College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

‘Faulkner’s World’ offers glimpse into famed author’s life in Mississippi

William Faulkner

Photographer Martin J. Dain was one of the few who photographed author  William Faulkner at Rowan Oak, the writer’s home in Oxford. A selection of those  images are compiled in a traveling exhibit, “Faulkner’s World: The Photographs  of Martin J. Dain,” on display at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library through  June 22.

Dain’s photographs provide a unique journey into Faulkner’s environment.  Taken between 1961 and 1963, the images portray the writer at home and provide a  comprehensive look at the people and cultural traditions that inspired him.

This collection, consisting of 36 framed images, provides an extraordinary  window through which to view community history and from which to reflect on  culture and change in Oxford and the surrounding area, shared library archivist  Mona K. Vance. As the exhibition discusses and interprets the legacy of  Faulkner, it also provides an opportunity to prompt community  dialogue.

On his first visit to Oxford in 1961, Dain made numerous photographs of the  town and the surrounding rural Lafayette County, the inspiration for the  author’s fictional Yoknapatawpha County. Dain returned in 1962 to photograph  Faulkner’s funeral and made additional images of Lafayette County.

The exhibition opened at the University of Mississippi in 1997 and traveled  for two years as part of the Faulkner Centennial Celebration. It had an encore  tour in 2007 in conjunction with the Mississippi Reads project administered  through the Mississippi Library Commission, and is once again available, this  time for libraries, museums, and cultural centers in Mississippi and surrounding  states.

“Faulkner’s World: The Photographs of Martin J. Dain” was curated and  produced by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture in Oxford.

Following the exhibition in Columbus, “Faulkner’s World” will be at the  Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library in July and August and at the Lee  County Library in Tupelo in September and October.

Anyone interested in scheduling the traveling exhibition of Dain photographs  should contact Mary Hartwell Howorth by e-mail at or phone at  662-915-5993.

For more information about the exhibit at the Columbus-Lowndes Public  Library, 314 Seventh St. N., contact the library at 662-329-5300.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

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from The Dispatch: Columbus, Starkville & The Golden Triangle by Jan Swoope