Author William Faulkner, satirist Stark Young, and art collector Mary Skipwith Buie share something in common—they've all lent their legacies to The University of Mississippi Museum. Originally opened in 1939, the complex encompasses the one-time home of Faulkner, Rowan Oak; registered Mississippi landmark Walton-Young Historic House, which housed famed satirist Stark; and a historic art museum built around Buie’s private collection. Today, the museum uses its three sites to preserve and showcase the artistic past and cultural heritage of the American South through exhibits, demonstrations, and education. Guides lead scheduled tours though the historic homes and the museum exhibitions to avoid waking napping sculptures.
Rotating exhibits center on genres such as Southern folk art by self-taught painters, ancient Chinese ceramics art, and mixed-media works by modern artists. The four permanent collections provide a home for lasting assemblages of 19th-century scientific instruments; Greek and Roman works of art; pieces by American modernists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove, and John Marin; and a range of Civil War relics, antique costumes, and letters penned by George Washington and John Adams. As part of the museum's focus on education, instructors lead adult studio workshops on topics such as outdoor nature photography, woodcut printmaking, and watercolors. They also let younger artists explore exhibits, use studio space, and question German expressionism's use of forced perspective in ArtZone and summer camp programs.