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Sunday
Jan012012

Image of the Day, January 1, 2012

By Donna Poulton

An ice cream party, 1902. Credit: Photographing Montana 1894-1928, The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron In 1889, Evelyn Cameron left the gentrified home of her parents in England to follow her husband, Ewen, to the desolate prairieland of eastern Montana. When their initial venture of raising polo ponies in Montana failed, Evelyn turned to glass-plate photography to help support the family. Over the next 30 years she photographed life and work on the ranch and that of their neighbors. Her compelling views of domestic work, wildlife (especially coyotes, wolves and birds), and ranching came with the familiarity of having done much of the same work herself. 

"Evelyn kneading a panful of dough in her kitchen, August 1904. Anxious to give her nieces in England a glimpse of the day-to-day life she led in Montana, she made up an album of photographs including several portraits of herself at work." - Donna M. Lucey. Credit: Photographing Montana 1894-1928, The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron.At age twenty-five Cameron wrote in her diary…”I wish I could lead a life worthy to look back upon.” Fearless, self-assured and determined Cameron left a legacy of images that equals any work being done at that time and a personal history unrivaled by most western fiction.

"Evelyn on a petrified tree in the badlands displaying a copy of "The Bystander" magazine, which was conducting a contest for photographs of the magazine being read in the most unusual locations. She clambered out 'as far as I dared,' across the 72-foot-long natural bridge, hampered by her skirt, which kept snagging on the rock. The photograph was published in the British magazine." -- Donna M. Lucey. Credit: Photographing Montana 1894-1928, The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron.Equally compelling is the story of Donna M. Lucey who tenaciously researched the story of Evelyn Cameron. After following a rumor about a cache of pioneer photography, Lucey traveled to eastern Montana in 1979. There she found over 2000 glass-plate negatives and all of Evelyn’s journals and letters in the fervent care of Janet Williams who had inherited the ranch when Evelyn died in 1928. With Cameron’s life’s work intact, Lucey wrote Photographing Montana 1894-1928, The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron.

Credit: Photographing Montana 1894-1928, The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron.

 

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