• 01.28.14

Photographer Captures Her Grandfather’s Life Through His Belongings

Photographer Andrea Tese honors her late grandfather by artfully chronicling his possessions.

Over time, we become desensitized to seeing the ephemera of our everyday lives–mattresses, suitcases, dishes, coats. In death, those plain belongings take on another dimension as reminders of loved ones, memories to be sifted through and appreciated. Photographer Andrea Tese’s “Inheritance,” on display at New York’s De Buck Gallery, captures this act of organizing and remembering the dead. Here. the photographer honors her late grandfather through the lens of the possessions he left behind.


Tese neatly arranged the contents of her grandfather’s house, from bedding and shoes to fish hooks to stamp collections, providing an intimate portrait of his life through a catalogue of his things, reminders of his hobbies, his habits, and his daily life. “These photographs function simultaneously as an acknowledgement to the ephemeral nature of life and as an indulgence in man’s unwillingness to give in to this understanding–his desire to arrest time, to counter anonymity, to leave something behind, to be immortal,” the artist writes. A poignant reminder that our junk will outlast us all.

About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut.