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Vernacular photography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vernacular photography[1] is the creation of photographs that take everyday life and common things as subjects.

Though the more commonly known definition of the word "vernacular" is a quality of being "indigenous" or "native", the use of the word in relation to art and architecture refers more to the meaning of the following sub-definition (of vernacular architecture) from the Oxford English Dictionary: "concerned with ordinary domestic and functional buildings rather than the essentially monumental."

Examples of vernacular photographs include travel and vacation photos, family snapshots, photos of friends, class portraits, identification photographs, and photo-booth images.

Vernacular photographs are types of accidental art, in that they often are unintentionally artistic.[2]

Found photography

Closely related to vernacular photography is found photography, which in one sense refers to the recovery of a lost, unclaimed, or discarded vernacular photograph or snapshot.

Found photos are often found at flea markets, thrift and other secondhand stores, yard sales, estate and tag sales, in dumpsters and trash cans, between the pages of books, or literally just "found" anywhere.

The use of vernacular photography in the arts is almost as old as photography itself. Vernacular photography become far more commonplace by the 2000s as an art technique and is now a widely accepted genre of art photography. This form of photography began to develop in the years leading up to World War II.[3][4]

Vernacular photographs also have become popular with art collectors and with collectors of found photographs.

Some curators have begun to exhibit vernacular photography.[5] Though collections of vernacular photography typically consist of found physical photographs from bygone eras, some collectors have expanded their definition to include digitally sourced photographs, such as the amateur product photography used for online classifieds listings.[6]

Walker Evans is attributed with being heavily influenced by this style of photography,[7][8] as is Martin Parr.[8][9]

Museum exhibitions

Museum exhibitions highlighting vernacular photography have included:

See also

External links


  1. ^ "Vernacular Photography". Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  2. ^ Szarkowski, John. "Interview: "Eyes Wide Open: Interview with John Szarkowski" (2006)". Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  3. ^ Ennis, Helen (March 2011). "Death and Digital Photography". Cultural Studies Review. 17 (1): 132.
  4. ^ Zuromskis, Catherine (2008). "Catherine Zuromskis. "Outside Art: Exhibiting Snapshot Photography."". American Quarterly. 60 (2): 425–441.
  5. ^ Longmire, Stephen. "Back West: Reviewing American Landscape Photography". Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Strange & Wonderful Vernacular Photography". Significant Objects. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  7. ^ Tormey, Jane. "Walker Evans: "Walker Evans's 'Counter-Aesthetic'" (2003)". Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  8. ^ a b "In the Vernacular". Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  9. ^ Gayford, Martin (17 April 2004). "Ordinary lives, extraordinary photographs". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  10. ^ Retrieved 2021-03-05. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "Representing: Vernacular Photographs of, by, and for African Americans". Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  12. ^ "'Walker Evans' at SFMOMA focuses on photographer's love of the vernacular". The San Francisco Examiner. 2017-10-03. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  13. ^ "Press release: Saint Louis Art Museum presents 'Poetics of the Everyday: Amateur Photography, 1890-1970'". Saint Louis Art Museum. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  14. ^ "Lost and Found: Stories for Vernacular Photographs". Ackland Art Museum. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  15. ^ "Take Your Pick: Collecting Found Photographs | University of Michigan Museum of Art". Retrieved 2021-03-05.
This page was last edited on 5 March 2021, at 21:38
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