Monroe Gallery of Photography
Monroe Gallery of Photography



THE AMERICAN FAMILY ALBUM


Supermarket Protests, New Jersey, 1963
Supermarket Protests, New Jersey, 1963

Wanderlust and encounters of the American family in pictures.

July 1 through September 18, 2016

A selection of 50 photographs that represents a collective American Family Album: an offbeat and absorbing portrait of the American experience. Unusual, timeless, irrational; these anonymous memories of America are not what we expect. The images are an elusive vision of a country without limits and challenge us to reinterpret the impact, value, and status of photographs we encounter in our daily lives. There may be no Pulitzer Prize-winning pictures in the exhibition, but the photographs are nonetheless glorious in their innocence.

Although family photo albums have only been in existence for over one hundred years, now they are virtually obsolete, often replaced by an overload of digital images scattered across our many devices. Concurrently, smaller and more advanced cameras helped contribute to the success of picture magazines and led to more photographs in newspapers. Photographers documented the major events of our collective history, with a particular emphasis on “big events” and newsworthy happenings. But these photographers also photographed the lives of average folks and their everyday unique American experiences. Professional photographers explored the American landscape in the hopes of finding average individuals in everyday settings and creating pictures that illustrate the idiosyncrasies of people, objects, and places discovered on the journey. During the heyday of magazine photography, theclip_image001 wanderlust of the American family often provided a narrative that comprised the American experience.

“The mission of photography is to explain man to man and man to himself. And that is no mean function. Man is the most complicated thing on earth and also as naïve as a tender plant.” – Edward Steichen



Woman and Poodle at Beauty Parlor, New York, 1961

Woman and Poodle at Beauty Parlor, New York, 1961

Motorcycle and Poodle, New York, 1964

Motorcycle and Poodle, New York, 1964

Beach Fashions, 1950

Beach Fashions, 1950



Fun at the Santa Monica Beach, 1948

Fun at the Santa Monica Beach, 1948

Long Beach, California

Long Beach, California

Girl in surf, Jones Beach, New York, 1951

Girl in surf, Jones Beach, New York, 1951



Kay Heffernon enjoys a hot dog and a Coke,  while DDT is sprayed to supposedly demonstrate it won't contaminate her, Jones beach, NY 1948

Kay Heffernon enjoys a hot dog and a Coke, while DDT is sprayed to supposedly demonstrate it won't contaminate her, Jones beach, NY 1948

Coney Island, NY, July 4, 1949

Coney Island, NY, July 4, 1949

Long Island, New York, 1954

Long Island, New York, 1954



Man Looking in Waste Basket, Coney Island, NY, 1945

Man Looking in Waste Basket, Coney Island, NY, 1945

Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, 1952

Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, 1952

Young Americans at Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC

Young Americans at Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC



Racers, West Hartland, Connecticut, 1953

Racers, West Hartland, Connecticut, 1953

Exuberance, West Hartland, Connecticut, 1953

Exuberance, West Hartland, Connecticut, 1953

High School Hangout

High School Hangout



Juke box at the Vera Cruz Café, Los Angels, 1950

Juke box at the Vera Cruz Café, Los Angels, 1950

Outdoor Concert, Bolton, Vermont, 1972

Outdoor Concert, Bolton, Vermont, 1972

Chicago New Year’s Eve Costume Run, 1956

Chicago New Year’s Eve Costume Run, 1956



Tailgating, Yale Football, 1963

Tailgating, Yale Football, 1963

Utah, 1952

Utah, 1952

Herberts Drive In, California, 1945

Herberts Drive In, California, 1945



Route 66, Arizona, 1953

Route 66, Arizona, 1953

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1969

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1969

New York City, 2006 (Thanks giving Day Parade, Sponge Bob)

New York City, 2006 (Thanks giving Day Parade, Sponge Bob)



Butternut Fudge, Tunbridge, Vermont, 1955

Butternut Fudge, Tunbridge, Vermont, 1955

Spaghetti, 25 Cents, New York, 1945

Spaghetti, 25 Cents, New York, 1945

Be Happy, Chicago, July 4, 2000

"Be Happy", Chicago, July 4, 2000



Halloween, Brooklyn Heights, NY, 1960

Halloween, Brooklyn Heights, NY, 1960

Halloween, Stowe, Vermont, 1951

Halloween, Stowe, Vermont, 1951

Rainy day in Fredricksburg, Virginia, 1948

Rainy day in Fredricksburg, Virginia, 1948



Chelsea

Chelsea

Boys playing Father, Bronx, New York, 1944

Boys playing Father, Bronx, New York, 1944

Under the newsstand, the Bronx, 1947

Under the newsstand, the Bronx, 1947



Readers

Readers

 Yale Joel - Young Bug Lovers, Clarksville, Arkansas, 1953

Yale Joel — Young Bug Lovers, Clarksville, Arkansas, 1953

Children on the banks of the Kennebec River in Woolwich, Maine, 1976

Children on the banks of the Kennebec River in Woolwich, Maine, 1976



Calbert Imada, The Island of Hawaii, 1980

Calbert Imada, The Island of Hawaii, 1980

	Amateur Hour, ApolloTheater, Harlem 1961

Amateur Hour, ApolloTheater, Harlem 1961

Outward bound, Colorado, 1964

Outward bound, Colorado, 1964



Brooklyn Dodger fans celebrating 1955 World Series victory, Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Dodger fans celebrating 1955 World Series victory, Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn

Fairy in the woods, Rainbow Gathering, Michigan, 2001

Fairy in the woods, Rainbow Gathering, Michigan, 2001



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