Family in the Picture, 1958–2013


Lee Friedlander

Designed and conceived to complement In the Picture, his 2011 volume of self-portraits, Lee Friedlander’s Family in the Picture is the family album of one of the most restless and inventive figures in the history of photography. The sequence of over 350 pictures begins with images of Friedlander’s wife, Maria, at the beginning of their marriage, and interweaves major life events such as births, weddings, and funerals with moments that are less outwardly momentous yet equally moving. Although some of the pictures are well known, the majority of images have only recently been unearthed from Friedlander’s personal archive. This compendium of pictures, spanning over a half-century, chronicles the photographer’s family with arresting frankness, poignancy, and a moral: that life goes on.


When your husband or father is the accomplished photographer Lee Friedlander, the family photo album can’t help becoming a work of art … full of small, well-designed moments … guided by Mr. Friedlander’s loving eye … What a fine gift for his family—and for us. —Dana Jennings, New York Times

Friedlander’s methods are the antithesis of those who say “context is distraction”: this is life as it is. Through beautifully intimate images, Friedlander informs us where and on whom to direct the camera. Priceless. —David Cantor, Royal Photographic Society

These images … manage to be a meditation and open-ended commentary on the mysteries of family relationships and on the subject of time itself … The family and photographs are Friedlander’s, but the story is our own… . His content is honest, affectionate, and nothing less than profound. Has there ever been a visual record of a single family that approximates this one in quality or duration? —Stuart I. Frolick, Black and White