Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Susan Rankaitis

Reader 2

Ken Gonzales-Day

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© 2013 Allison Riegle


This paper explores the historical significance and advancements of automatic photobooth portraiture from the late 1800s onwards, focusing specifically on the intention behind the photobooth’s creation and the significance and cultural implications of its introduction into society. As it gradually became a staple of modern society, regularly visited by citizens to have their portraits taken, numerous artists sought out the photobooth as both a studio and a stage in which to document performative self-portraiture. The space and aesthetics of the photobooth have inspired artists to re-envision the confines of the booth and use its automatic function as a point of inspiration. I will also highlight the significance of female self-portraiture and the significance of women performing within and occupying specific spaces. My work is a combination of these histories, providing me with the opportunity to continue the discussion of women’s self-representation and the unique artistic space the photobooth provides between public and private spheres.