Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2015

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author's Department/Program

Art (Painting)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)


This thesis examines the hidden aspect of family dynamic and questions the idealized convention of family portraits. Based on Erving Goffman’s theatrical theory of community, family as a relaxing intimate group in the backstage, the underlying tensions, conflicts, and power play are discussed. This thesis draws upon the familial issues and treatments of Leon J. Saul and Rhee Dong Shick to evaluate the family dynamic present in our domestic settings. As the lineage of family portraits from history changed reflecting the differing family values and uncomfortable truths, the idealized family portraits are re-evaluated and questioned to offer a truer description of our family.


English (en)