Published on January 30th, 2023 | by John Cofield0
John Cofield’s Photo of the Week: “William Faulkner Riding-With-The-Hounds”
In 1961, William Faulkner had been writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia for several years when on a trip back to Oxford, the author called Granddad to say he wanted a portrait made for his UVA riding-with-the-hounds admirers in Charlottesville.
He pulled up in front of the studio on Jackson Avenue, brought in a bag, and asked about where to change clothes. Out came the riding habit and Granddad hooped at the sight. Faulkner just grinned, he was ready to take the pictures.
Like the Cofield portraits in years past, the author posed himself using a small stool to prop one leg on. I have the stool in my office today. Grandad took several shots but he knew the first one was “the one.”
When he printed the shot, he made a large copy and knew that it needed to go farther with an artist. He contacted Oxford’s Laucene Clements and she applied oils to the photograph. There were four originals printed and painted and Granddad drove the first out to Rowan Oak. Mr. Faulkner was very happy with the unexpected gift from his friend and replaced the painting above the fireplace right then. Granddad attached a note to the back, “A gift to my friend Bill Falkner.” The note is still there hanging with the painting today.