Family Treasures Project


What is the Family Treasures Project?

The Family Treasures Series is a series of fine art photographs taken by artist Edward M. Fielding featuring objects near and dear to participants. The series includes stories provided by the participants about each object.

How did this project begin?

As an artist I have had a strong relationship with still life. Two events over the summer of 2014 focused my attention on objects with strong family ties. One was a framed needlepoint that has been passed around in a friends family. Each of the siblings took turns with the deceased mother’s needle point sampler. I was brought in to photograph the sampler so that each of the children could have their own copy of it so they could pass it down to their children.

The second event was when I was helping my parents clean out their home in Connecticut to move to Florida. There was great meaning to the objects they needed to clean out since many had been handed down for generations and after distributing the family treasures among four siblings all living in different parts of the country, the collection would most likely never be together again. Also it is unlikely that my parents will actually see the objects again. By photographing the objects I was able to provide both my parents and my siblings a way to view the objects. Also it was a change to tie the story of the objects to the photographs. We might not always have room to store all the family treasures we’d like to hold on to but in a photograph we can always keep the spirit of it.

The initial photographs in this series received a lot of feedback. Many viewers had similar objects around when they were growing up so a kind of shared memory was created when they viewed the images. From this feedback I decided to open up the project to other participants. If you can image a community attic full of family treasures, that image probably best describes this project.

How do I write the story of my family treasure?

Each object photographed in this series will be accompanied by a story behind the object written by the owner. The story must be 250 words and more. In the story please cover the who, what, where, when, why and how about the object.

What is it?
Where did it come from?
Whose was it?
When was it obtained?
How was it obtained?
Why is it special?

These are just guidelines. Feel free to write the story of your family treasure in your own voice how you see best. Keep in mind the audience viewing the object will know nothing about it and why it has it is special to you and your family.

What are the requirements of participation in this project?

After approval to be included in the project. Participation in this project is free except for a bit of work on the participants part and for covering all shipping and insurance for the object to and from the studio. Participants are also required to fill out a property release form. This will allow the resulting artwork to be used in publications promoting the project and/or any possible publication resulting from this project.

What are the goals of this project?

Primarily the documentation of family treasures for education and the understanding of human connection to objects as the holders of memories. As the project progresses it is hoped that a blog, gallery exhibit and/or book is created with the photographs and stories. The project is dynamic and expected to be ongoing over a number of years so new goals or projects coming out of this initial project may materialize as the project gathers interest from various sources.

How can participates purchase a copy of the photographs created in this project?

Prints from this project will be made available to participants and the public in the form of cards, art prints, framed art and canvases and serviced via Fine Art America.

What size objects can be included?

For items that will be shipped please limit the size to something that will fit into a USPS Priority Mail box. In our rural location the post office it the best place for use to send and receive.

What type of objects will not be included?

Anything of serious monetary value should not be considered. We don’t want to have to worry about something made out of gold for example getting lost in the mail. Unless you are local and can bring the object over and take it back with you.


Example photographs:

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