books from the Book People

The restored Apollo Mission Control at Houston’s Johnson Space Center

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is being made into a ‘big-budget’ television miniseries, though it has not yet been sold to any premium cable / streaming service. Blake Hazard, a great-granddaughter of Scott and Zelda, and trustee of the Fitzgerald estate, will be a consulting producer

Eleanor Torrey West, who worked to protect from developers and over-tourism the 26k-acre Ossabow Island off the coast of Georgia, has passed away at the age of 108. The island is home to a variety of birds, sea turtles and even feral pigs, which were believed to have been introduced by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Mrs. West kept some of the animals as pets, including Lucky, who was injured by a hawk as a piglet; she nursed him back to health in her laundry room.  “They used to go on walks around the island,” Mr. Gilothwest said, “and then he would lie down on a riverbank, and she’d lean her head on his belly and read a book.”

No one was kidding when we said Chick-Fil-A would have this whole process go faster, and that was just proven. Now we need to get a trifecta of Chick-Fil-A, Niki’s West, and The Varsity to push this through, and boom, we done.

Pellet Ice is the Good Ice by Helen Rosner, in the New Yorker. Besides when the biscuits were really good, wasn’t the pellet ice the only other reason to go to Hardee’s?

San Antonio Murals

San Antonio murals, 2016

For the Best Enchiladas in Texas, Go Back to School in San Antonio at Texas Highways

If you didn’t grow up in San Antonio, I can’t explain the cultural significance of enchilada day (aka Wednesday). The enchiladas were so good, they would actually chart increased school attendance on enchilada day.

…“The races to the cafeteria were amazing,” says Dr. Richard Middleton , a graduate and former superintendent of San Antonio’s North East ISD. “At our 50th high school reunion, people were talking about how if there was one thing they wish they could relive, a lot of them said Enchilada Day.”

…According to Sharon Glosson, executive director of school nutrition for North East ISD, when San Antonio schools started restricting access due to COVID-19, parents “wanted to know if they could still come visit on enchilada day.”

Here’s the recipe on the NEISD’s FB page

The Outsider Art Fair New York opens January 29 and runs through Feb 7. Online viewing rooms here. There are seven curated exhibitions across the city. Of particular note:

To Be Human: The Figure in Self-Taught Art at Hirschl & Adler, 41 East 57th Street Features figurative works by some of the most beloved artists in the field, including Henry Darger, Morton Bartlett, James Castle, Mose Tolliver, James Edward Deeds and Bill Traylor.

Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning at SHIN Gallery, 68 Orchard Street Curated by Scott Ogden (SHRINE), the show features iconic African-American artists from the Deep South like Thornton Dial, Mary T. Smith, Ronald Lockett, Bill Traylor, and the Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers. The Realm of Minnie Evans, a solo exhibition of works by the revered North Carolinan artist, will accompany.

The NYT wrote that the standout at the SHIN Gallery is the work of:

Hawkins Bolden, a blind artist who, before he died in 2005, made minimal but roughly textured scarecrows in his Memphis backyard. One untitled work, another basin overturned on a rusty metal chair, has bits of rubber affixed for ears and a goatee, and it throbs with spiritual energy. Another, a kind of altarpiece made from a hubcap and scraps of carpeting mounted on a window frame, deserves to be looked at for days.

Peanut Butter - Chocolate Chip Babka

Maybe the best thing I made last week was this peanut butter & chocolate chip babka and the second I perfect the recipe, I’ll publish it here. Although I’m thinking next time: nutella. How does nutella and white chocolate sound?

At the 2021 Mississippi Governor’s Arts Awards, on February 19 the Tutwiler Quilters will be honored with the award for “Arts in Community.”

Other recipients: Arthur Jafa: Excellence in Media Arts, Nellie McInnis (Music), Raphael Semmes (Cultural Ambassador), Jesmyn Ward (Literature), Benjamin Wright (Lifetime Achievement)

Turn the Knob. Greensboro AL

Instructions. found in Greensboro, Alabama earlier this month

Yes yes yes to Brandon Dill’s Thanks For Looking photo essay at Southern Spaces

…a collection of (mostly) unpublished photographs I made just off to the side of what was supposed to be the main attraction. As a daily news stringer and freelance commercial photographer, I’m lucky to provide a livelihood for my family with my camera, but I’m also at the mercy of the assignment gods. Often, I find that the photos I care most about—that feel most powerful and truthful and interesting—are of no interest to the editors who send me out to make them.

Emmett Till’s former home in Chicago (on Google StreetView above) was declared a landmark this week. There are plans to turn home into a museum.

Here are five other Till-related places found nearby: McCosh Elementary, where he attended, was later renamed  Emmett Louis Till Math & Science Academy // a Mamie and Emmet Till Memorial Garden (community garden) // Honorary Emmett Till Road is a named section of 71st Street // less than a mile from the home, Mamie Till Mobley Park // the Roberts Temple Church of G-d in Christ achieved landmark status in 2006. This is where the funeral took place.

Roberts Temple CoGiC was named on the 2020 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

It’s truly only the inclusion of the deepfake of Willie Nelson that’s keeping this out of the super random section. Here’s Meow Wolf‘s new permanent installation (opening Feb 18) in Las Vegas, Omega Mart. Also, if Meow Wolf can get people to ride this AND eat at the same time, we’ve just figured out every nine-year-old’s birthday party dreams.

Turtle Soup, Commanders Palace, New Orleans

turtle soup, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans, 2016

Turtle Soup Recipe, Memphis Junior League Cookbook

Flipping through my 1952 Junior League of Memphis Cookbook, and ran across this for ‘Jellied Clear Green Turtle Soup’ (so, really an aspic, I think).

Beat 13, Hale County AL

Finally visited Beat 13 in the forest in Hale County, Alabama this month. Feels like it will always belong to William Christenberry…what an emotion just to be there. Planning some time to adventure in the country this weekend and hope you’re getting lots of fresh air too. xoxo!