Bill Owens (b. 1938)
Every year I go to my mother-in-law's for Thanksgiving and every year I swear I'll never do it again. But I always do, do it again., negative 1972, print 1998
photograph, gelatin silver print
Addison Gallery of American Art

In 1972, Bill Owens was a news photographer in Livermore, CA, when he began taking pictures of backyard barbecues, women at the hair salon, and other images of blossoming suburban life.  He knew that he wanted to capture holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July -- such celebrations were the focus of Owens’s work and local life while the Vietnam conflict dragged on in the background.  Although his photos were all taken within a single year, his critical distance, as well as the “rediscovery” of his work by director Sophia Coppola, make his Suburbia series relevant over three decades later.