In 1840, Stanford "Sandy" Faulkner penned a folk narrative, to be performed with the aide of a fiddle, about a man traveling through Arkansas who stops to ask for directions. In 1856, Edward Payson Washbourne painted The Arkansas Traveler, a tribute to Faulkner's folk tale. In addition, Faulkner's tale, always presented with musical accompaniment, eventually acquired an established tune and national recognition. In 1869, the story was even turned into a play which was performed in Buffalo, New York and New York City. On this website, created by the Historic Arkansas Museum, visitors can learn more about the many artistic renditions of the Arkansas Traveler and how the tale was interpreted and perceived by audiences within the state, as well as in other regions of the country. Perhaps the highlight of this exhibit is the Interactive Painting, where visitors can explore an annotated print of Washbourne's painting. In addition, visitors can read the full "dialogue" of various iterations of the performance and listen to a sound recording of the tune that eventually accompanied the tale.
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