Last year, the Hillman Photography Initiative at the Carnegie Museum of Art launched A People’s History of Pittsburgh. The project invited Pittsburghers to share personal photographs and stories. The collection task that followed gathered everything from large format black-and-white portraits dating back to the 1880s to color Polaroids of the 1970s to camera phone pictures from the 21st century.
From 2014 to 2015, the project grew into a digital archive of over 1,500 images, illustrating the ways in which snapshot photography has been used to document everyday moments while more broadly attempting to unearth a city’s cultural history through the photos of its people.
In the end, more than 200 images were selected for the accompanying print version of A People’s History of Pittsburgh: Volume One. The book contains a seamless flow of images that cycle through common family suppertimes, sports outings, dance recitals, first kisses, and more. The editors intentionally stripped the photos of their accompanying captions, allowing the viewer’s own history to be evoked and revisited.
Last month, the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh and the music collective VIA celebrated the launch of A People's History of Pittsburgh with the multi-faceted event
And now, a People's History of Pittsburgh Volume One is on sale for $20 online
and at Spaces Corners, an artist-run photobook gallery and project space in Troy Hill.
To learn more about the initiative and to explore the digital archive, visit www.nowseethis.org