As Good as Can Be on view in the MSV Changing Exhibition Gallery.
When did this exhibition take place at the MSV?
As Good as Can Be: Shenandoah County through the Lens of Hugh Morrison Jr. was on view at the MSV from February 11 through July 3, 2011. A smaller version of the exhibition also traveled to the Shenandoah County Library in Edinburg, Va. and was on view there from September 23, 2011 until May 25, 2012. The online version of As Good as Can Be was launched on June 1, 2012.

What are the irregularities and damaged areas that can be seen on some of the images?
The images seen on this website were made from digital scans of Morrison’s original glass plate negatives or scans of his original prints. Some of these unusual features are part of the original negative and would have been addressed by Morrison during the process of making the final print (such as the cropping of equipment or props visible in the picture). Others are the result of damage caused by exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity during the decades before the collection was donated to the Shenandoah County Historical Society (SCHS) in 1999. The numbers that are visible on many of the images are identification numbers that have been added by the SCHS for archival purposes.

What is a glass plate negative?
A glass plate negative is a piece of glass that has a thin layer of light-sensitive gelatin emulsion fixed to it. Morrison used these plates throughout his career.

Where was Morrison’s studio located?
Hugh Morrison Jr. (1871–1950) was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where his father, Hugh Starke Morrison, operated a photography studio. Hugh Morrison Jr. began his own career as an itinerant photographer, journeying in and around Shenandoah County to take photographs of people at work and in their homes. In 1899—the same year he married Grace Johnson—Morrison opened a studio on West Court Street in Woodstock, and his subsequent success eventually allowed him to open a second studio, in Strasburg, in 1932. The Woodstock studio remained Morrison’s primary venue, however, and he worked there until his death in 1950.

Should I contact the MSV or the Shenandoah County Historical Society if I own a photograph by Hugh Morrison Jr.?
Please contact the Shenandoah County Historical Society (SCHS) if you own a print and with an identified sitter or a photograph with an identifiable landscape or landmark in the image. The SCHS is coordinating ongoing efforts to identify the people and places in Morrison’s work. Visit the SCHS online or contact the organization by phone at 540-984-7842, or mail at PO Box 506, Edinburg, Virginia 22824.

May I purchase copies of Morrison’s photographs?
Yes, through the Shenandoah County Historical Society. Details are available here. The SCHS also published the book, A Pictorial History of Shenandoah County: Fifty Years through the Lens of Hugh Morrison Jr., that is available for purchase online and in the MSV Museum Store.




Generous exhibition underwriting provided by Shentel.  Online exhibition made possible by the Wise Foundation.
Presented by the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in partnership with the Shenandoah County Historical Society.
Website design by Shenandoah Valley Productions LLC and Wood & Associates, Inc.