In Snapshot Versions of Life, Richard Chalfen writes: "there are good reasons why people take more pictures of their children when they are very young than when they are older, why parents take more pictures of their first born than later children, why family albums contain more pictures related to births than deaths".
Baby’s Photographs is an intriguing study of the ways in which the family is represented. It is shown here as it was purchased: almost every page comprises two snapshots taken in the same location. Even more curious is that some pages contain copies of the same photograph.
The album is only partially filled; more than half of its pages are blank. Captions indicate that the first photograph was taken April 4, 1942. The last one was taken in December 1943, when baby was "1 year 11 months". Why did the album come to an abrupt halt?
Only one photograph is captioned with names – "Gretchen and Jo" – though there is no indication of which name belongs to the mother and which belongs to baby. All other captions refer only to dates or baby’s age.
Two images are inserted loose into the album – one presumably of Dad taking a photograph of baby, and a photo booth-style portrait of him.
But answers to the key questions 'who’s this?' and 'where’s this?' remain elusive. Thus the viewer is disorientated and unable to fill in critical gaps.
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