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Finding New Value in the Work of Anonymous Shutterbugs

Jan 09, 2019 - The New York Times
Donations and Philanthropy

A woman in a tree. Water skiers. Factory machinery. An army officer. Niagara Falls. A séance. A disobedient dog. Nine nuns … The subjects are almost limitless.

This is the myriad realm of “vernacular photography,” the catchall term for snapshots that amateurs have been taking since 1888, when George Eastman introduced the first hand-held Kodak camera, priced at $25 (about $600 today). Billions of images have been created since then, but only in recent years have amateurs’ contribu...