Thursday, October 13, 2016

Throwback Thursday | Kathryn Windham Tucker Museum.


A year ago, we had a little family reunion in my dad's hometown (funny, I titled that post "Time Flies" and that would also be an apt title for this post - how was that trip 12 months ago?!). 


One of the very cool things we did was visit the Kathryn Tucker Windham Museum. Kathryn Tucker Windham and my grandmother (my dad's mother) were cousins (Grandmother was a Tucker, too, before she got married). I've heard stories about Miz Windham practically my whole life. But really, she was the story teller. I own many of her books and added her last one to my collection when I was there.

The museum is a really wonderful tribute to Miz Windham's life and storytelling legacy. 

Its director (whose name I've forgotten) is a real fan, too. She was thrilled to meet "family" (she took the photo at the top of this post and shared it on the museum's Facebook page) and gave us a personal tour. 

This story quilt (made by Dorothy Williams Shepard) is one of my favorite pieces in the museum's extensive collection.

...and of course this
(I wish I'd written this post sooner or taken better notes because now I can't remember the details - all I have are these photos!)

That's a sculpture of Miz Windham. It reminds me that she told stories with words and photographs. I have her book Encounters, which includes some of her best work. The museum has many of the photographs from that book on display along with their stories. It's impressive.

Two of Miz Windham's children - Ben Windham and Dilcy Windham Hilley - have created a wonderful home for her work on-line. The website even includes voice recordings from Miz Windham's radio broadcasts. I couldn't figure out how to link directly to that page, but there's a "Listen to Kathryn Tell Stories Here" link at the bottom of the homepage that will take you there. The one called Naps is especially delightful.
"It is highly unusual for a talented wordsmith also to be a gifted photographer, but Kathryn Tucker Windham has long used both media to communicate memorably about Southern culture. Whether telling stories, commenting on Southern customs, passing along cherished recipes, or capturing Alabama life in photographs, her work has a unity that centers on her powers of observation and memory and her love for the South, its people and its lifeways."
(from the museum's flyer, reprinted from the Encyclopedia of Alabama)
This is one cousin I'm certainly proud to claim!


12 comments:

  1. There are some things that the South seems to do better, and extended family and storytelling are among them. It's wonderful that you have a museum in the family, could visit it together, and Miz Windham's work is being preserved and passed along. That quilt is incredible!

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  2. This is awesome-I think I need to plan a road trip to Alabama!

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  3. This is just terrific! That sculpture is so joyful, as I'm sure your cousin was too. Great day spent with your Dad too I'll bet.

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  4. I love that sculpture! It is wonderful. I'm going to go to the website when I have time (i.e., not at work...). Thank you for sharing.

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  5. How wonderful that you could visit her museum as a family! It is so nice to keep memories alive down through the generations.

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  6. I think that's awesome that you have a cousin with a museum dedicated to her memory and honor!

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  7. LOVE. Oh, Mary. Thanks for sharing this story! XO

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  8. How fascinating! And, really how AWESOME! A bit of history alive in your family!

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  9. Kathryn's life embodies the idea that women are the fabric that keeps a society together, through stories, photographs, and personality. You can see on her face how much she loves people.

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  10. Wow, what a great visit, and how proud you must be! I just love the sculpture ...

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  11. My what a treasured family member and memories. I'd for sure claim her too...Love the quilted sculpture and the other, made of found items. Margene nails it all with her comment! I'll have to spend more time with Ms KTW...thanks for the link. Love
    "story"!
    Cheers~

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  12. Oh how wonderful! I just ordered one of her books (none available at my library here in Wisconsin) (go figure!). ;)

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Thanks for the feedback!