Snapshot Chronicles
Snapshot Chronicles
Snapshot Chronicles
Snapshot Chronicles

Snapshot Chronicles

Princeton Architectural Press, New York, New York, 2005


Today, the photo album is something we take for granted, and “scrapbooking” is a billion-dollar industry with its own television network. It was not always so. Before the camera, ordinary families had little more than the family Bible, a portrait of Grandpa, and a drawer full of documents. Then Eastman Kodak introduced the Brownie, giving Americans the means to document and record their daily lives. Hundreds of thousands of these cameras were produced, and as a result, small collections of photographs were assembled and preserved in an astonishing assortment of albums, with photographs as the raw material for collages, constructions and text experiments.

Snapshot Chronicles is a visual exploration of the creative outpouring made possible by the camera. Friends, family, travel, domestic life, special occasions, the workplace, farm and city life—these were all intermingled in early albums in surprising and dynamic forms. Men, women and even children became the creators of their own visual biographies, and documenters of previously unprecedented aspects of American life.

Juror Notes

A book about old photo albums. Yet it’s the small touches by the designer that put this book over the top for me, especially the themed gridlike collages composed of details from the photos. Exquisite.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2005
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book


Design firm
Princeton Architectural Press
Art director/creative director/designer
Martin Venezky
Jacket designer
Martin Venezky
Barbara Levine, Stephanie Snyder
Jennifer Thompson
Trim size
10 x 10 inches
Asia Pacific Offset
Jacket printer
Asia Pacific Offset
140 gsm Thai AA woodfree
Binding method
Case bound, sewn
Princeton Architectural Press, the Reed Institute