Her first major museum exhibition was at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1944, and it featured 34 portraits of Chicago artists. Between then and 1950, known exhibitions were held in Detroit, Dayton, Milwaukee, Toledo, Kenosha, Charlotte, Cleveland, New York City, Columbus, Colorado Springs, and Chicago – many of them in museums. The Detroit and Toledo exhibitions featured 100 prints, but the list of people whom Helen had photographed grew far beyond that.
It would be 67 years before Helen Morrison’s photos were exhibited again. During all those years her pictures were kept in the Northbrook residence, occsionally shown by Helen to visitors during her lifetime and by Sybil Shearer until her death. Then, in 2006, all of Helen’s photos and archives became the property of the Morrison-Shearer Foundation.
The Foundation Trustees long pondered the possibilities for a permanent repository, believing that Helen’s work deserved wide access, research, and public attention through exhibition. In 2016, the prestigious Newberry Library in Chicago stepped forward, stating that if selected as the repository, they would exhibit the Kentucky collection immediately. Accepting the offer, the Trustees gifted the entire Helen Balfour Morrison archives to the Newberry Library in 2018.