Looking at the Family Photo Album: A resumed theoretical discussion of why and how

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Having been the most widespread practice of photography
since the late 19th century, it is only in the recent few
decades that family photography has come into focus of
academic attention. Scholars working with family albums
have mainly come from anthropology, whereas scholars
from the aesthetical fields, art history, photography studies,
and cultural studies have been more hesitant about how to
approach such a material. Using three family photo albums
from the late 1960s and onwards as examples, the goal
of this paper is to underline that family photos contain
emotional, psychological, and affective qualities that reach
further than the individual owner and that should be put
forward, also within the fields of aesthetics and humanities.
Family photo albums are about social and emotional communication,
they can be interpreted as ways of understanding
and coming to terms with life, and at the same time
they document more sociological aspects of daily lives,
that we do not have access to from other historical sources.
The paper suggests a theoretical framing as a combination
of now ‘‘classical’’ photography theory and more recent
cultural theory in order to highlight the possible interpretative
findings in an analysis of family photography.
TidsskriftJournal of Aesthetics & Culture
Udgave nummer6
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 2014

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