Traveling Exhibitions


Common Bonds: Birmingham Snapshots, 1900-1950

Two Girls - Common BondsCommon Bonds: Birmingham Snapshots, 1900-1950 is a visual record of the lives ordinary people at a time when the snapshot camera was a novelty. Whatever their ethnic identity, economic status, or social class, Birminghamians of all backgrounds valued family and used their cameras to capture the images of people and moments of great importance--as did all Americans.

Children appear in snapshots more often than any other subject, and family members attentively chronicle their growth from babies to youngsters to leggy adolescents. Formal snapshots of matriarchs or of parents with their children often employ studio poses, while impromptu shots memorialize reunions, backyard gatherings, leisure time and the family pet.

Though Common Bonds is an exhibition of Birmingham snapshots, these photographs depict the lives of ordinary Americans in the early 20th century. Visitors comments include: “I drove eight hours to see this exhibit and it was definitely worth it,” “Thank you for reminding us all that there is more that unites us than divides us,” and “Wonderful show—images are so powerful.”

About the Exhibition

Curators - Jim Baggett and Regina Ammon

Format - 30 22 x 26 frames (including title and text panels). This exhibition can be reduced to fewer frames or panels without harming its integrity.

Exhibition History

Birmingham Public Library, August to October 2002 (Brochure pdf)
Samford University (Birmingham), March-October 2003
Reykjavik (Iceland) Museum of Photography, December 2003-February 2004
Vulcan Park (Birmingham), January- July 2006
North Birmingham Public Library, 2012

Optional Program

Common Bonds: Birmingham Snapshot Photography, 1900-1950
(program given by Jim Baggett, Archivist, Birmingham Public Library)

Examples From the Exhibition

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