A special exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art for the first time is showing the black-and-white snapshots.
They’re taken between the 1920s and ’60s and, like many family snapshots, portray relaxed people.
The difference with this art show is that the subjects of the p
hotos include such venerable names as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollack and Pablo Picasso.
What’s not different is that like many family photos, these important and interesting shots were tucked away without seeing much daylight.
Too many of us keep all our family heirloom photos in shoeboxes in the closet.
“It’s crap until you do something with it,” said Krista Goode, 28, the owner of Scrapville, a scrapbook supply and design store in Snohomish.
Scrapbooking, the craft of cutting, pasting, gluing and collecting photos and other mementos into a bound book, is an increasingly popular pastime.
Creating so-called “heritage albums” is a specialty within scrapbooking, a way to preserve precious photos and memories of a time gone by.
It’s a great way for seniors to share their histories with younger generations.
Goode suggests collecting what you want to memorialize. Then create a plan. Collect them chronologically and organize by family groups.
Typically albums will be organized by family lines, merging together when couples marry.
The items may be snapshots, tickets, invitations or newspaper stories, she said.
Once everything is organized, visit a shop like Scrapville or one of the many other specialty scrapbooking retailers in Snohomish County.
The experts can help people choose the right kind of album and inserts.
For a quick collection, there are clear plastic pages fitted with envelopes sized to hold photographs. People who want to spend more time creating a heritage album can choose from a huge variety of papers, embellishments, paper cutters and stickers.
“You can make it basic,” Goode said, “Or you can make it really fun.”
Albums typically start at about $150 and the price goes up from there. It depends on how complicated it becomes, Goode said.
One important part is to use a marker and write down who’s who and what’s what. Otherwise the items and photos are meaningless.
People may wonder what will happen to mementos after they’re gone.
With a heritage album completed, the keepsakes are documented and safe for posterity, Goode said.
“This is my legacy. This is me.”
Scrapville: 2621 Bickford Ave., Suite D, Snohomish; 425-374-8215 or www.scrapville.net.
Lila’s Scrapbooking: 7207 Evergreen Way, #T, Everett; 425-355-2500 or lilasscrap booking.blogspot.com.
Urban Scrapbooker: 9810 Edmonds way, Edmonds; or 425-771-2400 or urban scrapbookers.com.