"This was a place that I thought I had known all my life, and it became new to me - as if I had a 'mission' to somehow be the chronicler of what was actually here, ghosts and all." - Maude Schuyler Clay
A fifth-generation Delta Southerner, Maude Schuyler Clay began her Mississippi History portrait journey in 1975 when she acquired her first Rolleiflex twin lens camera. Over a two-decade span - while honing her craft in college, assisting legendary photographer William Eggleston, and working as a photographer and photo editor in NYC - she often returned to her Mississippi home to photograph the people and everyday moments around her. And the resulting 25-year collection strings together with seamless, timeless, intimate beauty.
There's a familial pull to Clay's images - evident in the close framing, the unposed freshness of the faces, and the captions (mostly first names only). But ultimately it's the light that unifies this exquisite mix - soft, sunny, dappled, blasted and pooled - always shining warmth. Clay is recipient of the Mississippi Arts and Letters Award, and her work has been featured in Esquire, Vanity Fair and The Oxford American, as well as The National Museum for Women in the Arts and The Museum of Modern Art. She lives in the Delta with her husband and children.
Signed by the artist.