In August 2019, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art introduced a photography exhibit, “Southern Interiors,” as a part of a new photographic initiative that will run through January 5, 2020.
The photographic initiative has begun to circulate all throughout Auburn, not just at Jule Collins, but at other venues such as the Auburn Public Library, the Department of Art and Art History’s Biggin Gallery and the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities at Pebble Hill.
The Southern Interiors exhibit displayed several pictures lining both sides of a hall in the museum. Walking through, each piece showcases people and objects from different periods of time. Some pieces are in black and white and others printed in color. These pictures display a lot of meaning and depth under the surface, said Nancy Beale, a volunteer at the museum.
“You’ll see a lot of pictures of ‘plain’ people — simple, poor people; not much education,” she said. “They would be in the grand antebellum houses, but while they were rich in house, they were poor in person.”
The exhibit in Jule Collins received its photos from The Do Good Fund, a public charity based in Columbus, Georgia, that was founded in 2012. The organization has been collecting photographs taken in the American South since World War II.
The Do Good Fund is working toward placing art in several different venues in the southeast region in hopes of spreading their collection and encouraging community engagement.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
All of the pictures featured are from multiple different decades and contain a variety of subjects but carry a similar meaning. This was a different concept from art before this period, Beale said.
“This is just kind of a juxtaposition against very wealth-oriented versus very poor-oriented, and how people gravitate towards different things,” she said.
The time frame of the pictures ranges throughout the late 1900s, but the concept remains the same.
“Some of the photographs were shot in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. It still showed that proud, defiant, old south mentality,” Beale said.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman