Ivy "Willie" Morant
Ivy May Morant (1910 - 1986), known affectionately as "Willie", was Nicholas Morant's professional partner and co-traveller throughout his career. Nick and Willie met in 1929, and the two quickly became close, eventually marrying in 1936. Willie and Nick travelled across Canada together throughout their careers, with Willie assisting with staging, lighting and other important elements of Nick's photographic projects. Willie was also the subject of many of Nick's photos throughout her life.
Although Willie did not gain the same level of professional recognition as her husband, she was also a skilled photographer in her own right. Many of Willie's photographs followed a similar theme to Nick's - images of steam trains, natural scenes, etc. However, Willie also had a knack for capturing candid aspects of her own life and experiences (along with many portraits of Nick). While some of Willie's photographs ended up in newspapers or other publications, others were kept as personal mementos.
Steam train turning corner in Rocky Mountains, photo by Willie Morant, ca. 1930 - ca. 1940. Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Nicholas Morant fonds (V500/I/C1/6/PA-28).
Nick and Willie Morant at Banff home, ca. 1980 - ca. 1985. Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Nicholas Morant fonds (V500/I/C1/77/PA-13).
Nick and Willie also found time to travel together beyond Canada - they explored Central and South America in their later adult years, visiting Mexico and Peru. Although the pair traveled often, they kept Banff as their home base. In 1952, Willie and Nick built a wooden house in Banff, which continued to serve as their permanent residence until Willie passed away in 1986.
Ivy "Willie" Morant climbing, ca. 1935 - ca. 1940. Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Nicholas Morant fonds (V500/I/C1/79/PA-23).
"No entry to chairlift on this side", photo by Willie Morant, ca. 1940 - ca. 1950. Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Nicholas Morant fonds (V500/I/C1/83/PA-28).
"The Author (as a young man)", portrait of Nicholas Morant by Willie Morant, ca. 1980. Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Nicholas Morant fonds (V500/I/C1/9/PA-11).
Willie and backyard visitors at the Morant home in Banff, ca. 1952 - ca. 1960. Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Nicholas Morant fonds (V500/I/C1/77/PA-19).