The Feast of St. Valentine’s Day has been celebrated in many different ways for well over a thousand years. No matter how you may feel about our contemporary version of Valentine’s Day, which tends to center romantic love, this can be a helpful reminder that love and connection are critical to our humanity. Photography has a much shorter history than St. Valentine’s Day, but it has documented all sorts of expressions of love since the 1840s, and we have many wonderful examples in PAM’s permanent collection. I believe that some of the best photographs centering love are those that we make ourselves to share with our families and friends. Have a look through a photo album or your cell phone photos today—you likely have many of your own photographs featuring community and connection. I hope they bring you joy today and remind you that you are loved.
—Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography
Sage Sohier (American, born 1954), Gordon and Jim, with Gordon’s Mother, Margot, San Diego, 1987 (negative); 2014 (print). Pigment print, 15 9/16 × 23 in. The Blue Sky Gallery Collection; Gift of the Artist, 2015.8.1 © Sage Sohier
Suzanne Opton (American, born 1950), Soldier: Jimenez—365 Days in Iraq, Fort Drum, New York, 2005. Chromogenic print, 18 × 14 1/4 in. The Blue Sky Gallery Collection; Gift of James and Susan Winkler, 2007.44.4 © Suzanne Opton
unknown photographer, Untitled (Snapshot of Couple Standing in Front of Window), 1930/1965. Gelatin silver print, image: 4 3/4 × 2 3/4 in. Gift of Peter J. Cohen, 2017.26.58