San Jose, CA – March 25, 2014 – The life of Shirlie Montgomery was a colorful one. From her love of photography, sports, and journalistic photography, she was in a unique position to capture history. History San José will presents a photography exhibit based upon a collection of her pictures. Shirlie Montgomery: Picturing San José Since 1938, will open to the public Monday, April 14, at the Leonard & David McKay Gallery in the Pasetta House at History Park.
“Shirlie Montgomery was such an interesting woman and a fun person,” said Ken Middlebrook, Collections Manager at History San José and the curator of this exhibit. “She loved her vocation, but it was her avocation of documenting portions of life from the 1940s through 1970s that makes this exhibition unique.”
Born in on Chapman Street in San Jose in 1918, she was the only child of Rea Montgomery. It was her dad, an avid sportsman, who passed along his love of boxing and wrestling matches. Shirlie was the great niece of T. S. Montgomery, a local realtor and developer, who donated the land to the city where the Civic Auditorium stands today.
As a professional photographer, she pointed her 4×5 Speed Graphic camera on behalf of the San Jose Mercury, the San Francisco Examiner, freelancing, even working events for Lou’s Village. She passed away in 2012, leaving thousands of photographs from her collection, most of which are housed at the History San José Collection Center. This exhibit will be augmented by photos from private collectors, personal items owned by Shirlie, and other ephemera of old San José.
Shirlie Montgomery: Picturing San José Since 1938 will be exhibited at the Leonard & David McKay Gallery in the Pasetta House at History Park and runs through August 10, 2014.