93 Main Street, Torrington, CT 06790. Phone: 860-489-9226.
"From Torrington to Boston and Beyond: Reconstructing the Artistic Journey of Miss Jeanne Bertrand, Early 20th Century Photographer and Sculptor" by Gary V. Smith, M.A., D.A. Join us on September 19th to hear the amazing story of Jeanne Bertrand, a "rediscovered" early 20th century photographer. The program will begin at 7pm and will be presented at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, 93 Main Street, Torrington. During the past few years Gary Smith, a scholar and former Torrington resident has researched the life and work of early 20th century photographer and artist Jeanne Bertrand (1880-1957). Dr. Smith's journey into Miss Bertrand's fascinating life has resulted in a program that will be shared with the public for the first time on Wednesday, September 19th. The program is sponsored by the Torrington Historical Society and made possible with support from the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut and the Connecticut Humanities Council. A French immigrant, Jeanne Bertrand's career as a photographer began in her adopted home of Torrington, Connecticut and continued with great success in Boston and New York, where she later lived. In 1902, the Boston Globe featured an article about the 21 year old Bertrand and referred to her as "one of the eminent photographers of Connecticut". Jeanne Bertrand was also a sculptor and while in New York, studied with C.S. Pietro, a prominent sculptor of the time. Bertrand was well known in art circles but although successful at an early age, her life was often tumultuous and in later years, her work was all but forgotten. However, the story of Jeanne Bertrand is ultimately one of triumph over obstacles. Until her death in 1957, she continued at her work, always remaining the accomplished artist that she had worked so hard to become. The discovery of Jeanne Bertrand and her work is an exciting story as well. Gary V. Smith discovered the name of Jeanne Bertrand while researching early 20th century Torrington photographers at the Torrington Historical Society. More extensive research into her life and work occurred after Sylvie Bouvier, a French photojournalist, contacted the Historical Society in search of information about Miss Bertrand. Dr. Smith and Ms. Bouvier eventually collaborated on research and together, they have been able to piece the story of Jeanne Bertrand's life and work. The result of this research is the exciting and enlightening program that Dr. Smith has produced. After decades of obscurity, Jeanne Bertrand will be revealed to a 21st century audience. Gary V. Smith was born and raised in Torrington and received a B.S. degree from Villanova University, an M.A. from New York University, an M.A. from Wesleyan University and a Doctor of Arts from Lehigh University, where he was a Carnegie Fellow. He was a Professor at Alabama State University for 25 years and also has taught at Ricker College, Moravian College, and Pennsylvania State University. He is currently semi-retired and teaches at South University in Montgomery Alabama. In addition to his extensive teaching background, Gary V. Smith has authored books and articles on subjects as diverse as the Middle East, genealogy, and vital statistics. Please note that because of the current exhibit at the Historical Society, The Jeanne Bertrand program will take place at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, 93 Main Street, Torrington, CT on Wednesday September 19th, 7PM. The suggested donation for this program is $2; Torrington Historical Society members are free. Seating is limited. There are no reserved seats.