People have always gathered themselves and others into groups, whether small, intimate spheres or larger social and political collectives. Since its invention in 1839, photography has been used to form notions of who belongs—and who doesn’t—in a given moment, with amateur and professional photographers alike capturing these accounts as personally meaningful keepsakes and significant historical documents.

Nearly 60 works in Collective Recollection create and recall various collective identities and experiences, encouraging viewers to consider who has the power to shape the representation of selfhood.

RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.