Photo by Evelyn Cameron. Copyright © www.evelyncameron.com
I stumbled across a PBS special, Evelyn Cameron: Pictures From a Worthy Life. Evelyn left a life of privilege in England and ended up on the Montana frontier. She taught herself photography and documented frontier life from 1894 until her death in 1928.
She left all of her belongings to her best friend Janet Williams, including 1,800 glass-plate and film negatives, 2,500 original photographic prints, letters, manuscripts and Cameron’s diary. This photographic and historical collection was lost until rediscovered 50 years later in 1979. It is a treasure trove for Montana historians. Evelyn has been designated one of the 100 Most Influential Montanans of the Century.
There is an official Evelyn Cameron website which includes an album of 462 of her photos. Viewing the photos online is not as compelling as seeing them on TV in hi-def but if will give you an idea of the nature of her work. If you have a chance to watch the documentary, it is an interesting look at life and photography in Montana, 100 years ago.
In addition to the PBS documentary, there is a collection of her photos in Photographing Montana 1984-1928. There is a review at TakeGreatPictures.com.
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You can buy the PBS DVD at this link.
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You can buy the book at this link.