Concepts of Identity: Historical and Contemporary Images and Portraits of Self and Family


The artist's portrait, the photograph, movies, and TV show who we are, what we're like, and where we are in today's postmodern world. Hoffman shows how visual images describe and portray individuals and families and the society and culture they come from.

Concepts of identity and self as individuals and families are complex and changing but images from the artist, the photographer, the filmmaker, and TV producer can help us discover where we came from, who we are and why, and where we are in the maze of postmodern life. Katherine Hoffman explores portraits and images from ancient Egypt to the present -- more than two-thirds of the book covers the twentieth century, including images from art, photography, film, TV, and other media. The 75 illustrations are integrated with the text.

"It is of crucial importance to put a face to the concept of family in the twentieth century. Katherine Hoffman's wide-ranging study of familial imagery in paintings, photographs, films, and television is a fine introduction". John Davis Smith College

"An important book in a time in which the American family is heavily discussed and debated". Margaret R. Miles Harvard University

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Katherine Hoffman
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1996