Photos Can Bring the Whole Family Together

Photos Can Bring the Whole Family Together

By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News

Can Thursday really be Thanksgiving?

Despite a year that has seemed endless and roiled by turmoil, we still have so much for which to be grateful. I know that I have.

I also know that many families will not be celebrating Thanksgiving together this year. Yet we can all make the day one of thankful remembrance, even if the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we celebrate.

Remembrance to me often is linked to photographs. I think this time of year is a great time to pull out the scrapbooks and the photo albums — and to perhaps pull up old digital photos stored on you computer and cellphone.

Photographs today, of course, are what painted portraits were centuries ago. I have always believed photographs documenting family memories are the most important part of successful home decorating.

On a visit to The Washington Duke Inn on Duke University’s campus in Durham, North Carolina, I so enjoyed looking at all the oil paintings on the walls. One portrait of the late Ambassador Angier Biddle Duke caught my eye — and it brought back a personal memory when I visited with his late mother, Cordelia Biddle Duke, and the ambassador at their Southampton family home.

Throughout the inn, which incidentally has its own golf course, I walked the corridors to view photographs taken of the Duke family with many of their famous friends.

How lovely it is to visit a home where members of the family are celebrated in photographs — or in oils or watercolors — that are beautifully framed. The images might be hung on a wall or propped on the piano.

For photos in such a group, I recommend choosing frames of a similar style and finish so that the images themselves become the primary focus. For a wall display of photos, you can seldom go wrong with gallery-style, matte-black frames and white mats. And silver-framed photos on a piano always look right at home.

And if your family and friends won’t be joining you for your Thanksgiving meal, why not add a few framed photos of those missing to your table decor? What a nice reminder that would be.

There are a host of places to find picture frames in the Palm Beaches. I suggest a visit to Hive — at 424 Palm St., just off South Dixie Highway near The Norton Museum of Art — to see a fine collection of frames ranging from bamboo and crystal, to woven naturals and shell.

At the marketplace at Kofski Estate Sales, 5500 Georgia Ave., you might find frames of yesteryear in silver, bronze and wrought iron or perhaps bejeweled.

Wherever you are this Thanksgiving, I hope your loved ones will be around you, even if they are simply captured in picture frames.

Onward we go!


  • Anne McIntyre on

    I just stayed at the Washington Duke Inn a few weeks ago with my Duke college roommate and too enjoyed the photos and history of the Duke family. I am from Durham, and am familiar with come of the history. I am pleased that so much of the history is preserved at this beautiful inn on my campus.

  • Joan Diamond on

    Happy Thanksgiving Carleton 🥰

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