A Contemporary of Morton

I don’t have to go far to get “A View to Hugh”—all I have to do is literally look over my shoulder. Perhaps I should explain what I mean by first introducing myself. My name is Patrick Cullom and I was hired this past October as a Visual Materials Archivist; I share an office and processing space with Elizabeth Hull. I grew up in North Carolina and had seen images taken by Morton in books, posters, and other places without fully appreciating who he was or what his work had done for the state. Now I have the unique opportunity to be present while the collection is processed.
I have often heard my position in the photographic archives described as “Processing the photographic collections that are NOT Hugh Morton.” That’s sort of accurate, I suppose. The first collection I have been working with consists of photographic materials created by Edward J. McCauley, a newspaper photographer for the Burlington Times-News (NC). McCauley took photographs for the Times-News from 1949-1974 as well as running his own personal photograph studio. The collection consists of approximately 100,000 images and presents an encompassing view of Burlington from the 1950s-1970s.
Even though the scopes of our collections are quite different, Elizabeth and I often discuss similar topics and issues that arise when working with each of our collections. Morton and McCauley were contemporaries, so it makes sense that they might have been at some of the same events with statewide importance, including political and sporting events. At this point in my work, I cannot not say definitively that McCauley and Morton knew each other well, but it is clear from some of the images I have processed so far that they did cross paths at least a few times. I know that McCauley attended some of Morton’s famous camera clinics.
I have included two images in the McCauley collection that show a connection between the two collections. The first is a detail cropped from a group portrait of photographers attending the Miss North Carolina Pageant sometime in the 1950s. Morton is in the passenger seat of the car and McCauley is behind him next to the pageant contestants (third from the left).
Miss North Carolina Pageant Ca. 1950’s
To put the detail into its larger context, I have also included a full version:
Group portrait of photographers attending Miss North Carolina Pageant ca. 1950’s
The other image I have included doesn’t contain McCauley or Morton, but McCauley made the photograph at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games sometime in the late 1950s. He took this image at of one of the events at the games and it is part of a series that includes members of the McCauley family at Grandfather Mountain.
View of Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
Who knows where else these two photographers crossed paths (or cameras)? I will be sure to drop a note when such images surface.

4 thoughts on “A Contemporary of Morton”

  1. It was exactly three years ago today, June 2, 2006, that I heard on my car radio the following: “North Carolina has lost a treasure. Hugh Morton died last evening at his home at Grandfather Mountain.”
    My immediate thought was of a letter that Charlie Justice wrote to his friends and team mates following a team reunion in the fall of 1988. Justice concluded his letter by saying:
    “I hope that when you form that team in your next gathering place…you will pick me one more time.” Justice was selected on October 17, 2003. Hugh Morton, on June 1, 2006.
    This morning, June 2, 2009, the following headline was in the “Asheville Citizen-Times:”
    “Long-Running Citizen-Times columnist Bob Terrell dead at 80”
    Bob Terrell was a contemporary of Hugh Morton and Charlie Justice, and wrote for the “Citizen-Times” for 60 years. He joins Charlie and Hugh in a select group.
    Somewhere, in a Carolina blue heaven, number 22 is once again running free. On the sideline is Hugh Morton-camera in hand, and in the press box, Bob Terrell sits behind his typewriter, ready to write one more story.

  2. There is a nice feature in the current issue of “Our State” magazine about Morton contemporary, Statesville photographer Max Tharpe. It can be found in the July issue on pages 40-45.

  3. The March 4, 2013 issue of “Sports Illustrated” arrived in my mailbox yesterday. In it was the sad news that photographer Ozzie Sweet had died. Sweet was a contemporary of Hugh Morton and specialized in color sports portrait photography. His work was reproduced on the cover of “Sport” magazine more than 100 times from 1947 until 2000 when the magazine ceased publication. (“Sport” was a forerunner of “Sports Illustrated,” which didn’t come on the scene until August of 1954).
    A portfolio of Ozzie Sweet’s work is featured in the 1993 book “Legends of the Field: The Classic Sports Photography of Ozzie Sweet.”
    Ironically, his first sports magazine cover wasn’t a sports magazine but was “Newsweek” on June 2, 1947…a classic shot of the great Cleveland Indians pitcher Bob Feller.
    He wasn’t limited to the world of sports. His work includes images of Presidents Eisenhower and Hoover…movie stars John Wayne, Ingrid Bergman, James Mason, and Grace Kelly… other notables Albert Einstein, Andrei Gromyko and Pope John Paul II. The lists could go on.
    His work turned up in and on national magazines from “Boy’s Life” to “Playboy”…from “Argosy” to “Ebony”…and of course “Time,” “Newsweek” “Collier’s” and “Look.” But it was “Sport” where he was a fixture. In late summer of 1949, Sweet came to Chapel Hill and photographed Tar Heel Legend Charlie Justice. That “Sport” cover was released for the November, 1949 issue.
    Ozzie Sweet was a true legend in his field.
    He was 94-years-old.

  4. In August of 1949, “Life” magazine photographers Francis Miller and John Dominis came to Chapel Hill to photograph UNC’s Charlie Justice. They followed him all over Chapel Hill and even went with him to Greensboro on August 12th for the first annual East-West High School All-Star game, where Justice tossed the coin and threw out the game ball. Then in September, “Life” portrait photographer Eliot Elisofon came back to Chapel Hill to take the now famous cover shot for the October 3, 1949 issue. In a 1973 interview, Justice said the “Life” photographers took “hundreds of pictures,” Photos in that October 3rd issue of the magazine are credited to John Dominis.
    Dominis, a contemporary of Hugh Morton, passed away on December 30th in New York City. He was 92 years old.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *