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A frame of reference for my life has been my place as youngest in a family of eight—seven sisters and one brother. With a ball-busting, matriarchal mother and thirteen years of all-girl schools, growing up was girl-power all the way, balanced in part by an uber-masculine father. In 2000, after both parents had died, I became the one to make sense out of the family archive of 25,000 moldy, dusty, and faded photographs. I edited the archive to encapsulate growing up “large” at the cusp of massive social change in family and gender roles that occurred during the 1950s–1970s. Roles may be more fluid now, but if popular culture is any indication, a lot has remained the same.  Through the many years working with these images, I’ve had time to contemplate and make peace with my family of origin. There is quirk and humor in this snapshot aesthetic approach, with occasional threads of sadness and disillusionment because, in this family as in most, there were darker dramas going on beneath the smiling Kodachrome faces.

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