The Hereditary Estate: Daniel W. Coburn

(Pictured above: Daniel W. Coburn, Resurrection, 2014)


Daniel W. Coburn

April 21 – June 3, 2017


Opening Reception: Friday, April 21, 2017, 6 – 9pm (Free)

** Artist Talk + Book Signing from 7 – 8pm **



The Colorado Photographic Arts Center is pleased to present The Hereditary Estate, a solo exhibition by Kansas-based artist Daniel W. Coburn. The exhibition is comprised of deeply intimate photographs that challenge the conventionality of the family photo album and its role in portraying a narrative of the American Dream. The Hereditary Estate exhibition has traveled internationally and has been featured in The International New York Times and Family Photography Now, a major anthology of contemporary photography published by Thames & Hudson.


For the past decade I have made photographs to examine the family photo album as part of a visual infrastructure that supports the flawed ideology of the American Dream.

My own family has been haunted by events related to severe domestic violence and suicide for the past three generations. These tragedies have been fueled by a legacy of depression, anxiety and substance abuse. As I became an adult my parents began to reveal the details of our dark history.

Frustrated by the lack of photographs to document this troubling family narrative, I set out to create a potent amendment to the idealized album assembled by my immediate family members. I photograph loved ones in parables of love, reverie, respect, and quiet tragedy in an effort to honor our past and shape our future.


Daniel W. Coburn was born in San Bernardino, California in 1976. Coburn’s prints are held in collections at major institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, and the University of New Mexico Art Museum. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Mulvane Art Museum, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Filter Photo Space and La Fototeca Gallery. His work has appeared in numerous international group exhibitions including Album de Familia at Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. His first artist’s monograph, The Hereditary Estate, was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2015. Coburn received his MFA with distinction from the University of New Mexico in 2013. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Photo Media at the University of Kansas.

Purchase a copy of The Hereditary Estate at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center.
Daniel W. Coburn will be signing copies of his book at the opening reception on Friday, April 21, 7 – 8pm.