THE ICON: Tennessee Williams
THE LEGACY: He was born in Columbus, Mississippi, and raised in St. Louis, but it was in New Orleans that 28-year-old Tom Williams finally found a city that felt like home. “I am delighted, in fact, enchanted with this glamorous, fabulous old town. … Here surely is the place that I was made for if any place on this funny old world,” he wrote in late December 1938 upon arriving in the Crescent City to work with the WPA writer’s program. By the time he left, he had changed his name — to Tennessee (his father’s home state) — and soaked up enough of “this glamorous, fabulous old town” to inspire a career that would lead to some of the American stage’s most significant and influential Southern works.
THE ARTIST: Alexandra Kilburn, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” — Tennessee Williams