Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

December 03, 1999

Visual imagination of Anne of Green Gables author comes to U of G

Long before Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery penned her Anne of Green Gables series, she had developed another passion: photography.

Her purchase of a camera at age 16 began a lifelong hobby of photography and darkroom processing. She focused her lens on the things she loved: family, pets, houses and special locations.

The Guelph community can catch a glimpse of Montgomery's enthusiasm for photography through a special exhibit, "The Visual Imagination of Lucy Maud Montgomery." At U of G Dec. 9 - Jan. 21, the exhibit includes 156 prints chosen from more than 2,000 images taken by the author. This year is the 125th anniversary of Montgomery's birth.

"The Visual Imagination of Lucy Maud Montgomery" is organized and circulated by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery & Museum, Charlottetown, P.E.I., with the support of the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Photographs are courtesy of U of G's L.M. Montgomery Collection, Archival and Special Collections, where the exhibit will be housed in the lower level of the McLaughlin Library. The exhibit was origionally organized by Elizabeth Epperly of the L.M. Montgomery Institute, University of Prince Edward Island for display at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. Bernard Katz, head of special collections and library development at Guelph, arranged to have it come to the library.

"We have done many Lucy Maud Montgomery exhibits before, but this is the first time we've featured a large exhibit of her photography," says Ellen Morrison, library assistant who is helping to mount the display.

"You always hear about her books, and rarely do you hear about her photos, but she took so many, you wonder where she found the time. The photos provide insight into her life. She was an amazing woman."

Montgomery, who wrote 20 novels, many short stories and a book of poetry during her lifetime, developed her own photographs, and was known to experiment with various techniques. For a time, she even wrote a photography column in a Halifax newspaper.

Curator Elizabeth Epperly has said that similar patterns emerge in both the photographs and Montgomery's fiction with regard to her habit of drawing light from the centre of her photographs. In her written works, Montgomery sets the big scene and then moves into the middle and moves back out again.

The exhibit contains six themes: art, furnishings, family and pets. Most of the photos were taken by Montgomery, although exhibit includes a few portraits by other photographers. Visitors may view the collection at the McLaughlin Library, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338

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