Art & Culture

Robert Swain Morison

Robert Swain Morison (1847-1925) first took up the camera in 1883 at his summer home in Peterborough. Morison, a librarian at the Harvard Divinity School, found inspiration in the woods and fields surrounding the family homestead at Upland Farm. A talented photographer, Morison documented his family’s lives and the landscapes and people he encountered in his travels. His children, Ruth (1877-1924) and Abbot (1879-1966), were his favorite models and darkroom assistants. The children trimmed and mounted the photos and his wife, Anne Theresa, numbered, dated, and labeled the pictures. The result is a remarkably well-documented and preserved body of more than 2,000 images. The Robert Swain Morison Collection, donated by Ruth and Abbot’s descendants, is now preserved at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture.