Photographs by Alex Harris | Curated by Alex Harris & Margaret Sartor
Poems and texts from the works of Reynolds Price
July 15 - November 5, 2017 | Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery
Reception, Talk, and Book Signing: Thursday, September 28, 5:00-7:00pm, Remarks at 5:30pm
Holsti Asssemby Room, Rubenstein Library Room 153
Reynolds Price (1933–2011), who authored forty-one acclaimed novels, memoirs, plays, and collections of poetry and essays, was one of America's most notable writers of the past half-century. His works have a home on the shelves of millions of admiring readers worldwide. Fueled by a brilliant mind and exuberant spirit, Price’s singular literary voice not only shines a light on the land and people of his native South, but also on the inherent worth of every person. His enduring belief in beauty, courage, grace, and hope transcends time and circumstance.
Confined to a wheelchair for the last twenty-seven years of his life, Price surrounded himself at home with art and objects that he loved. His eclectic and expansive collection—from the etchings of Picasso to photographs of James Dean, from Greek sculpture to religious icons, from busts of his literary heroes to African masks—created a salon-like refuge in which every wall, bookshelf, and piece of furniture signaled some aspect of his essential self. Through his home, Price conveyed his interior life in a way that few were able to experience—until now.
After Reynolds Price died, Alex Harris was asked by the Price family and Duke University, where Price taught for more than five decades, to document the house before it was sold and the artwork as a living collection disassembled. In this creative work, forty carefully selected excerpts from Price’s writings are interwoven with sixty-one of Harris’s exquisite, meticulous photographs. As we turn each page, it is as if Reynolds Price himself is taking us on a guided tour of his home. And as we move through his rooms, Price reveals his private world, recounts significant episodes in his life, and speaks with wisdom and humor about the people, places, ideas, and beliefs most important to him. We also glimpse vital truths about the human condition, finding meaning in our own lives.
Dream of a House, as both an exhibition and book, are a remarkable and a surprising tribute to the passions and preoccupations of this uncommonly gifted writer. Here is a work that speaks to long-time fans of Reynolds Price and to those discovering him for the first time. Alex Harris and Margaret Sartor have done what only true friends and fellow artists could provide: a chance to share in the dream of Reynolds Price’s house and his abiding genius.
This exhibit coincides with the release of a photobook of the same name published by George F. Thompson Publishing and the Center for Documentary Studies, and distributed by the University of North Carolina Press. More Information about the Book
Image: Reynolds Price's Office, 2011 by Alex Harris