Photography has a curious way of encapsulating and immortalizing what might otherwise be a fleeting moment. Contemporary architectural photography is often devoid of people, sometimes placeless and gives a sense that the structures exist outside of time. While processing hundreds of photos for A Guide to the Architecture of Minnesota, these uncropped, raw, pre-published versions of the architectural photography struck me as time capsules, outside the norms of architectural photography. Even knowing the intended use, there still seem to be more questions than answers in these photos. Some capture people or places during everyday moments like sprinklers watering a lawn or filling up a battered hatchback at a quaint gas station. Some are dated by non-architectural objects like automobiles and signs, and some imply movement while others are hauntingly still. Moments of happenstance frozen in time.
Fifth in a series, this photo-post was inspired by A Guide to the Architecture of Minnesota, published in 1977 as a supplement to University Gallery’s Bicentennial exhibition The Art and Architecture of Minnesota.
—Heather Carroll is the processing archivist for the Weisman Art Museum‘s collection at the University of Minnesota Archives. This project was made possible by funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.