Lyons Memorial Library, The School of the Ozarks
Vance Randolph spent more than thirty years photographing the
people of the Ozarks. On the back of each picture he wrote a brief
caption to identify the scene or event. Here, Randolph noted: "Mrs.
Jewell Lamberson, wife of my friend who ran the post office. Posed
to show how to make gritted bread."
Photographic Views of the Ozarks
BY JOHN R. HENSLEY*
The laurel crown for gaining the foremost rank among
scholars of the Ozarks goes without question to Vance Randolph. In his sixty-year career as a folk life enthusiast and
folklorist, Randolph collected an extraordinary amount of
information on the people of the Ozarks and their ways. He
wrote dozens of books, contributed regularly to the Journal of
American Folklore and authored a myriad of articles and
pamphlets on a broad range of subjects. Robert Cochran, his
biographer, has bestowed upon Randolph the appellation
"Mr. Ozark."1 It is an apt name, for Randolph left few
aspects of Ozark life unexamined.
*John R. Hensley is assistant curator of technology at the St. Louis
Science Center at Oak Knoll. He earned a B.A. degree in history from The
School of the Ozarks at Point Lookout, Missouri, and an M A degree in
history from the University of Delaware at Newark.
1 Robert Cochran, Vance Randolph: An Ozark Life (Urbana and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), 12.