Dated photographs: The Personal Photo Album as a Visual and Textual Medium
2010 (English)In: Photography and Culture, ISSN 1751-4517, Vol. 3, no 2, 175-194 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article concerns the practice of making inscriptions in personal albums from the second half of the nineteenth century. The overall aim is to discuss the implications of this practice for interpretation and to investigate the cultural ideas and concepts embedded in it. The results are based on a close study of the heterogeneous collection of photo albums held at the Nordiska Museet (Nordic Museum), a museum of cultural history, in Sweden. Unlike personal photo albums produced after 1900, it is rare to find dates in personal carte-de-visite albums. Rather than a mere lack of data, this may indicate a different relationship between photography, time, and identity; pointing to a significant change in the vernacular uses and functions of photographs. The personal photo albums were conversation pieces that functioned better without text, as the images could prompt social contact in the form of inquiries and discussion. Later on, albums took on a character more reminiscent of a personal diary. The fact that so few privately circulated nineteenth-century portraits are dated indicates the relations between photographic portraits and painted portraits and furthermore it displays the similarities and differences between instrumental uses of portrait photography and private games of reading faces.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 3, no 2, 175-194 p.
photo album, nineteenth century
Research subject History Of Art
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-84949OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-84949DiVA: diva2:582098