Life Imitates Art

The women shown here must be mother and daughter. Their smiles are much alike. The teasing looks, the innocent exposure of a knee, speak of the influence of movies. The style of their clothes suggests that this snapshot is from the era when images from cinema and magazines held more sway over public consciousness than from the television screen; such imagery suffuses our dreams, fears, and expectations. This is how young girls define their femininity, and how young boys dream of manhood.

Snapshots are one part of a cycle of advertising, illustration, and movies. Art directors at ad agencies know that familiar images touch viewers with greater power than ones to which the viewer has no connections. Movie directors know the same. This is why snapshots borrow details from movies and advertisements, while advertisements and movies borrow imagery from snapshots.

PMM General Collection