Katrina Thomas Ethnic Wedding Photographs

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Katrina Thomas (1927-2018) was a graduate of Bryn Mawr College class of 1949. After graduating, Thomas had a long career as a freelance photographer. She worked extensively in Africa and the Middle East, and her photographs have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Aramco World, and publications of the U.S. Information Agency. Thomas began photographing ethnic festivals and parades in the late 1960s as a way of documenting the increasingly diverse nature of American society. Within a few years, she focused on weddings, in which she could see the importance of cultural traditions to a community more clearly than in the often-scripted and commercialized festivals. Capturing the weddings on film highlighted a community’s religious and cultural traditions while revealing how those traditions were changing in a new world. Her ethnic wedding photographs were featured in Something Old, Something New: Ethnic Weddings in America, a traveling exhibit cosponsored by Modern Bride and the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in Philadelphia in the 1980s. This collection includes 800 photographs captured by Thomas between 1963 and 2001, documenting the ways in which immigrant groups maintain and adapt wedding practices in the United States. While the greatest number took place in recent immigrant families, there are also many in older immigrant communities. Thomas sought out weddings where the family had decided to maintain or revive their group’s ceremonial traditions, although often enacting them within a contemporary context.

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800 items [showing 1 - 20]


Cambodian Wedding, Harrisburg, PA, 1983
Lithuanian Wedding, Chicago, IL, 1985
Serbian Wedding, Milwaukee, WI, 1992
Chinese Wedding, New York, NY, 1984
Latvian Wedding, Brecksville, OH, 1999
Afghan (Muslim) Wedding, Great Neck, NY, 1988
Igbo (Nigeria) Wedding, Bronx, NY, 1990
Cambodian Wedding, Brooklyn, NY, 1984
Lithuanian Wedding, Chicago, IL, 1985
Chaldean Wedding, Southfield, MI, 1990
Jewish Wedding (Lubavitch Hasidic), Crown Heights, NY,     1984
Armenian Wedding (Irani), Glendale, CA, 1991
Cambodian Wedding, San Francisco, CA, 1989
Chaldean Wedding, Southfield, MI, 1992
Hmong Wedding, Fresno, CA, 1988
Tibetan Wedding, Westminster, CA, 2001
Albanian (Catholic) Wedding, Yonkers, NY, 1990
Mexican Wedding, San Antonio, TX, 1993
Kurdish Wedding (Muslim), Nashville, TN, 1994
Akan (Ghana) Wedding, New York, NY, 1974