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Contemporary ArtPhotography

Gillian Laub: Family Matters

Oct 13, 2022–Apr 9, 2023

For the last two decades, American photographer Gillian Laub has used the camera to investigate how society’s most complex questions are often writ large in our most intimate relationships. Her focus on family, community and human rights is clear in projects such as Testimony (2007), which explores the lives of terror survivors in the Middle East, and Southern Rites (2015), a decade-long project about racism in the American South. 

Throughout her career she has been simultaneously, and privately, documenting the emotional, psychological, and political landscape of her own family—exploring her growing discomfort with the many extravagances that marked their lives. Intense intergenerational bonds have shaped and nurtured Laub, but have also been fraught. Balancing empathy with critical perspective, humor with horror, the closeness of family with the distance of the artist, Laub offers a picture of an American family saga that feels both anguished and hopeful.   

As it moves through time, the exhibition becomes a microcosm of a deeply conflicted nation, as the artist and her parents find themselves on opposing sides of a sharp political divide—threatening to fracture the family, and forcing everyone to ask what, in the end, really binds them together.  

In her book Family Matters (Aperture, 2021), Gillian Laub's photographs are accompanied by her own words. This exhibition showcases her gifts as a storyteller, with much of the writing presented as an immersive audio guide. Moving through the four sequential “acts” of Family Matters, you will see and hear the artist and her family in their own words: funny, poignant, troubled, and challenging. 


This exhibition is included in your general admission ticket. Become a Member to receive free admission. All visitors are required to book their timed tickets online in advance to facilitate a contactless visit to The Museum.

Preview the Exhibition
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It's All Relative: A Family Matters Reflection and Response Space

Located in The CJM’s Yud Gallery, It’s All Relative is presented in conjunction with Gillian Laub: Family Matters. This project offers a space for visitors to pause and reflect on family—biological or chosen—and how our connections with loved ones influence our lives. Discover how you can participate at the link below!

Accessible exhibition text

View accessible exhibition text, or explore more accessibility resources at The Museum, below.

Cover of a book titled "Gillian Laub: Family Matters" with a picture of a man in a swimsuit eating a sandwich

In her book Family Matters (Aperture, 2021), Gillian Laub's photographs of her family from the past twenty years, now collected in one volume, explore the ways society's biggest questions are revealed in our most intimate relationships.


Gillian Laub: Family Matters is organized by the International Center of Photography, New York, and has been made possible through the generous support of Marina and Andrew Lewin, Benrubi Gallery, and, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Header Image:

Gillian Laub, Chappaqua backyard, 2000. © Gillian Laub