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Unknown Photographer



Reverend Ralph Abernathy mops his brow while testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs in Washington, May 14, 1969
Vintage wire photograph on paper
8 1/2 x 7 1/16 in. (21.59 x 17.94 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: P2021.13.91

Commentary
Testifying's Warm Work: Reverend Ralph Abernathy mops his brow while testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs in Washington. Abernathy, head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, urged Congress “to provide adequate food programs for those who need them.” He told the Committee that the poor people’s demand for food programs would require “only the elimination of the ABM and the SAGE bomber defense system” or the farm subsidy program which, he added, gives millions of dollars to farmers not to grow food.

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: typewritten title, date stamps 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
  • Image Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 7 1/16 in. (21.59 x 17.94 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8 3/4 x 7 3/8 in. (22.23 x 18.73 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen


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