Eudora Welty’s 100th birthday and historic landmark house

“Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it.” –Eudora Welty.

Today is Eudora Welty’s 100th birthday. Welty, the Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist for The Optimist’s Daughter, besides having a totally cool name, is a person who has inspired people to think, read and embrace the arts. Along with being a writer, Welty was a traveler and photographer. Throughout her life, Welty’s roots remained firmly in the American South.

As with other southern writers who remain beloved after their deaths, Welty’s legacy continues. One of my friends, who is an avid traveler, recently visited Eudora Welty’s house in Jackson, Mississippi and came back in a glow.

Welty’s house, a National Historic Landmark, is now a museum that is open for guided tours. Here is where Welty lived and wrote from 1925 until her death in 2001.

Along with being a place where one of the United States’ literary greats wrote, the house is one of the best intact examples of an American writer’s home. The Tudor-style home looks like it did when Welty was growing up here when she lived here with her parents and her siblings, and afterward when she penned her masterpieces.

Visiting her house is only one of the options for honoring Welty’s 100th birthday. There are several exhibits and events throughout the year.

The Eudora Welty Foundation Website lists several. Two exhibits are being shown at different venues.

“Welty” is a combination of Welty’s 1930s era photographs and excerpts from her writing to “show the relationship between her source material and her writing.”

You can see this exhibit through May 22, 2009 at Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia; from August 3 to September 25 at Bryan Public Library; and from November 10-January 2, 2010 at The Triangle Cultural Center, Yazoo City, Mississippi.

The other exhibit “Eudora Welty: Other Places” is a collection of photographs that Welty took took in New Orleans and New York City from 1936 to 1939. This exhibit is being shown at Sardis Public Library, Sardis, Mississippi through April 26 and at The Hernando Public Library, April 27-June 19.

According to the Website, as more exhibits and events are planned they will be added. Click here for Calendar of Events that also has contact numbers for the various locations.

Limited prints of Welty’s photo “Window Shopping” you see here are being sold to raise money for the foundation. My friend says that the home, as wonderful as it is, needs work in order to keep it up and running.