Family Photo Album

Family photograph albums hold the history of generations, preserving the memories of birthdays, holidays, travels, and all general aspects of life. African American Mary Taylor used her 35mm Bell and Howell camera to document her family's life in the black community of Los Angeles, California, during the mid-20th century. She turned a discarded wallpaper sample book into a treasured family heirloom.
Taylor's family photographs including 19th-century tintypes, turn-of-the-century hand-colored portraits, and albums from the 1950s to the 1970s provide insight into the African American experience in the United States over the past century.
Wallpaper sample book used by the donor as a photo album. Contains approximately 842 black and white, and color photographs of unidentified people, mostly African-Americans. Most images were taken in and around unidentified residences. Some identified locations include San Francisico, Los Angeles, Disneyland and Marineland. Also includes newspaper clippings, as well as lithographs of flowers cut from a 1958 calendar.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Photo Album
Date made
ca 1960
Taylor, Mary A.
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 46 cm x 46 cm x 7 cm; 18 1/8 in x 18 1/8 in x 2 3/4 in
Place Made
United States: California
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Family & Social Life
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

12/6/2014 2:09:59 AM
Robert Hughes
Ms. Taylor passed away in Seattle WA on December 3, 2014. Her obituary is online at:
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