I am the family chronicler. Naturally, I loved this exhibit at the Volkskundemuseum, The Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art that Tony and I took in several weeks ago on a rainy weekend day.
The exhibit shared private collections of wartime photos taken by soldiers, offering visitors a glimpse into life on the warfront and the memories they chose to capture on film. For many soldiers, this was the first occasion they had to leave their village and their country, and were it not wartime, many of the albums could have been the equivalent of the modern travel blog.
This soldier had a particular fondness for grilled chicken and hanging out, “In Adamskostüm.”
And, when not eating chicken or being naked, thoughtfully documented the invasion of Poland.
People-watching during wartime.
The exhibit also contained a few albums from women who served the wartime effort in one capacity or another.
Hundreds of albums and thousands of photos were lent to create this exhibit, and the curators prepared albums from the copies. Quite literally, I could have cozied up with a cup of tea and pored over these books for hours, imagining the lives as told through these moments captured on film.
Though I write this blog to chronicle our adventures abroad, I also keep bound photo albums of our family activities and also of my ancestry whenever I unearth something; and I am thrilled that even our children have begun keeping their own “hardcopy” chronicles. The art of storytelling is an investment they will be happy to have made, even if it doesn’t find its way to a museum.