City Gallery's Mission

City Gallery is a community for persons interested in what are termed 'vernacular images' or photographs of the life, work, culture and circumstances of ordinary people. Nearly all photographic images are vernacular images. Thanks to generations of gallery photographers and the introduction of the Kodak camera, there are billions of vernacular of images. With digital photography, there may be billions more. You very likely have vernacular images in your home. The family album. The pictures around your house. The pictures handed down from your grandmother. The photographs at the local library, history or genealogy society. City Gallery is devoted to the preservation and interpretation of these vernacular images.

It has always been my belief, as founder of City Gallery, that the family historian plays a vital role in the preservation and interpretation of vernacular images. Both local historians and family historians play a role similar to the one the played by amateur astronomers in astronomy. They do the work that others cannot do or are unwilling to do. They preserve photographic artifacts "in situ" in the home, the family, outside of the academic and institutional world. There are not enough major archives in the world to hold all the vernacular images, ensuring a vital role for the local and individual holder of images. The contributions of these individuals and small organizations is invaluable to photographic and social history. Through City Gallery, I have sought to encourage people to become involved in this process.

City Gallery was founded in August of 1995 by Steve Knoblock.