This talk will explore Hugh Morton, the man behind the mountain, his life and the legacy he left behind. Jesse Pope, president of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation will also guide us through the past, present, and future of Morton's largest legacy, Grandfather Mountain State Park.

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. When he was only thirteen years old, his first published photograph— a golf scene that appeared in a N.C. tourism advertisement in Time Magazine. In the following years, Morton’s photographs would come to be seen in countless publications—books, magazines, newspapers, and calendars, to name only a few—throughout eight decades. Some Morton photographs have been published many times over; many others, however, have never or rarely been seen. This exhibition Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective highlights dozens of his lesser or unknown photographs alongside some classics.


Jesse Pope is the President and Executive Director of the non-profit, Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. Jesse has 16 years of experience working for the nature park in many capacities, most notably as Backcountry Ranger, Animal Keeper, and Chief Naturalist. More Recently Jesse has worked as the Assistant Vice President helping oversee day to day operations of the park. Jesse attended Lees-McRae College for his undergraduate degree and Montreat College for graduate studies in environmental education. He is very passionate about the Stewardship Foundation’s mission to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. If you would like to learn more about the park, the great work they are doing and how you can help, please give Jesse a call.

Scholars & Scones is a monthly educational program which invites patrons to spend a morning sipping coffee, eating locally-baked goodies, and learning about the latest research, writing, and creativity taking place in our region. There are complimentary breakfast goods from Backstreet Bakery and fresh cups of Hatchet Coffee Co. Dangerfield Blend will be served.


  • Occurred Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm


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