The Portraits of Violet and Al

The Portraits of Violet and Al

c. 1973

Part of a set. See all set records

William DeLappa

(American, 1943-2006)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 35.3 x 27.2 cm (13 7/8 x 10 11/16 in.); Paper: 40.5 x 50.8 cm (15 15/16 x 20 in.)

Gift of the Artist 2005.93

Description

This collection of moments from a couple’s daily life and family celebrations between 1947 and
the early 1960s "deals with, to be sure, divorce, or the separation of people," said DeLappa. He
hired actors and shot the series in Ohio around 1973, explaining "[I wanted] to re-create some of
the things that I experienced concerning human relationships when I was a teenager. . .[,] overtones
of alienation, loneliness, possibly people coming together for the wrong reasons" amid the stresses
of the postwar era. DeLappa used the familiar, comforting aesthetic of the snapshot, adding signs
of wear and tear and making typical amateur "mistakes" to lend authenticity. His staged photo
narrative is a little-known, pioneering example of a genre of photography that would become prevalent
in the 1980s.

See also
Department: 
Photography
Type of artwork: 
Portfolio
Credit line: 
Gift of the Artist

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