Patti Carr Black

Major Works

Photo above by Joe Ellis: Authors Patti Carr Black and Marion Barnwell

Photo by Joe Ellis: Authors Patti Carr Black and Marion Barnwell

  • Guide to Civil War Source Material in the Department of Archives and History, State of Mississippi. Compiled by Patti Carr Black and Maxyne Madden Grimes; edited by Charlotte Capers. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1962
  • Mississippi Piney Woods: A Photographic Study of Folk Architecture. An exhibition at the Mississippi State Historical Museums. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1976.
  • Welty: An Exhibition at the Mississippi State Historical Museum, Jackson, Mississippi. Photographs and text by Eudora Welty; selected and edited by Patti Carr Black. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1977.
  • Mules & Mississippi. Edited by Patti Carr Black. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1980.
  • Documentary Portrait of Mississippi: The Thirties. Edited by Patti Carr Black. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1982.
  • Eudora. Selected and edited by Patti Carr Black; designed by Marie Owen. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1984.
  • Walter Anderson for Children. Designed by Cavett Taff; edited by Ann Morrison and Patti Black. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1984.
  • The Natchez Trace. Photographs by Harold Young; text by Patti Carr Black. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1985.
  • The Walter Anderson Birthday Book. Jackson: Mississippi State Historical Museum, 1986.
  • Persistence of Pattern in Mississippi Choctaw Culture. Edited by Patti Carr Black. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1987.
  • Approaching the Magic Hour: Memories of Walter Anderson, by Agnes Grinstead Anderson; edited By Patti Carr Black. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1989.
  • Eudora Welty, Other Places: An Exhibition at the Mississippi State Historical Museum, Jackson, Mississippi. Photographs by Eudora Welty; Introduction by Patti Carr Black. Jackson: Mississippi State Historical Museum, 1995.
Art in Mississippi by Patti Carr Black

Art in Mississippi by Patti Carr Black

  • Art in Mississippi, 1720-1980. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 1998.
  • The Southern Writers Quiz Book. Illustrations by Patti Henson. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 1999.
  • Of Home and Family: Art in Nineteenth Century Mississippi: Mississippi Museum of Art, September 4-October 31, 1999. Jackson: Mississippi Museum of Art, 1999.
  • Touring Literary Mississippi. (with Marion Barnwell.) Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2002.
  • Early Escapades edited by Patti Carr Black (2005)
  • Eudora Welty’s World: Words on Nature, edited by Patti Carr Black, watercolors by Robin Whitfield (2005)
  • The Mississippi Story, edited by Robin C. Dietrick, distributed for the Mississippi Museum of Art, the book is based on an exhibition from the permanent collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art and looks at artwork produced within the state by artists who were native to or lived in Mississippi or by travelers who created work about the state.

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Biography of Patti Carr Black

Patti Carr Black was born May 18, 1934, in Sumner, Mississippi, the daughter of Velma Lewis and Samuel B. Carr. She attended Sumner School for eleven years and graduated in 1951 from West Tallahatchie High School in the first class of the county’s consolidated high school.

Patt Carr Black at Welty Symposium at the W.  Photo by Nancy Jacobs

Patt Carr Black at Welty Symposium. Photo by Nancy Jacobs. 2013

She received her B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Mississippi State College for Women, 1955, where she served as President of the Student Body and was named Miss MSCW. She later took studio art courses at Tulane University and the New School for Social Research in New York City. She earned her M.A. degree from Emory University in 1968.

In New York CIty, 1968-70, she worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at Time Magazine as arts research librarian. Her major career was with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for thirty years, moving from librarian to exhibits designer to director of the State Historical Museum, to director of the Museum Division, which included the State Historical Museum, the Manship House Museum, and the historic portion of the Governor’s Mansion.

Highlights of her career included establishing the Mississippi folklife program at the State Historical Museum in 1972; coordinating Mississippi’s participation in the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival of 1974; creating the first permanent exhibit in the South on the Civil Rights Movement, which won the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, 1987. She designed more than 100 temporary exhibits for the State Historical Museum, permanent exhibits for Historic Jefferson College and Grand Village of the Natchez Indians in Natchez.

Her books published by the University Press of Mississippi include Art in Mississippi, 1728-1980, Eudora Welty’s Early Escapades, Breathing Art: the biographies of Lynn and Myra Green, The Mississippi Story, Literary Tour of Mississippi, Southern Writers Quiz Book, Approaching the Magic Hour, the Memories of Agnes Anderson, and The Natchez Trace. Other books include American Masters of the Gulf Coast, Eudora Welty’s World: Words on Nature, and Art to Life, Welty and Theatre. Other publications include numerous museum catalogs, including those on George Ohr, Walter Anderson, Eudora Welty, and Mississippi folk art.

She received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Non-Fiction, 1999; the Governor’s Award for Career in the Arts, 1993, Award from the Mississippi Historical Society, 1993, for excellence in programming and exhibits, the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History in 1993 for exemplary service as director of the Mississippi State Historical Museum. Award of Merit from the Mississippi Historical Society, 1980, for creative museum administration, and a Special Award from the Mississippi Craftsman’s Guild in 1979.

Touring Literary Mississippi

Touring Literary Mississippi

She was a founder of New Stage Theatre in Jackson and of the Mississippi Museums Association, a professional organization. She has held various offices in the Mississippi Historical Society, Mississippi Folklife Council, Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson Symphony League, Mississippi Art Association, and Advisory Board of the Walter Anderson Museum.

Nationally,  she served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1977-1989; National Advisory Board, Smithsonian National Museum Act, 1984-87; Smithsonian Institution, Conference on a Common Agenda for History Museums, 1987; American Association of Museums accreditation committee, 1982-1992; American Association for State and Local History, Executive Council, 1983-85, Southern Arts Federation, panelist and reviewer 1982-85; National Advisory Board, Center for the Study of Southern Culture, 1978-1993.

Since her retirement in 1993, she has worked as a museum consultant and writer, specializing in Mississippi arts and culture. She was a consultant for The Crosby Arboretum, Mississippi Educational Television, Smith Robertson Museum of Black History, Walter Anderson Museum, British Broadcasting Corporation, Smithsonian Institute, Mississippi Arts Commission, Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Museum of Art, New Stage Theatre, Eudora Welty House Museum, Old Capitol Museum, New Stage Theatre and Mississippi Crossroads in Port GIbson. She created the permanent exhibit, “The Mississippi Story” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, 2008, and “American Masters of the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” a traveling exhibit for the Mississippi Arts Commission, 2009.

Black, now in her seventies, continues her work as writer, publisher, and editor.

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