Photographer Jane Robbins Kerr recently donated several collections of her original works of photography to Delta State University’s Archives & Museum. Through her gift of photographs, she demonstrates her faith in Delta State and the University Archive’s mission to preserve Mississippi Delta heritage.
After traveling for many years photographing people and places around the world, Kerr, a native of Jackson, came back to Mississippi to rediscover home through the lens of her camera. Spending most of her adult life in Atlanta as a painter, writer and storyteller, she now tells her story through her photos extensively in the rural South.
She once reflected, “Some days time seems to stand still, as I discovered when I journeyed home after traveling the world for years. What I had dismissed in my younger days, I was now drawn to — the remembered South of home, old churches, stores and warehouses and in the people and friends that still exist in memories we share.”
Kerr has shared her love for Mississippi and travels abroad with the Delta and its residents for years through exhibitions hosted in museums across the Southeast. Her photography is as unique as her vivacious character. “I shoot from the hip. No F-stops or fumbling with lights for me. I just capture the moment. I capture life,” she once told a class of students while touring one of her exhibits.
Now she is sharing her gift with Delta State. It was her relationships with University Archivist Emily Jones and Delta Center for Culture & Learning director Dr. Luther Brown that were instrumental in her decision to donate her pieces.
“Jane’s work is special and it is all her. I love her photographs and her titles,” said Jones. “She is enthusiastic and compassionate and loves the space around her. You can see all of this in the photographs she takes. This is an excellent and valuable piece for archives to be able to offer researchers proof positive images from an area and a specific time in history.”
For more information on Delta State’s Archives & Museum, visit www.deltastate.edu/academics/libraries/university-archives-museum.