Long before I began working in museums, I studied photography as an undergraduate student. My interest began as a teenager, sparked by a love of black and white documentary photographs. I was captivated by the universal language the medium spoke and the idea that with the push of a button, a single moment could be captured, documented, and kept forever. You can imagine my delight when I recently found myself tasked with sorting through photographs from our collections here at The Strong.
Do you remember getting mail? Not email. Not bills. Not letters from credit card companies enthusiastically informing you that you’ve been “pre-approved!” Actual mail—a letter, a note, or a card. You know, when someone wrote you a message, adhered a stamp to it, and placed it in a mailbox, just to let you know they were thinking of you? Chances are you don’t receive this sort of mail nearly as often as you once did, likely due to the influx of digital technology, which facilitates faster, cheaper, and more instantaneous methods of communication.
If you grew up with siblings, you probably recognize that a brother or sister doesn’t always make the first choice for playmate but will usually suffice. As the youngest of three children by five years, I yearned to play along with my older brothers but could never quite keep up. Both seemed more knowledgeable, more agile, and more talented when it came to play. My oldest brother constructed amazing snow igloos and drove a snowmobile. My middle brother excelled at video games and fort building. I envied them both, until one miraculous day, when the tables finally turned.