Trail’s End

September 20th, 2011 by Lindsay

When Guy Shorey died in 1961, he left a remarkable legacy. He captured images of the White Mountains in the first half of the twentieth century which still have significance to us today. Those photographs of loggers, trampers, and shopkeepers help portray the rich heritage of the Androscoggin Valley.  Shorey was instrumental in establishing the northern White Mountains as a year-round tourist destination, setting the stage for further development and a share of economic prosperity. His carefully crafted photographs of the White Mountains landscape resonate with us today, a half-century after his passing.  Yet these are only a few facets of the full Guy Shorey.

He was also a dedicated family man, with endless affection for his wife, daughter, and granddaughters. He was a loyal citizen who served his town, his State, and his country in many unsung ways.

While his journey is long since ended, we can enjoy the privilege of following his pathway, thanks to his good work.

Shorey and the Appalachian Mountain Club

September 20th, 2011 by Lindsay

A subject of special significance to Shorey was mountain tramping – the usual term of the time for hiking. The scenery and the camaraderie both appealed immensely to him. He was active in the Appalachian Mountain Club, joining their excursions and volunteering for tasks in the field, and eventually becoming a Life Member of the Club. Among his photographs are several of the Club’s Madison Spring Hut, which was first established in 1888 and which grew over the years to serve an ever-increasing demand for high mountain accommodations. The Club’s Lakes of the Clouds and Carter Notch Huts, and its base camp at Pinkham Notch, also were recorded by him. Certainly it was not these humble hostels themselves, but the shared adventures there and their compelling surroundings that kindled such warmth for them in him and in countless others.

Indeed, that same warmth and spirit lives on, on the trails and in the modest lodging-places which can still be found throughout the White Mountains.

Shorey as Artist

September 20th, 2011 by Lindsay

Guy Shorey was an artist, who shared his love of nature with his fellows by capturing and disseminating images of the White Mountains that he loved.

Shorey’s early relationship with the mountains was clearly up-close and personal, with viewpoints deep within the forests and high atop the summits of the peaks. Alas, his hiking days were destined to end comparatively early in his life.  In 1921, at the age of forty, Shorey took his last serious hike. Arthritis, which had plagued him for so long, put an end to his mountain tramping. Shorey turned this adversity to opportunity, as he intensified his roadside photography. No longer having to backpack his equipment, he could utilize heavier and bulkier apparatus, and added a 7” x 17” Korona panoramic camera to his arsenal to make impressive images of the White Mountains.

With the panoramic camera, he made more than 350 photographs that portrayed the splendor and variety of the heights and valleys of the White Mountains. These images more than hinted at his personal enthusiasm for the area, and by no accident were also successful commercially. Most were in horizontal format, accentuating the meandering valleys and arching ridgelines. Some were vertical, demanded by the soaring white trunks of birches or deep clefts of rushing waterfalls.

Even in Shorey’s earliest personal photo albums, we see hints of the artist – his appreciation for natural shapes, the play of light, and inspiring outlooks. As his technical ability and eye matured, his creativity grew, as did his desire to share his mountain visions with others. His large-format landscapes are perhaps the best example of his photographic skill and his enduring connection to The White Hills.


 

Shorey as Entrepreneur II

September 20th, 2011 by Lindsay

Shorey’s business efforts did not stop at his front door. He knew that his success depended on the prosperity of his town and of his region.  Plus, he was raised with an innate sense of civic responsibility, a North Country neighborliness where one did what one could to serve one’s community.

Shorey was active in many arenas. He was a founder of the Gorham Rotary. He was instrumental in the founding of a YMCA in Berlin. He was a stalwart on the State Planning and Development Commission, serving over 15 years. He created a slide presentation in 1938, which he offered to countless audiences, encouraging appreciation of and visitation to the Granite State.  In 1939, he established an information booth in Gorham.

The Shorey Studio’s tagline was ”Among the White Hills.” That simple saying branded his efforts and his products as being integrally affiliated with the White Mountain landscape and its heritage. “Among the White Hills” expressed Shorey’s own affection and enthusiasm for New Hampshire’s lofty landscape, a landscape which he came to know intimately.

Shorey as Entrepreneur I

September 20th, 2011 by Lindsay

Guy Shorey was an entrepreneur. He had to be, to be a successful photographer in a small New Hampshire town. He had remarkable determination and business sense.

As his trade grew, so did his studio. It started as a very simple outbuilding on Mechanic Street in Gorham. The studio was moved to Main Street in 1906, and an addition built to accommodate a growing business in selling and developing film, making prints and enlargements, and in selling prints and postcards. In 1920, Shorey purchased a drugstore on Main Street, and ran a combined pharmacy and studio until 1950; he operated the studio for several more years.


The selection of items available at the Shorey Studio was impressive. Offerings included note cards, note pads, holiday greeting cards, photo sets, bookmarks, place cards, and the like. He also produced photo souvenirs for businesses. His illustrations were used in a wide variety of brochures and publications. His postcards featured more than 1500 different views.

  


Shorey as Observer II

September 20th, 2011 by Lindsay

Shorey turned his lens to both work and play. Shopkeepers in their stores, loggers in the woods, town streets, mountain trails, parades, carnivals, and other grand events, floods and other calamities – all garnered his attention. While portraits were not his specialty, people, and people in their natural environments, were of interest to him, so his work includes weddings, family gatherings, and sports teams.

Shorey doubtless did not suspect it when he took his photographs, but many of his humble snapshots have become significant historical artifacts, recording life, work and play in northern New Hampshire a century ago. We benefit today from his curiosity and diligence.


Shorey as an Observer I

September 20th, 2011 by Lindsay

Shorey was an observer, of his own life and especially of the lives and landscape around him. Many of his earliest images are of himself, his friends, his family, and his immediate surroundings. His earliest experiments in photography were simple attempts to use photography – a technology new in its personal and commercial possibilities – to put into two dimensions the people, places, and events that filled the Androscoggin Valley.

Quite happily, the individuals, the happenings, the scenes which Shorey enjoyed, in some cases more than a century ago, can be sampled by us today. As with many pictures from the past, documentation of the images is spotty at best. Regrettably there are so many faces we cannot associate with a name, or events we cannot place in their historical contexts. Fortunately, the landscape has not changed so much that we can not recognize a hillside or a mountain view, and we can compare the prospects which impressed Shorey with similar views which we enjoy today.

On the Trail of Guy Shorey

September 20th, 2011 by Lindsay

Guy Shorey was born in 1891 in Gorham, New Hampshire. Some would say Gorham was a railroad town, and Shorey’s family a railroad family, but to young Guy Shorey, Gorham was a wonderful mountain town, and his dream was to capture it, its people, and its dramatic surroundings through the new art and science of photography.

Shorey’s dream was realized. Through his determined character, innate ability, and years of hard work, he became know as a preeminent White Mountain photographer. While his studio was located in Gorham, his notoriety spread throughout the State and even beyond.  Shorey’s photographs reflected several of his roles in his community: as an Observer of the White Mountain scene, as an Entrepreneur whose creativity gave him and others a livelihood, and as an Artist who demonstrated his love of the  New Hampshire  landscape through his works.

Introduction

September 20th, 2011 by Lindsay

Plymouth State University is honored to present Guy Shorey: Among the White Hills, curated by Peter Crane of the Mount Washington Observatory’s Gladys Brooks Memorial Library.

 

This exhibition shows the scope of Shorey’s work that was so important in recording the people and places, as well as the work and leisure activity in the White Mountains region in the early-to-mid-twentieth century. His business acumen and the success of the Guy Shorey Studios in Gorham, and later in Randolph, ensured the broad dissemination of his work.

 

Shorey was bound to the region by his great love of the White Mountains that he hiked extensively and his civic commitment to Gorham. It is this profound connection to the area that makes this exhibition and catalogue a particularlyappropriate preface to the future Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University, which will honor the legacy of the region. Preceded by As Time Passes Over the Land: White Mountain Art, this is the second and final exhibition before the museum opens in the fall of 2012.

 

Guy Shorey’s keen observation, artistic vision, and prolific production have been aptly preserved in the extensive collection at the Mount Washington Observatory Museum, part of which is on display in this exhibition.

 

I would like to thank Peter Crane; Scot Henley, executive director of the Mount Washington Observatory; and the Gladys Brooks Foundation for their support for the Shorey collection over the years. Eric Pedersen of the Appalachian Mountain Club generously loaned the images of the new Madison Hut.

 

Special recognition should also be given to the Shorey heirs, Sara Glines, Rebecca Boothman, and the late Susan Hawkins, whose appreciation of family and local heritage led them to donate the Guy L. Shorey collection of images, artifacts, and other items to the Mount Washington Observatory. In making available to the public so many remarkable items associated with Guy Shorey, his life, his times, and his White Mountains community, their gift honors their grandfather and the North Country.

 

 

Catherine S. Amidon

Director, Museum of the White Mountains

Guy Shorey: Among the White Hills

July 27th, 2011 by Lindsay

September 20, 2011-October 22, 2011

Karl Drerup Art Gallery and The Museum of the White Mountains

Plymouth State University

Curated by Peter Crane, Curator, Mount Washington Observatory’s Gladys Brooks Memorial Library

Please note:  All images included in Guy Shorey: Among the White Hills are property of the Mount Washington Observatory and may not be copied or reproduced in any way, without MWO’s consent.