Memphis – The photo display that claims to capture the life that produced the music runs through December 31, 2000 at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis. The title, Visualizing the Blues: Images of the American South 1862 – 2000, reflects the exhibits intent.
“Visualizing the Blues in an evocative celebration of Southern life,” observed Jay Kamm, Dixon’s director. “Authors such as William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and Katherine Anne Porter have captured the bizarre and beautiful culture of the South in words. We feel the photographs exhibited in Visualizing the Blues express the same feeling. These images tell the story of the Blues and the South as dynamically as the work of any writer.”
Those serious about southern music will enjoy the exhibit and its revealing context as do visitors to the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. The music could not have existed apart from the distinctive culture it reflected and from which it drew its soul. What happened here could not have happened anywhere else in the world.
Connected with the extensive photography exhibit, Dixon Gallery and Gardens has scheduled several related artists and events.
*James Cotton in concert Saturday, October 21, 7 p.m.;
*“Trick of the Devil” (life of Robert Johnson) performed by the Memphis Black Repertory Theater Thursday – Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday’s at 2:30 November 9 – December 2.
October 22 – Down in the Delta
October 29 – The Long Walk Home
November 5 – Mystery Train
*Film Marathon (Documentaries) Saturday, November 4, 10 a.m. till 5 p.m.
Great Drives on American Highways, Vol. 1
Bluesland: A Portrait of American Music
Can’t You Hear the Wind Howl? The Life and Music of Robert Johnson
Legends of the Delta Blues
Mr. Boogie Woogie
Beale Street Blues from Gospel to Rock
*Fridays After Dark (Galleries open till 8 p.m. with live blues performances)
November 3, 10, 17 and 24
Other planned events include an academic symposium with speakers including Peter Guralnick, author of Last Train To Memphis and Careless Love profiling Elvis Presley’s life and career, and Vick Goldberg photography critic for the New York Times.
Symposium topics will include Historical Origins of the Blues, Evolution of Blues Instruments, Influence of the Blues on American Culture, and The Blues Today and Tomorrow.
A real force behind the exhibit, guest curator Wendy McDaris, summarized, “The photographs in the exhibition convey the sense that, for Southerners, joy and sorrow are equally important life events.”
Those only interested in photos of musical performers will find no place at this Dixon exhibit. But those wanting to understand those performers will discover a rich resource of material and insight.
The Dixon Gallery and Gardens is located at 4339 Park Avenue in Memphis. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 till 5 p.m..