Online Auction, Harvest Supper Support UM Museum

Pieces by 25 artists up for bids, leading to event on grounds of Rowan Oak

The art auction and Harvest Supper benefit the University of Mississippi Museum and raise more than $125,000 annually. This year’s auction features 25 pieces of art, and bids are being accepted online. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – The annual Harvest Supper event benefitting the University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses is sold out, but the Friends of the Museum has another way for members of the Lafayette-Oxford-University community to be involved in supporting the arts.

The group is hosting an online auction featuring a variety of artworks created by 25 artists, many of whom have works in museum collections. The proceeds will support the UM Museum and Historic Houses. 

The Friends of the Museum is a volunteer group that supports the museum through fundraising initiatives and raising awareness. The group, which raises more than $125,000 for the museum each year, helps enhance the museum experience.

The museum is consistently ranked among the nation’s top college museums, and the Harvest Supper and auction play a major role in that success, said Robert Saarnio, director of the University Museum and Historic Houses. 

“The University Museum extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Harvest Supper Auction Committee of the Friends of the Museum for their dedicated efforts annually to present the works of some of the region’s finest artists to event attendees, and to advance online bidders,” Saarnio said. “Equally, we celebrate and thank the artists themselves for making their pieces available, and for supporting the auction so thoughtfully.

“Harvest Supper is made all the more vibrant and exciting by the presence of significant artwork from across the state and the South.”

Harvest Supper is an opportunity for artists, musicians and chefs to showcase their talents to Ole Miss alumni, locals and out-of-town guests. The event is set for Thursday evening (Oct. 17) at Rowan Oak, home of Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner, which the museum operates.

To see the pieces being auctioned or to place a bid, visit or text HS19 to 52182.

The artists featured in the 2019 auction are:

  • Jonathan Kent Adams
  • Melanie Antonelli
  • Jason Bouldin
  • Charlie Buckley
  • Jane Rule Burdine
  • Linda Burgess
  • Langdon Clay
  • Maude Schuyler Clay
  • Ed Croom
  • William Dunlap
  • Ke Francis
  • Ansley Givhan
  • John Haltom
  • Sarah Frances Hardy
  • Randy Hayes
  • Blair Hobbs
  • Allan Innman
  • Philip Jackson
  • Terry Lynn
  • Robert Malone
  • Laurin McCracken
  • Billy Solitario
  • Lauren West
  • Brooke White
  • Claire Whitehurst 

The event has grown steadily since beginning eight years ago, said Dorothy Howorth, former Friends of the Museum president. 

“The first Harvest Supper was held on the east lawn of Rowan Oak with 100 people in attendance,” Howorth said. “Over the next few years, it doubled in size until we reached capacity of 500, and for the past three years, we have sold out through sponsorships.”

The funds raised through Harvest Supper have allowed the Friends of the Museum to support various projects at the museum and Rowan Oak, including an exhibition and symposium about the museum’s collection of photographs by William Eggleston, improvements to the Rowan Oak property and support of various educational and outreach programs.

“We provided seed money for the renovation of the museum’s Greek and Roman wing,” Howorth said. “We also provided a ready match that enabled us to get a grant to purchase a landscape painting and construction by Bill Dunlap, for which we planned and executed another symposium.

“We could not achieve these goals without the ongoing support of our generous sponsors.”

Dinner will be provided by Elizabeth Heiskell Catering, The Main Event and A&N Catering. The UM Salsa Project, which is Oxford’s premier Latin and world music ensemble, and Maggie Rose, an American country music artist, will headline the evening’s entertainment.

Tickets to Harvest Supper are sold out and the waiting list is full. However, the online auction is open to the public and bidders need not be present at Harvest Supper to win.

For more information about the Harvest Supper, the Friends of the Museum or this year’s selection of artworks, contact Kate Wallace at 662-915-7073 or

For more information about the UM Museum and Historical Houses, visit