Family Photo Project
Family Photo Project
The objective is to research the clothing and textiles pictured in a family photograph [preferably 1970 or earlier]. Full length photographs will be easier to research and describe.
The following should be researched:
Describe what the times were like surrounding the year the photograph was made. This should include world, state, and local events, the economy, the arts, politics, etc. Focus on local events. Use secondary sources such as history books, and primary sources such as newspapers and magazines that were in circulation at the time the photo was made. Images from primary sources will be needed to document the clothing in the photograph (make copies).
Describe the lifestyle of the person/people in the photograph. Include information on occupation, place of residence, age/s, family circumstances, occasion for the making of the photograph, etc. Go to resources listed on the ATD 426 Course Guide on the MSU Libraries website to find or verify ancestor information.
Describe in a detailed way the clothing seen in the photograph using appropriate apparel terminology. Discern textures (textiles) as best you can. Describe all aspects of appearance.
Describe what fashionable dress was like the year the photograph was made. Then describe typical apparel for the particular category pictured [i.e. sportswear, evening wear, day dress, children’s wear, etc.]. Do not choose a photograph of clothing designed for a costume ball or some other occasion where an individual might dress in an unusual way. In your description indicate typical colors, fabrics, style features, silhouette, and accessories. Don’t forget hair and makeup.
Draw some conclusions based on the combination of information formulated in the first four questions. Answer questions such as how lifestyle influenced the type of clothing worn. How did events such as war influence the clothing? How was clothing acquired? Were the wearers trendy or old-fashioned, simple or elegant? Did lifestyle and income affect the clothing?
The project, along with a copy of the photograph will be reported in class as a poster and in a written report. The paper should be approximately 2,500 words in length and no longer than nine (9) pages, not including the bibliography. Do not enlarge margins or fonts to achieve a nine-page paper. You must write between 2,250 and 2,500 words. It should be typed and double-spaced. Also include a title page showing the family photo; include footnotes, bibliography and images from primary sources that help to confirm the date and/or fashionability of the clothing in the photograph. Images can be placed in an appendix. Number the images (Fig 1, Fig 2, etc.) and provide a caption that includes the date and source. Send an electronic copy of the family photo to the instructor for approval before beginning the project. The bibliography should contain at least five sources with at least four print sources (not including your text book or class lecture notes). It should include both primary and secondary sources. Be sure to footnote facts that are not general knowledge. Use Chicago Manual of Style for footnotes and bibliography. Go to the website via MSU Libraries website E-Resources. Website: HYPERLINK “http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html” http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html
A Preliminary Report is required during the semester (see schedule for due date):
The Preliminary report should include the following:
Information about the approved photograph (See #3 above).
Remaining information you would like to know about the photograph.
Primary source images, which you can use to document the date and fashionability of the garments in the photo.
Preliminary Bibliography; this must include print sources that you have checked out of the library or that you have in your possession. Pulling titles from the library catalogue does not ensure that these books will be available when you get ready to write your report. Turn in a photocopy of the title page of each book.
Poster Requirements: Given the tight schedule for the semester, your project will be reported to the class in poster format (See schedule for due date). This should be simple and include a copy of your family photo, images from primary sources to confirm date, and a paragraph about family background and circumstances of the taking of the photo. An assignment related to the posters will be given on the due date.
The date of the photograph should be no later than 1990. It should be a photograph about which you know or can obtain information required in section 3. The clothing should be easy to see in the photograph; it can picture adult or child, male or female. Try to choose a photo that does not include a large number of people [you can select certain individuals to evaluate in a case where a large family group is pictured]. Non-U.S. photographs can be used. The photo should be approved by the instructor before beginning work on the project. Scan the photo and send it to the instructor as an e-mail attachment.