Open through June 7: Photography by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective

By on March 14, 2020


Roanoke Island Festival Park, 1 Festival Park, Manteo
The exhibit is open daily during the park’s operating hours (Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.).

Roanoke Island Festival Park’s latest exhibit, Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective, opens to the public Friday, March 6 and will remain open through June 7. The public is invited to experience North Carolina history through the lens of Wilmington-born photographer, Hugh Morton, at this free exhibit in the Ticket Sales Gallery.

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. During his career, Morton’s photographs were showcased in countless publications throughout eight decades. The exhibit highlights Morton’s love for his home state’s people, scenery and history and features dozens of his lesser or unknown photographs alongside published classics.

To create this exhibition, photographic archivist at UNC Chapel Hill, Stephen J. Fletcher, selected images from the Morton collection. In collaboration with Kerry Bannen and Jay Mangum, staff members in the Wilson 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.

The exhibition features 77 photographs from the larger original exhibition of nearly ninety images and is on loan from the Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The exhibit is open daily during the park’s operating hours (Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.).

Roanoke Island Festival Park is a part of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR), the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susi Hamilton, NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit

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