Photographing Montana, 1894-1928: The Life And Work Of Evelyn Cameron
Publish Date: 1990-11-12
Author: Donna M. Lucey
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Leaving behind her childhood world of the English gentry, Evelyn Cameron began ranching on the harsh and beautiful plains of eastern Montana in 1889 with her husband, Ewen. When their initial venture--raising polo ponies--failed, Evelyn turned to glass-plate photography to help support her family. Nearly 2,000 negatives remained in a friend's basement for 50 years after Evelyn's death until author Donna M. Lucey tracked down the exra-ordinary collection. Photographing Montana showcases more than 150 photographs of life in Montana from the 1890s through the 1920s. Evelyn Cameron's work portrays vast landscapes, range horses, cattle roundups, wheat harvests, community celebrations, and wildlife of the high plains. Her vivid images convey the lonely strength of sheepherders and homesteaders and track the growth of Terry, a small town on the Yellowstone River. Her family portraits are priceless glimpses into the past, capturing the endurance, pride, and hope of those she photographed. Through excerpts from her diaries and letters, we follow Evelyn's transformation from a daughter of the English upper class to a resourceful ranchwoman relishing the independence and challenges of western life.