As a gift to fans of Flannery O’Connor, Georgia College & State University has opened its new Andalusia Interpretive Center.
Yesterday’s ribbon cutting ceremony kicked off a two-day celebration honoring O’Connor’s birthday. The renowned author and Georgia College alumna would’ve been 98 years old today, Saturday, March 25.
Celebrations include author talks, book signings and free tours of Andalusia O’Connor’s home from 1951 until her death in 1964. Today’s birthday festivities also include cake and song.
The Interpretive Center at Andalusia is a $3.5 million investment in the preservation and interpretation of O’Connor’s life, literary legacy and the history of the Central Georgia region that inspired her writing.
“For fans, the improvement is two-fold,” said Matt Davis, director of historic museums at Georgia College. The new Interpretive Center “will improve and continue to enhance what you can experience about the life of Flannery O’Connor at Andalusia, and it also helps us to take all the non-original functions out of the house museum and recreate the environment Flannery knew when she lived there.”
The center encompasses 5,300 square feet of exhibition, artifact storage, retail and conference space. The open-concept design allows visitors greater access to many personal affects collected at Andalusia. Visitors can also view the work of curatorial staff who catalogue and preserve O’Connor’s material legacy.
The center is a giant step in restoring the farm where O’Connor completed the majority of her published output, Davis said. The surrounding environment appeared in her stories, which include “Good Country People,” “A Circle in the Fire” and “The Displaced Person.”
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, there will be free public tours of the Interpretive Center and Andalusia farmhouse. At 1 p.m., author Amy Alznauer will discuss and sign copies of her book, “The Strange Birds of Flannery O’Connor.” Museum staff and guests are invited to sing “Happy Birthday” and enjoy cake at 2 p.m. Dr. Monica Miller will close the event at 6 p.m. with a lecture about her book “Dear Regina: Flannery O’Connor’s Letters from Iowa.”
SOURCE Georgia College & State University