Since the inception of photography in the early nineteenth century, photographs have been made, used, collected, and discarded in greatly increasing numbers. Despite the photograph’s persistence in daily life, until recently most types of everyday photography have remained unexamined by historians and have been absent from the walls of galleries and museums. In response to this omission, some scholars have begun to consider photography as a “vernacular” practice.
This reframing of the history of photography serves as the starting point for “In the Vernacular: Photography of the Everyday”. “In the Vernacular” utilizes the Rodger Kingston Collection – a collection of approximately 4,000 vernacular images including snapshots, wedding photographs, news and advertising images, insurance pictures, family pictures, travel albums, grade-school class portraits, and pin-up photographs – as the rich visual source material for its exploration of photography of the everyday. The publication includes 75 full-colour reproductions organized thematically, as well as an introductory essay by Ross Barrett and Stacey McCarroll Cutshaw, plus essays on the vernacular and the Kingston Collection by Bernard L.Herman and Daile Kaplan. The book also includes one of the first comprehensive bibliographies on the subject of vernacular photography.