The Land of Rowan Oak: Photographs of Faulkner’s Natural World by Ed Croom
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Lecture by Ed Croom, book-signing after
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The plants and landscape at Rowan Oak are the little postage stamps of soil that William Faulkner owned, walked, and tended for more than 30 years during the writing of many of his short stories and novels. Faulkner saw and smelled the earth and listened to sounds from the cultivated grounds and the surrounding woods. This is the place that offered him refuge for writing and provided him food from his garden, fruit and nut trees, and pasture for his horses and milk cow. Rowan Oak boasts a diverse landscape, encompassing an aristocratic eastern red cedar-lined drive and walk as well as hardly ornamental shrubs, trees, pastures, and a hardwood forest with virgin timber.
More than 50 years after Faulkner’s death, Rowan Oak remains a sanctuary and a place of mystery and beauty nestled in the midst of Oxford, Mississippi. The photographs in The Land of Rowan Oak are botanist Ed Croom’s exploration and documentation of the changes in the plants and landscape over more than a decade. Croom encountered early morning mists, the summer heat and haze, and even rare snowfalls in his near-daily walks on the grounds. His photographs record a decaying fence line, trees, and plants that have since disappeared, and the newly restored sunken garden.
The LRMA exhibition coincides with Croom’s newly published book, The Land of Rowan Oak, by University Press of Mississippi and honors the land Faulkner loved. While Faulkner’s novels have left an indelible legacy in southern and American letters, the landscape of his beloved home also serves as a record of the botanical history of this most storied corner of the American literary South.
Exhibition and reception generously sponsored by Evelyn and Michael Jefcoat