Hundreds of photo booth portraits show 30 years of one mysterious life

Sometimes there are children, sometimes there’s a festive sign. Sometimes the subject is grinning openly; at other times, he’s straight-faced and tight-lipped. But in most of the 445 pictures being shown as part of the Striking Resemblance: The Changing Art of Portraiture exhibition at Rutgers University’s Zimmerli art museum, there is one constant: a man. The same man, his picture taken in photo booths across three decades, from the 1930s and 1960s. And nobody knows who he is.

The pictures belong to photo historian Donald Lokuta, who purchased the set after first discovering a few of the pictures at a New York antiques show in 2012. When he realized the seller had hundreds of similar pictures of the same man, he bought them all. “As…

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