Mississippi History
Project info

Maude Schuyler Clay started her color portrait series Mississippi History in 1975 when she acquired her first Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex camera. At the time, she was living and working in New York and paying frequent visits to her native Mississippi Delta, whose landscape and people continued to inspire her. Over the next 25 years, the project, which began as The Mississippians, evolved in part as an homage to Julia Margaret Cameron, a definitive pioneer of the art of photography. Cameron lived in Victorian England and began her photographic experiments in 1863. Clay's expressive, allegorical portraits of her friends, family and other Mississippians, as well as her artful approach to capturing the essence of light, are the driving forces behind her recollection of moments of family life in Mississippi in the 1980s and 90s.