Maude Schuyler Clay
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Maude Schuyler Clay started her color portrait series “Mississippi History” in 1975 when she came upon her first Rolleiflex 2¼ camera. At the time, she was living and working in New York and paid frequent visits to her native Mississippi Delta whose landscape and people continued to inspire her. Over the next twenty-five years, the project, which began as “The Mississippians,” evolved into 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, after receiving the gift of a camera. The expressive, allegorical portraits of her friends and family as well as her artful approach to capturing the essence of light are the driving forces behind Clay’s nostalgic recollection of carefree moments of family life and play in Mississippi in the 1980s and ’90s.