Whether you’re on vacation or stay-cation this summer, chances are you’re taking pictures. Smartphones make picture-taking easier and more popular than ever. But in earlier years, photography was more of an event. At the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, an exhibition called “Little Pictures, Big Lives” shows snapshots from the 1920s through the ’60s. And many of the people in these photos happen to be some of this country’s greatest artists.
“The wonderful thing about looking at snapshots of artists is that it raises the stakes a little bit,” says Foresta. That a snapshot of a man holding daisies out to his love is a sweet picture, “but when you know that it’s Jackson Pollack [giving] daisies … to Lee Krasner, it becomes a different picture,” she says.