Traveling Exhibitions

Dancer, "Unto These Hills" dancer, photograph by Hugh Morton.

Dancer, “Unto These Hills” dancer, photograph by Hugh Morton.

The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives offers the following traveling exhibitions to institutions with suitable gallery space.  There are no borrowing fees for these exhibitions; venues are responsible, however, for the cost of transportation and must provide evidence of sufficient insurance.

Interested in borrowing one of these exhibitions? Contact Stephen Fletcher.

Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective

Hugh Morton (1921–2006) was a prolific photographer who created an estimated quarter-million negatives and transparencies during his lifetime. A native of Wilmington, N.C., Morton learned photography during his childhood at Camp Yonahnoka near Grandfather Mountain in Avery County. 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 highlights dozens of his lesser or unknown photographs alongside some classics.

To create this exhibition, photographic archivist Stephen J. Fletcher selected images from the Morton collection. In collaboration with Kerry Bannen and Jay Mangum, staff members in the library’s Digital 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.

This exhibit comprises 85 framed photographs, one 7-foot long panorama with accompanying smaller print; text for introduction wall label; caption text; and two display banners.  Glazing is Plexiglas, frames sizes are:

  • 22 x 26 (44)
  • 16 x 20 (26)
  • 20 x 24 (1)
  • 22 x 22 (6)
  • 28 x 32 (8)

A significant grant from the Ellice & Rosa McDonald Foundation helped fund the framing of the photographs in the exhibition.

Light and Air: The Photography of Bayard Wootten

Bayard Wootten (Mary Bayard Morgan Wootten) was a female pioneer in the field of photography.  She was successful as a photographer and studio operator from the early 1900s through the early 1950s, when men dominated the field.  Though Wootten traveled in several southern states, all photographs in this exhibition are of North Carolina subjects.

The “core” exhibition comprises 35 framed inkjet prints in 24″ x 30″ mats; up to three images related to your venue’s region may be selected from the collection and printed especially for your installation.  Light and Air may also be expanded by including up to 40 additional inkjet prints from two other Wootten exhibitions:

Carolina Faces: The Photography of Don Sturkey

A young, unrecognized Elvis Presley being turned away from the Charlotte Coliseum. The ladies’ auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan in hoods and robes. Children living in poverty, the public moments of government officials, the grief of ordinary citizens who have lost their jobs, their homes, their loved ones. In nearly forty years as a photojournalist (1952-1989), Don Sturkey captured thousands of Carolina faces. While most of the photos in this exhibition documented the societal changes that took place over his career, many recalled everyday life in the Carolinas during that time. Regardless of subject, all of Sturkey’s photographs demonstrated his philosophy of “capturing emotion first” and making “composition and technique secondary.”

Don Sturkey (b. 1931) retired as chief photographer of the Charlotte Observer in 1989 after 34 years. The native of Lincoln County, Ga., arrived at his profession by chance; Sturkey joined the United States Navy in 1948 and was assigned to shore duty in Washington. He repeatedly asked to be transferred, including to photography school, and in early 1950 he was granted this opportunity. Sturkey went on to be the first staff photographer at the Shelby Daily Star and worked there for one summer. He attended Gardner-Webb College in Boiling Springs, N.C., and joined the staff of the High Point Enterprise following college.  Sturkey began working at the Charlotte Observer in November of 1955.

Carolina Faces consists of 20 framed inkjet photographs in 24″ x 30″ inch mats.

The North Carolina Fund: Photographs by Billy Barnes

Billy Ebert Barnes was born in Winston-Salem and graduated from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1953.  Barnes worked as a photographer for McGraw Hill Publishing Company in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  In late 1963 he became the Public Relations Director (and official photographer) of the North Carolina Fund, a state-chartered non-profit corporation established by Governor Terry Sanford to seek new ways to address the problem of poverty in North Carolina.

This exhibition consists of approximately 50 silver gelatin photographs, most of which library staff printed for the exhibition.  Some photographs, however, are vintage prints by Mr. Barnes; vintage prints can only be included in the exhibition where a venue can demonstrate satisfactory controls for temperature, humidity, light, and security.

Reading, Writing, and Race: One Children’s Book and the Power of Stories

Whose story gets told, and who gets to tell it? A traveling panel exhibition explores that question through an engaging narrative approach centering on a single children’s book with North Carolina roots: Tobe: A Six-Year-Old Farmer. Published in 1939 by UNC Press with scores of rich black-and-white photographs, Tobe was one of the first children’s books that aimed to feature realistic depictions of everyday African Americans. In the exhibition “Reading, Writing, and Race,” Tobe’s seemingly simple tale opens up to reveal the complexities of race and representation, and to illustrate how stories shape the way we see each other and how we see ourselves.

Created by the North Carolina Collection Gallery at UNC-Chapel Hill and Dr. Benjamin Filene, the exhibition’s subject matter and presentation invites cross-generational conversation and offers rich opportunities for public programming with contemporary relevance and appeal.

Exhibition includes:

  • Twenty-five full-color panels mounted on sturdy Ultraboard
    • seventeen 32” x 23” horizontal panels, one 34” x 23” panel, four 23” x 32” vertical panels, five 14” x 18” panels, and two 24” x 20” panels.
  • Capsule histories of the real-life communities depicted in the book, illustrated with quotations from oral interviews.
  • Three copies of the Tobe book for visitors to peruse.
  • A design that allows sections to be mounted in different sequences or reduced to feature fewer panels.