“Faces and Stories: A Portrait of Southern Writers” opens Saturday in exhibition at AU’s Jule Collins Smith Museum

Madison Jones - an Auburn resident,   former AU professor, long-time AU writer in residence and a subject of this exhibition.
Madison Jones - an Auburn resident, former AU professor, long-time AU writer in residence and a subject of this exhibition.

AUBURN – An exhibition of internationally acclaimed photographer Curt Richter’s photographs of southern writers will open at Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum on Saturday, Sept. 15 and will be on exhibit until December 1.

Commissioned to photograph the founding members of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, Richter eventually photographed more than 200 writers over a period of seven years. Sixty of these photographs appear in “Faces and Stories: A Portrait of Southern Writers,” an exhibition of black and white portraits paying tribute to the strong literary heritage of the American South.

Auburn author Madison Jones, an award-winning novelist and an Auburn resident for more than 50 years, is one of the subjects of Richter’s show. He was a professor of English and an alumni writer-in-residence at AU until his retirement in 1987. He is a member of the Alabama Academy of Distinguished Authors and the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

In a lecture that will provide insight into his practice and philosophy, Richter will speak on “Light is a Thing,” on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 5 p.m., in the museum auditorium. The lecture is part of the museum’s Free Night programming. A reception will follow and will include a wine tasting presented by Gus Clark and co-sponsored by Kroger of Auburn.

Richter’s work is acclaimed by visual art collectors as well as the featured authors. “Richter evokes the inevitable mystery of talent, if not genius,” said author Robert Coles. Ann Beattie, one of the southern authors featured in “Faces and Stories,” said, “[Richter] waits for the expressive moment that has little or nothing to do with the face people usually present to the world.”

Curt Richter’s photography has been exhibited internationally and appears in museum collections worldwide. He received the John Kobal Portrait Award, a Guggenheim fellowship and a Fulbright grant. His images have been published in Conde Nast Traveler, Esquire, Fortune, House and Garden, Mirabella, The New York Times Magazine and Rolling Stone. Born in New York, Richter now lives in Finland.

“Faces and Stories” is the latest addition to “Southern Visions: The Southern Arts and Culture Traveling Exhibits Program” operated by the Southern Arts Federation. Since 1995, Southern Visions has provided access to artistically excellent exhibits celebrating the South’s rich artistry and cultural heritage to over half a million people.

(Contributed by Scott Bishop.)
Contact: Marilyn Laufer, (334) 844-1486 (laufema@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)