An opening reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 4, at 5 p.m. in Case Art Building. A lecture featuring Morton’s grandson and fellow photographer Jack Morton, titled “My Grandfather and His Camera,” will follow at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public at no charge.

Morton8WILSON, N.C. – The Barton Art Galleries is pleased to announce a new photography exhibition highlighting one of our state’s most renowned photographers. “Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective” is on display now through October 3 in Case Art Building on the campus of Barton College. This exhibition is on loan from the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives of the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

To help mark this special exhibition at Barton College, an opening reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 4, at 5 p.m. in Case Art Building. A lecture featuring Morton’s grandson and fellow photographer Jack Morton, titled “My Grandfather and His Camera,” will follow at 6:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by Barton College Friends of Visual Arts and is open to the public at no charge.

Hugh MacRae Morton (1921-2006) was a prolific photographer who created an estimated quarter-million negatives and transparencies during his lifetime. A native of Wilmington, Morton learned photography during his childhood at Camp Yonahnoka near Grandfather Mountain in Avery County. When he was only 13 years old, his first published photograph – a golf scene – appeared in a N.C. tourism advertisement in Time magazine. In the following years, Morton’s photographs would come to be seen in countless publications – books, magazines, newspapers, and calendars, to name only a few – throughout eight decades. Some Morton photographs have been published many times over; many others, however, have never or rarely been seen. This exhibition, “Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective,” highlights dozens of his lesser or unknown photographs alongside some classics.

Morton’s photographic legacy is preserved by the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To create this exhibit, photographic archivist Stephen J. Fletcher selected images from the Morton collection. And, in collaboration with Kerry Bannen and Jay Mangum, staff members in the Carolina Digital Library and Archives’ Production Center, they worked to create high-resolution digital scans from Morton’s original negatives and transparencies. Fletcher and Mangum then collaborated to make fine inkjet prints on exhibition grade paper. The result: an uncommon view into the work of one of North Carolina’s most important photographers.

The “Hugh Morton Collection of Photographs and Films” documents Hugh Morton’s career covering eight decades (1930s-2000s) as a prominent North Carolina businessman, political figure, tourism booster, conservationist, environmental activist, sports fan, and image-maker. The still images and motion pictures in the collection cover aspects of Morton’s various involvements – as a photojournalist; a soldier in the Pacific Theater during World War II; the owner and operator of the Grandfather Mountain tourist attraction in Linville; a well-known figure in state government and friend of many North Carolina politicians, entertainers, and media personalities; an alumnus, booster, and frequent sports-event attendee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and an ardent admirer of nature and lover of travel.

The Barton Art Galleries is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, please contact Maureen T. O’Neill, director of exhibitions, at (252) 399-6477 or artgalleries@barton.edu.

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