The Union Leader out of Manchester, NH ran an article on April 1st highlighting one of their own. I’m proud to say she is one of ours too! Jennifer Bernard, whose pictures you’ve seen on this blog, was honored by the Concord Free Library of having her photo of Orchard House included in their special tribute to the historic museum celebrating its centennial. Read below for details.
NH photographer’s picture of Alcott’s house in exhibit
By Nancy Bean Foster
Sunday News Correspondent
CONCORD, Mass. – The work of a Mont Vernon photographer will be part of an exhibit at the Concord Free Public library celebrating the centennial of the famous Orchard House, the setting for Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.”
Beginning today, the Concord Free Public library will host an exhibit highlighting the history of the house and the rich history that took place within the four walls of the Alcott home, a pan of historical Concord’s landscape since the l600s.
Included in the exhibit, according to curator Constance Manoli-Skocay, will be a sampling of the artifacts unearthed during the 2001-02 archaeological dig of the property, a chronology of the house that explores the two centuries of the home before the A1cotts moved in, and a look at Concord in 1912 when the Orchard House became a museum – the first private home in the country to do so.
The exhibit will also feature an original photograph taken of the Orchard House by Jennifer R. Bernard of Mont Vernon, who has found an endless amount of inspiration for her artwork at the Alcott family home.
Bernard, who has photographed the Orchard House using models to portray Alcott and her sisters – the little women she so fondly wrote about in 1868 – said she brought some of her images captured on silver film to the library last April. From those pictures, Manoli-Skocay selected the one that will be featured in the exhibit.
“I am unbelievably honored to have my work chosen for this exhibit,” said Bernard, who started photographing the Orchard House in 2008.
“Little Women” holds a special place in Bernard’s heart because the book speaks to the bonding between siblings, the love for their parents and the sadness that comes when the siblings leave home.”
“It’s a true New England story,” she said, “but it’s also a women’s story.”
Bernard said “Little Women” brings to mind images of her own grandmother, who lived at the same time as Alcott, surrounded by her sisters in an old New England home. And there are also the memories she shares with other women of her generation who grew up watching June Allyson … and of course, Elizabeth Taylor, in their roles as the Alcott sisters in the movie version of ‘”Little Women.”
“It’s just a story we can relate to,” said Bernard. “I love it.” Bernard’s photograph of the Orchard House will be displayed in the library along with Daniel Chester French’s statues of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott until July 1. For more information, go to concordlibrary.org.
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