My mother, Nancy Sherwood, bathed me in my maternal grandmother’s guest-bathroom. Nancy was only sixteen years old when I was born. I know this bathroom quite well, for my grandparent’s house is still in our family. I spent much of my childhood there with my family on our Arkansas cotton farm. This particular bathroom has 1940’s style, mauve colored tile. My grandparents’ home was named NanLynn after the names of my mother Nancy and Aunt June Lynn. The house was built in 1943 when my mother was three years old.
When I visit NanLynn, those mauve colored tiles bring back happy memories of my mother. Even though Nancy was a young mother, she was very engaged with my younger siblings and me. She was a delicious cook following along with Julia Child’s recipes, as well as cooking traditional Southern meals such as fried chicken, mashed potatoes with milk gravy and black-eyed peas. Nancy dressed us beautifully in handmade dresses she purchased from the Women’s Exchange and children’s shops in New York City. She was a painter, and after my parents divorced in 1967, we moved to New York City so that my mother could study painting at the Arts Students League. I was eleven going on twelve. It was a true adventure!
Lisa McCord is a fine art and documentary photographer from the Arkansas Delta who lives and works in Los Angeles and Arkansas. Her color and black & white photography focuses on her experiences on her family’s cotton farm, allowing the camera to take her places both in the past and present, creating photographs that explore her memories and tell her stories. McCord received her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and earned an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. McCord’s work is in the permanent collections of the Arkansas Arts Center and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.