Government Portraits

Between SFMoMA’s new acquisition and the prompt from Jörg Colberg, I may soon succumb to the temptations of tumblr. I do not know whether I would include Avedon’s The Family in this though. I kind of like the idea of it being official government-commisioned portrait work which is not the usual non-offensive* official government work.

*Yes, “non-offensive” is a nice way of saying boring and bureaucratic. But it also gets at the fact that the primary purpose of these portraits is to fit in with already-existing portraits and be lowest-common-denominator acceptable to everyone.

The only reason why I haven’t started a tumblr yet is because I fear that I won’t find any more examples after the four here.


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