Deep Dive: Exploring the Exhibits

Photo of the George W. Morris Home at 128 Elm Street, Southampton (Christmas c. 1916)

This is a photograph of the George W. Morris Home at 128 Elm Street, Southampton. It depicts the interior of the home as it was decorated for Christmas circa 1916, as indicated in the handwritten text on the bottom. The glow of sunlight shining through the window lights up the living space, complete with a fireplace adorned with foliage, a wicker chair, a table holding three stacks of periodicals, and an intricate rug beneath it all.


George W. Morris arrived at Southampton from Sayville at 21 years of age, during which time he apprenticed in photography. George was mastering the craft of photography at a time when images were still being widely captured via an intricate glass plate process. His first residency – doubling as his place of business – took place in an upstairs apartment above a Main Street millinery shop. After marrying Henrietta Corwin in 1895, they relocated from an upstairs apartment and into the Elm Street home pictured above, where they would raise their six children. His works captured the varied settings of Southampton’s community during his time, with his collection and legacy still being celebrated to this day. His sons Wilton and Douglas would later take over his photography business as the process was advancing and becoming more popular through the 20th century. In 2017, the final owner of the business, Neal Thomason, was faced with the hard decision of having to close the Morris Studio after operating in the village for 125 years.

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