What We See
- Family Photo Album, Date unknown
- Mary Taylor
- Medium unknown
- National Museum of American History, Behring Center, Division of Information Technology and Communications
- Photographic History Collection
- Image No. 2002.0103.02
African American photographer Mary Taylor used her 35mm Bell and Howell camera and a photo album made from a discarded wallpaper-sample book to document her family’s life in Los Angeles’s black community. This treasured family heirloom, which contains 19th-century tintypes, turn-of-the-century hand-colored portraits, and albums from the 1950s through the 1970s, provides insight into the African American experience in the United States over the past century. The album’s approximately 842 black-and-white and color photographs depict mostly unidentified African American subjects. While many of the images were taken in and around unidentified residences, other locations include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Disneyland, and Marineland. The album also includes newspaper clippings and lithographs of flowers from a 1958 calendar.