How a Photography Trend Evolved Over the Last Century

Photography trends abound; some are fleeting, while others come and go over the decades, never completely disappearing. We don't often stop to look at where they started or realize that we are participating in something even bigger than us.  

Modern social apps like Instagram are the best place to see just how often and overused certain trends/tropes are in the photography world. You only have to look at accounts like Insta_Repeat to see just how common it is to replicate or follow trends. Of course, this is nothing new, as anyone who has ever taken a photography history class or been to an art museum would know. 

This video from Vox takes a deeper look at one specific trend that spans over a century, examining its cultural relevance and influence over time in a variety of media, but especially as a trope within 70's album art. You can still find examples of this trend in photography today, and I'm sure it is only a matter of time before we see its rise in popularity again. This is the trend of using a decorative wicker chair in the style of the "Peacock chair." From a social equalizer used in portraits of presidents, celebrities, and everyday people, to iconic backdrops in the 60s and pop culture album covers in the 70's, what started as a simple photographer's prop, the "Peacock chair" in all its forms and styles took on a life of its own, carrying different meanings and cultural significance throughout the decades. 

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13 Comments

Simon Patterson's picture

That was an interesting video! I'm sure it will come back into fashion.

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

How a photography trend evolved or how the wicker chair evolved?

Patrick Hall's picture

How many people are going out and buying peacock wicker chairs now? That was an interesting video.

While I don't think I've seen many album covers with it, I think the equivalent these days is the "canvas backdrop shot wide to include the surroundings" trend. Not a criticism, just an observation.

Patrick Hall's picture

Ha absolutely! I actually have a video coming out soon that uses this technique.

Joao Barcelos's picture

best comment :)

Michael DeStefano's picture

There has to be a warehouse full of them somewhere in Hollywood haha

Curtis Randall's picture

I really enjoyed that!

"The casual leg" 😂😂

That was awesome.

It would be interesting to know what album was the last one to feature the chair.

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

Or will be the last...

I don't have that kind of time. LOL

Michael DeStefano's picture

I believe there have been recent album covers to use it.