Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Michael Schreffler


American photographer Catherine Opie combines portraiture and documentary photography in her photographic series titled Domestic. At the center of this series lies the idea of community and the question of how community is constructed, a theme which unites Opie’s seemingly disparate bodies of work. Domestic depicts lesbians from across the United States in scenes of domesticity, living as couples, families, and housemates. Using formal portrait conventions to aestheticize the images, Opie photographed her subjects in and around their actual homes to create images that are documentary in essence. The series works to represent the lesbian community, which Opie felt had been underrepresented in American fine art photography, as well as present an alternative to the heteronormative view of domestic life in America.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013