From nineteenth-century daguerreotypes to twenty-first-century selfies, portraiture has dominated the medium of photography. Drawn from ICP’s collection, this exhibition surveys the nuanced ways people present themselves for the camera, how and by whom they are represented, and who is deemed worthy of commemoration. This selection includes studio portraits, snapshots, and documentary photographs. From a deathbed daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes and a cart-de-visite featuring Sojourner Truth holding her knitting to Samuel Fosso’s performative self-portraits and FBI wanted posters, every portrait serves a different purpose. Each one offers the opportunity to investigate the ways photography shapes our ideas about ourselves and others. Curated by Erin Barnett, director of exhibitions and collections, and Claartje van Dijk, assistant curator, collections.


Image: Sheng Qi, Memories (Me), 2000. International Center of Photography, Purchase, with funds provided by Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz, 2004 (7.2004) © Sheng Qi
Samuel Fosso, Self Portrait, 1977
Stamp of Mao Zedong, Shen Qi's Memories
Jan Rose Kasmir confronts the American National Guard outside the Pentagon during the 1967 anti-Vietnam march
 Nonkululeko, from the series “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder” Nontsikelelo Veleko, Nonkululeko, 2003-2004. International Center of Photography, Purchase with funds provided by Gregory Miller, 2005 (2092.2005) © Nonstikelelo Veleko/Courtesy of AFRONOVA Gallery

Special Thanks

Your Mirror: Portraits from the ICP Collection has been made possible by the generous support of ICP’s Exhibitions and Acquisitions Committees and First Republic Bank.

Exhibitions at ICP are supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional exhibition support is provided by The Andre & Elizabeth Kertesz Foundation and the Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts, Inc.