On October 8, 1953, a group of twelve people met at the Barn (now “the Studio”) on Catherine Street in Morristown to plan the organization of a club devoted exclusively to color photography. By October 22, a constitution had been drawn up that set the purpose of the club as the promotion of the art and science of color photography. Programs were deliberately slanted toward the organization of a good club and instruction in photography. Twenty-three members joined the first year.
The first Competition was held in February 1954. All slides were judged in one class, and the members themselves voted on the winners. The Annual Salon began in May 1954, when three outside judges were invited to select the top slides. A picnic at Surprise Lake in Summit ended the first year’s activities, and Morris PhotoColor Club was off to a good start.
By the fall of 1955, MPC had outgrown the facilities of the Barn, and moved to a larger headquarters in the community room of the Morristown Trust Company on South Street in Morristown. In January 1964, MPC moved to the Punch Bowl Room of the GPU Energy building (formerly JCP&L) on Rt. 124 in Morris Township. Regular club meetings were held on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month, from September through May. After nearly 33 years in the same location, MPC moved to the AT&T Labs building in Florham Park, where it remained until 2010. The most recent move was to its current meeting place in the Senior Center of the Town Hall of Morristown.
In the fall of 1966, a third monthly meeting was added (on the 4th Friday of the month) for the newly formed Nature Division. MPC became the first camera club in the state with a section devoted exclusively to nature photography.
In 1967, the Travel Slide Study Group was born, which became the Travel Workshop Division in 1968. Early meetings were held at members’ homes, then at St. Marks Lutheran Church, and finally at GPU Energy, on the 2nd Friday of the month.
The publication MPC News appeared in 1965, and received an Honor Award in the PSA club bulletin competition. Currently, the Cable Release, published by the New Jersey Federation of Camera Clubs, keeps members up to date with all statewide clubs’ events.
MPC voted to join the New Jersey Federation of Camera Clubs on February 18, 1954. Among its many activities, the Federation holds interclub competitions for its member clubs throughout the state. MPC’s first try at the NJFCC Annual Spring Interclub in May 1955 resulted in a 4th place finish. One year later, MPC was awarded First Place. Since then, MPC has been awarded many honors, both as a group and for its individual members.
In November 1956, MPC became affiliated with the Photographic Society of America (PSA). Founded in 1933, PSA is the largest amateur photographic society in the world. MPC reached the highest (A) division in PSA Nature during the 1968-69 year, and Color Slide (A-1) in 1973-74. MPC currently holds membership in one of its eight divisions: Open Pictorial.