September 20, 2017  

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Mississippi painter Kate Freeman Clark subject of lecture by author Carolyn Brown

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Award-winning author Carolyn Brown of Jackson, Miss. will discuss her new book, The Artist’s Sketch: A Biography of Painter Kate Freeman Clark, on Friday, March 24 at 5:30 pm at Oddfellows Gallery in downtown Hattiesburg. This event is part of “Lectures, Lore and Lessons: Mississippi at the Bicentennial,” an event and lecture series celebrating Mississippi’s bicentennial, hosted by The University of Southern Mississippi University Libraries’ Special Collections.

Clark is one of Mississippi’s most significant artists, and The Artist’s Sketch: A Biography of Painter Kate Freeman Clark gives insight into her life and work. Paintings by Kate Freeman Clark from the William Carey University Collection will be on view in the gallery the evening of the lecture.

As a young woman, Clark enrolled in the Art Students League in New York to study under many great artists of the day, most notably William Merritt Chase. For six consecutive summers, she attended his Shinnecock Summer School in Long Island, where she mastered the plein air technique.  Chase considered Clark his “most talented pupil.”

Upon returning to her home in Holly Springs, Miss. in 1923, Clark abandoned painting.  It was not until after her death in 1957 that the town of Holly Springs learned about her life and painting career in New York. Clark left all of her art, which had been stored for 40 years in a warehouse in New York, to the town of Holly Springs.  She also bequeathed her family home and some money to be used in developing a museum. 

Brown spent months in Holly Springs researching the Kate Freeman Clark archive. An Artist’s Sketch highlights Clark’s life through primary sources and enlightens readers about the significance of her work.  She is also the author of two previous award-winning biographies: A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty and Song of My Life: A Biography of Margaret Walker, both published by University Press of Mississippi. Visit www.carolynjbrown.net to learn more.

This official bicentennial project was made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, through support from the Mississippi Development Authority. To learn more about “Lectures, Lore and Lessons: Mississippi at the Bicentennial” events and lecture series, visit http://lib.usm.edu/about_us/news/msbicentennial.html.