Time's Arrow: Family Portraits Through Time

The arrow of time moves forward, is swift and cannot be recalled however we might wish it.  It began with my own query. Who was I then, who am I now? How have I aged? A scary question.  I compared two portraits: one taken at age twenty-two the other, a recent self portrait fifty years later. I was shocked by the differences, but then recalled the insecurity, remoteness and confusion of my younger self ñ and recognized the determination, toughness and humor of my present, stronger self. This was it, who I became, who I am.

I expanded my photographic inquiry to assemble snapshots of other close family members in both their youth and maturity, pairing each to see their changes and ponder their fulfillment. By positioning their paired portraits around my own, I see time and experience moving forward for all of us. And they are attached to me, surround me. Their faces, and my own, reveal the passage of time together ñ whether from parents decades ago, or children and grandchildren who will mature in decades to come.

I asked several others to participate. They have entrusted me to make portraits of themselves placed beside one from youthful years, surrounded by family members in young and mature pairs, assembling all into family portraits through time.

The Quandary of Legacies: an installation in the Griffin Gallery

My art expresses life as I know it, usually in narrative series form. As a writer I began to photograph images and construct digital montages that were inspired by words. Over time I have incorporated several of these word and image series into installation pieces that more completely express my vision.

“The Quandary of Legacies” brings together ideas from several narrative projects completed in the Atelier into an installation expressing the weight of inherited material objects in our lives.


Laura Wolfe

Alan Strassman

Christy Stadelmaier

Ellen Toby Slotnick

Dianne Schaefer

Alice Shafer

Andrea Rosenthal

Linda Rogers

Richard Perry

Jane Paradise

Trelawney Goodell

Anne Diamond McNevin

Diane Davies

Nan Collins

Bob Avakian


Karen Davis

Course Assistant

Meg Birnbaum



Griffin Museum

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