Mississippi museum to observe Natchez Week

Published 12:19 am Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NATCHEZ — Thursday’s Historic Natchez Foundation annual meeting will serve as the invitation for all of Natchez to take a little field trip.

Betsy Bradley, director of the Mississippi Museum of Art, will speak at the meeting about Natchez Week and Natchez Day at the museum in January.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Prentiss Club, 211 N. Pearl St. A cocktail reception will begin at 5:30 p.m.

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Natchez Week will be the first week of January, and Natchez Day will be Saturday, Jan. 8.

Mimi Miller, the foundation’s executive director, said celebrating Natchez at the museum is part of an ongoing effort of the museum to bring community attention to the art museum located in Jackson.

Natchez’s week coincides with a display of the works of Natchez artist Rolland Golden. The exhibit, River and Reverie: Paintings of the Mississippi, is currently on display at MMA.

Natchez Day at the museum will be celebrated with special guided tours by curator Dan Pearsol and Golden; a brunch with a lecture on historical Natchez art by Natchez native and MMA registrar Joanna Biglane McNeel; a private tour of the Eudora Welty House by former Natchezian Karen Redhead and tours of restoration at the Old Capitol, King Edward Hotel and the Standard Life Building.

Former Natchez City Planner David Preziosi will serve as the guide for the Jackson trip.

“The museum is really pushing to get into the towns across the state and let people realize this is their art museum,” Miller said. “This is their tribute to Natchez.”

Miller said options for transportation and overnight accommodations for those interested will be discussed at the meeting.

Also at the meeting, Robert Ogle, of Lamar Community College in Colorado will talk about the economic impact of forming a preservation school in Natchez. Ogle will also answer questions from the public.

The Historic Natchez Foundation, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, the Natchez National Historical Park and other entities have been working for several months to lay the groundwork for a preservation institute, Miller said.

Representatives from the MDAH and others will be on hand to also answer questions about the school.

The school would give students hands-on experience with the skills necessary to preserve historic structures. It would operate under Co-Lin and use Historic Jefferson College as its working laboratory, Miller said.

“The groups are going to be working all day Thursday and Friday with planning and ongoing discussions,” Miller said. “Our meeting is a chance for the public to hear what’s going on and ask them questions.”

The foundation will also have a short business meeting and give out history and preservation awards.

No reservations are needed. For more information, call the Historic Natchez Foundation at 601-442-2500.