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Charles Kelly

(North Carolina, c. 1932 - June 3, 2016, Atlanta, GA)

Reverend Ralph Abernathy tells an Atlanta press conference that James Earl Ray’s admission of guilt strengthens his belief that there was a conspiracy in the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., March 10, 1969
Vintage wire photograph on paper
7 7/16 x 4 5/16 in. (18.89 x 10.95 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.80

Commentary
Comments on Ray Trial: The Reverend Ralph David Abernathy tells an Atlanta press conference that James Earl Ray’s admission of guilt strengthens his belief that there was a conspiracy in the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Abernathy succeeded King as head of the Southern Christina Leadership Conference. Ray was sentenced on Monday in Memphis, Tennessee to 99 years in prison after pleading guilty to a first-degree murder charge in the King slaying.

Ralph Abernathy (1926-1990) was a Baptist minister who, with Martin Luther King, Jr., organized the historic Montgomery Bus Boycotts. Abernathy co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was a major Civil Rights figure, serving as close adviser to King and later assuming SCLC Presidency.

Marks
On verso: date stamp, library stamp, typewritten label with title, date and newspaper caption with date stamp affixed.

Materials
Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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Dimensions
  • Overall Dimensions: 7 7/16 x 4 5/16 in. (18.89 x 10.95 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen


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