Lindsey Dalthorp

Portraits of Home: the family album
Location: Olympia, Washington
Nationality: United States
Biography: Lindsey Dalthorp is an independent artist, photographer and teacher from Olympia, Washington. Main themes in her photography include community, history and social justice. Her work has been featured in Olympia’s progressive newspaper ... MORE
Public Story
Portraits of Home: the family album
Copyright Lindsey Dalthorp 2022
Updated Feb 2021
Topics American Studies, Community, Documentary, Family, Family Archive, Family History, Friends + Family, Historical, Photography
For generations my family has kept photo albums, a tradition passed on mainly by the women. It used to be a normal part of life to save physical copies of photos, newspaper clips and cards–before the internet changed all that. My mom and my grandma together saved hundreds of photographs; including the extended family, the collection amounts to an extensive documentation of life and the changing times in a small logging town in the heart of Washington State. The photographs from my dad's side tell the story of a never-stay-in-the-same-place family spread all over the country, who returned to their small Northern Minnesota hometown each summer to work in the woods and play in the lakes and spend time together.

The images included in this project are a selection of scans of photographs taken and saved by my mom, dad and both my grandmothers (plus a few classics from my lifetime). It is intended as an exploration of the people, places and experiences that make us who we are, bringing into question the very essence of what home means to each of us; the importance of family, history, tradition, and place in forming the foundations of our lives, and how old photographs and documents allow us to form a connection to our ancestral past.

This project is the beginning of a greater historical research project regarding the extensive photographic documentation that exists of American families throughout the 20th Century, made possible by the relative accessibility of cameras for everyday Americans beginning around the 1920s. The subsequent prominence of family photo albums brings into question what this extensive documentation represents in light of the major technological advances into the digital age that have made the practice of keeping physical photographs nearly extinct. 
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Portraits of Home: the family album by Lindsey Dalthorp
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