Maude Schuyler Clay ©Langdon Clay


What is your favorite museum for photography?

I have a few, like the usual suspects MOMA, ICP, and The Met, but for its intimate space and work I like The Ogden in NOLA. They mix old and new photography and I just like the way the museum is laid out. You might say it’s “user-friendly ” and conveniently located.


What helped you get through the pandemic?

Cooking, reading, and  trying to organize about  40 years of work. Went through quite a few of our hundreds of photography  books. Full disclosure: a lot of tv series and streamed movies were seen. Thankful for a screened porch and a human soulmate, as well as plenty of  canine companionship. Walking dogs kept us fit.


What was the best book you read/viewed last year?

My mind is Swiss cheese, but two of the ones I remember are  Emily St. John Mandel’s novel Station Eleven and the new bio of Vivien Meier.


What are your favorite instagram feeds?

Photographers Observed, Why We Look, and Project Photos. I am sure there are more: Mitch Epstein, Aperture, steidlverlag


What piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Keep doing the work and try not to worry too much about what it will all mean down the road. Just do the work as best you can now. To rephrase the old joke:  “How do artists make god laugh? Tell him what you think your work will mean in a hundred years.” Carry your camera EVERYWHERE.


Maude Schuyler Clay was born in 1953 in Greenwood, Mississippi. After attending the University of Mississippi and the Memphis Academy of Arts, she assisted the photographer William Eggleston. She received the Mississippi Arts and Letters award for photography in 1988, 1992, 2000, 2014, and 2015, and the Mississippi Art Commission’s Individual Artist Grant in 1998 and The Governors’ Arts Award in 2015. The University Press of Mississippi published her monograph DELTA LAND in 1999 and DELTA DOGS in 2014. Her color portrait book MISSISSIPPI HISTORY was published by Steidl in 2015. MISSISSIPPI was a book in 2018 in collaboration with poet Ann Fisher-Wirth.

Clay was the Photography Editor of the literary magazine The Oxford American from 1998-2002. She was a Visiting Artist at Yale University, New Haven, CT, in 2008. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston,  The National Museum for Women in the Arts, the High Museum, Atlanta, among others. 

There will be a show of her work titled “The Family Arc” at the MS MUSEUM of ART in Jackson in October 2022. She continues to live and work in the Mississippi Delta.

Maude Schuyler Clay

Post Office Box 310

304 Cassidy Street

Sumner, MS  38957

662-375-8316 home

662-385-5536 cell/text