Amelia Paul Forman is fifteen years old. In many ways, she is your average American teenager. However, not every teenager has a mom who is a world-class photographer with a predilection for photographing animals, and not every teenager has portraits of herself with elephants, llamas, ponies, tigers, kangaroos, chimpanzees, endless dogs, cats, and other animals—portraits that hang in the collections of art museums around the world. Since she was three years old, Amelia has been her mother’s muse and the subject of her photographs.
Her mother, the photographer Robin Schwartz, has been working for twelve years on this ongoing collaborative series, dedicated to documenting her and Amelia’s adventures among the animals. As Amelia has gotten older, she’s become a more active participant. “She didn’t realize how unusual her encounters were until everyone started to tell her how lucky she was to meet so many animals,” says Robin. Amelia now contributes ideas for their shoots, and the images have become more experimental through their mother-daughter collaboration.
The resulting photographs are more than documents of Amelia and her rapport with animals. They offer a meditation on the nature of interspecies communication and serve as evidence of a shared mother-daughter journey into invented worlds, of fables they enact together.
As Robin says, “Photography gives us the opportunity to access our dreams—to discover the extraordinary.”
"I love the way Robin Schwartz's work explores the mysteries of femininity, coming of age and the complex but unbreakable bond between humans and other animals. Her work is utterly appealing and uncomfortably uncanny."
Amelia and the Animals Photobook
If this Kickstarter campaign is successful, in fall 2014 the New York-based photography publisher Aperture Foundation will publish the photobook Amelia and the Animals, including new photographs from Robin’s ongoing series with Amelia.
Aperture is a non-profit organization that relies on contributions from supporting individuals, companies, and foundations, and on sales of photographers’ limited-edition prints, to help make and publish photobooks—works of art in their own right that inspire the reader and promote awareness of photographers.
Chris Boot, executive director of Aperture, says, “We published Robin’s first book featuring this series in a very small print run, and it was incredibly well-received. We believe this ongoing body of work deserves to be widely seen, which we hope to achieve by updating Amelia and the Animals in a larger print run, and by reaching beyond the audience of dedicated photography fans, through Kickstarter.”
Thank you for your help in making this book possible.
Text: Essay by Amelia Paul Forman
Design: Deb Wood
Photographs: 75 four-color images
Size: approx. 8 ½ x 10 ¾ in.
Publication date: October 2014
The book will feature the names of everyone who helps make the book possible by supporting this Kickstarter campaign.
Special-Edition Book ($100 and $300 levels)
· Signed book with slipcase, with editioned drawing by Amelia
· Available only to people who support this project through Kickstarter
Along with the other benefits listed, supporters at the following levels will also receive a limited-edition photograph by Robin Schwartz from this series.
Available only to people who support this project through Kickstarter
Private portrait session with Robin and Amelia, resulting in one 16 x 20 in. print.
• Should include an animal (your pet, one of Amelia and Robin’s animal friends, or your favorite stuffed animal)
• Featuring Amelia or the human subject of your choice
• Only 6 sessions available
• Does not include travel and accommodations for subjects traveling to New York City. For sessions occurring further than 120 miles from New York City, travel and accommodations are required for Robin and Amelia.
Robin Schwartz and Amelia Paul Forman
Robin Schwartz earned an MFA in photography from Pratt Institute, and her photographs are held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, both New York; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Brooklyn Museum; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; and Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany. She is an associate professor of photography at William Paterson University and lives in New Jersey with her husband, Robert Forman, daughter, Amelia, and five companion animals.
Amelia Paul Forman is a fashionable scientist, animal lover, and high schooler. She writes, draws, photographs, travels, and does ceramics.
Aperture Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other—in print, in person, and online.
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After pledging your support, please help to spread the word about this project by sharing this link with your contacts.
Thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges when publishing a photobook include the possibility of delay, but Aperture Foundation is highly experienced at dealing with the production and printing challenges involved in making great photobooks. If this campaign is successful, we will do everything possible to make sure the book is published in October 2014.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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